CLOSED: Batch (Toronto)

Located in the former Beer Academy, Batch is bright and airy, transforming the previous event venue into a casual restaurant. The new space has a Scandinavian woodsy feel to it, as if you’ve stepped away from the city and entered wine (err.. beer) country. Owned by Creemore, they continue to brew on site with a rotating selection to match their beer friendly menu. The Lombard lager ($7) was a refreshing crisp drink with a hint of lemon and went nicely with the first two courses of the Summerlicious lunch menu ($23).

The light beer was a nice contrast against the Cornish pastry, a flakey dough stuffed with shredded lamb and potatoes that’s bound together with a thick brown gravy. It’s a starter that’s reminiscent of pub food, a larger slice with salad or vegetables would be a satisfying meal.

On the other hand, the roasted chili prawns main was completely different from regular bar fare. The Thai and Vietnamese style dish was a bit unexpected at a brew pub but a great example of a brighter dish that still went well with beer - not everything has to be greasy and heavy. My first shrimp was mushy, a sign that it was past it’s prime, but the other two were much better pairing nicely with the cooling slaw topped with crunchy peanuts. There was a light heat from the nam prik (a Thai chili sauce) scattered amongst the mango and melon salad. Luckily, I still had the Lombard lager to help tone down some of the spice.

Although we visited during Summerlicious, the restaurant wasn’t too busy. Nonetheless, the succession of the meal was completely wacky. The mains arrived so quickly that a companion had to quickly finish off her starter, so they could take away the dish. But then it took FOREVER for the desserts to arrive when the longest thing to make is perhaps the glazed apple fritter.

After such a long wait it was disappointing that the fritter didn’t even seem freshly fried – although warm they weren’t hot. The batter had a nice yeasty property but needed more air, so it wouldn’t be so dense and chewy. Moreover, it could use more sugar, especially since the sour cream glaze and shortbread crumble toppings weren’t overly sweet. In the end, it didn’t taste like much since even the apples were rather muted.

Toronto and its downtown core has been graced with the opening on many gastro brewpubs and restaurants over the last two years. And while I enjoy the reservation friendly Batch, the restaurant may be best for an after-work visit. When timing doesn’t matter as you’re on beer o’clock.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $23
Regular menu* - $ - Cornish pastry ($11), shrimp ($16) and dessert ($8)
Savings - $12 or 34%
* None of the items were on their regular menu the above based on sausage roll, smoked salmon, and sticky toffee pudding
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 75 Victoria Street

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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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