Showing posts with label French 75. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French 75. Show all posts

Pinkerton's Snack Bar (Toronto)

Despite it’s British sounding name, Pinkerton's Snack Bar’s menu decidedly has an Asian influence. The kitchen and the bar seemed to have developed separately, as their drink menu leans towards classic cocktails like my favourite of the evening… the paloma ($16), adorned with a lovely pink peppercorn salt rim that adds a kick to the tequila, mezcal, and citrusy drink. Beautifully made but hardly seems like a drink that pairs with fried rice.

Still, I enjoyed it with a plate of duck fried rice ($18). It’s a good version of the dish, filled with flavours thanks to duck confit chunks mixed with micro chopped vegetables, egg, and hoisin that added a savoury richness. My only grumble is the rice was too fresh – every Asian knows that day old is best for frying – so the dish was too wet.

The crispy salt and pepper tofu ($13) arrived hot and crunchy and would have been delicious if it weren’t for the accompanying spicy tomato chutney. While I didn’t find it revolting, tofu and marinara isn’t really the greatest combination, especially when I was looking forward to the more traditional chopped bell pepper and onions relish version instead.

I enjoyed the soft buns used by Pinkerton’s for their bao buns ($15 for two), but they needed more filling. There was too much batter on the small pieces of Korean fried chicken, so the protein became dry and leaned towards a jerky consistency. The bulgogi sirloin was better, the beef more pronounced, and being marinated helps to keep things moist, especially when dressed with carrot slaw and spicy mayo.

Surprisingly there wasn’t a leaf of fermented cabbage in the kimchi fries ($12) - I then realized the menu description says it’s topped with kimchi mayo and pickled vegetables but not actual kimchi. The flavours came through in the mayo, but I found there were too many greens compared to the actual spuds, so the dish wasn’t hot enough.

Ultimately, Pinkerton is aptly named as a snack bar and not a restaurant. Their food will satisfy a boozy stomach but won’t wow the taste buds. Luckily, their cocktails do, such as the beautiful floral French 75 ($16). The cocktail’s lavender and jasmine elements weren’t too overwhelming, additives that can sometimes leave a drink tasting like dish detergent. Rather, it was refreshing, a lovely drink to sip on a hot day.

If Pinkerton were a person, I’d imagine them to be a nonchalant non-binary individual who has an effortless cool factor. Their origin is hard to pin down, not all qualities are great, but you can’t help but want to be invited out with them anyways. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1026 Gerrard 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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New York Bar ニューヨーク バ ー(Tokyo)

Location: Tokyo, Japan
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku (Park Hyatt Tokyo, 52nd floor)

We decided to visit New York Bar on a Saturday night to check out the iconic venue featured in Lost in Translation, where Bill Murray’s character Bob goes to at nights to reflect and enjoy a drink.

Located in the bustling Shinjuku area, at the top of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, it’s a calming jazz club environment with a great live band playing that night. In fact, the singer was an American that flew in for the performance.

We each paid a cover charge of ¥2,200 and were led to a table right beside the band and in front of large windows offering an amazing view of Tokyo city. Unfortunately, iPhones aren’t known for their great night time pictures but the ones below give you an idea of what we saw.

Since we had already eaten dinner, we only had drinks; although we couldn’t help finishing off the bowl of Japanese rice cracker and nuts they gave us to snack on. While my husband was boring and just stuck with scotch (14-year Clynelish for ¥1,800), I tried a few of their cocktails. To begin, the classic French 75 (¥1,800) an easy going champagne cocktail made with Tanqueray No.10 (gin) and lemon and lime juices. Arriving in a martini glass without the champagne, at first I was shocked with the small drink size. A moment later, the waiter returns with a bottle of champagne to top it up. As always, a sparkly refreshing drink to start the night.

Afterwards, I had to try their L.I.T. martini (¥1,900) named after the movie. A very easy going fruity drink made with sake, sakura (cherry blossom) liqueur, peach schnapps and cranberry juice. In looking around, most tourists appeared to be drinking the same popular drink.

Lastly, my favourite drink of the night, the Monkey 52 (¥1,900), an interesting mix of Monkey 47 (gin), elder flower syrup, cucumber juice and lime. Personally, I love when cocktails use cool cucumber juice and floral elder flower syrup so this was the drink for me.

All in all, we stayed there for about two hours that night and thoroughly enjoyed the music, view and found this to be a great opportunity to reflect on the highlights of our trip. If you don’t mind paying a little more for drinks, New York Bar is a great night time venue; especially if clubbing is not your cup of tea. 

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