CLOSED: Wish (Toronto)

Wish Cafe Toronto

Wish has a patio that elicits, “This is so adorable!” comments. With the white washed furniture and cream drapery, there’s a Tetro Verde vibe and allows for people watching on a quieter street in Yorkville. Service is rather slow, but when you’re seated on comfortable couches and having a great conversation with friends, the wait is actually enjoyable.

Visiting for a Summerlicious ($35) dinner, the restaurant was still calm at 6:30. However, an hour later, every table on the patio was occupied. Luckily, we had our orders in so the starters came out at a decent time. The grilled New Zealand lamb chops smelled intoxicating with the scent of charred meat comingling with the mint and citrus pesto.

Lamb chops wish cafe

Although our server requested how we’d like the lamb done (medium rare and medium the consensus), they all arrived well done. Restaurants need to carefully consider their ability to execute upon requests. If it’s difficult to meet exact demands during busy periods, I’d prefer the chef just decide what’s best and serve. Although I prefer the lamb less done, it was still tender and well flavoured; if it was just served that way I’d be content. However, I couldn’t help feeling something was wrong as, in this case, as it wasn’t cooked to my initial specifications.

The poached salmon was moist and flavourful having been brined in a spice mix prior to cooking. Vibrant roasted heirloom carrots set off the pale pink salmon while their natural sweetness complimented the creamy kale veloutee (essentially a creamed kale).

Poached salmon wish cafe

My friend’s half cornish hen was succulent and the dish had a rustic feel to it with the simple but delicious romesco buttered vegetables and a sprinkling of burnt rye toast crumbs on top for added texture.

Cornish hen Wish cafe

It was during dessert where the food started to falter. The Summerlicious menu tempted me with an “apple cinnamon divine”, but despite ordering before 7pm, they had already run out. If a restaurant is only responsible for offering three menu items, the pastry chef needs to ensure they have adequate amounts of it. Sure, I understand if something stocks out at 9pm… but, close to the start of dinner service? That’s poor planning.

An apple crumble pie was the mediocre substitute. Although the filling had a fair amount of apples, it was served cold and unadorned – no scoop of ice cream or even drizzle of caramel – hardly an adequate replacement for something that was “divine”.

Apple pie wish cafe

The spiced kraken rum rice pudding was thick and its paste-like texture not the most pleasant. Personally, I feel just a splash of coconut milk would help thin it out and help it develop a velvety texture. A huge slab of white chocolate speared the dessert adding a decorative element; if broken into smaller pieces and mixed into the pudding instead, it could have provided the much needed texture and flavour contrast.

Rice pudding wish cafe

Wish's plating is on point, providing Instagram worthy photos that will certainly draw in crowds. Sitting out on the patio, with the natural lighting and pale grey back drops, it was a breeze to snap a picture I was happy with. But, what keeps people returning to restaurants will always be the food. In Wish’s case, the savoury dishes (especially the mains) were a hit. However, the lackluster desserts hardly provokes a positive last impression for diners.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $35
Regular menu - $47 - lamb chops ($21), salmon ($22) and pie* ($8)
Savings - $16 or 31%
* The pie were based a wild guess from me

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3 Charles Street East

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!

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