CLOSED: Scaddabush on Yonge (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 382 Yonge Street
Type of Meal: Dinner

When I first heard about Scaddabush the name was intriguing … perhaps it's Australian or some other exotic cuisine, I thought. Much to my surprise they are an Italian restaurant and their name means “a bit of everything”. The restaurant is enormous with two floors and tons of tables – sort of like Jack Astors but with much nicer light fixtures and décor. Despite its size, it was filled and there was even a queue when we left.

All the staff members I encountered were very warm and welcoming. One person actually stopped and made sure I was served water before my waitress could arrive! A small suggestion is to encourage staff to make normal conversation. It seemed like they were all trained to ask if “it’s the first time you’re visiting Scaddabush”, which is fine, but when you’re asked three times in a span of five minutes it ends up feeling rehearsed. Perhaps limiting it to just the person serving the table is best, since it was really our waitress who ended up adding that if it is our first visit we should know that the pasta and mozzarella is made fresh in-house.

But, introducing the restaurant is important as after hearing about the pasta and made-to-order mozzarella, we couldn’t resist trying it. For the cheese, we ordered the caprese salad ($19; includes a supplementary $5 for grilled shrimp). Note, the portion size is actually slightly larger, I started eating before realizing I forgot to take a picture.

It certainly had plenty of mozzarella. Admittedly, I may have been thinking about buffalo mozzarella, which is different, but I found Scaddabush’s cheese a bit soft and lumpy. Don’t get me wrong, it was still delicious, just not to that creamy buffalo mozzarella level I was imagining. Mixed with the cheese were Campari tomatoes, baby arugula, a sweet balsamic glaze and a very liberal dousing of herbed olive oil. For the size of the salad, there was quite a number of shrimp included. If you order this with some of the charity bread, it could be a satisfying meal.

To try the fresh pasta, we ordered the pesto pollo ($18.17 for a large) made with fettuccine. Although the pasta could have been more al danté, the basil and pesto cream sauce was fragrant and delicious. It also included plenty of sautéed chicken, semi sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkles of baby spinach adding some colour and freshness to the dish. 

All in all, the lively atmosphere and large family style tables makes this a great hangout for big groups. And with their reasonable price points and big potions, this could be a student friendly place as well. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!