Showing posts with label beef carpaccio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef carpaccio. Show all posts

Padella (Toronto)


Like any good Italian restaurant, you won’t leave Padella hungry. Even as we sipped on wine, a basket of freshly toasted bread and a small bowl of delicious pickled beans arrived, something that even people waiting by the bar were nibbling on. 


To avoid sounding repetitive, I found Padella best suited for people who enjoy under seasoned dishes, which allows an ingredient’s natural flavours to shine, but was too plain for me. Some restaurants add a lot of toppings to their beef carpaccio ($16), the only garnishes at Padella were well-drained capers and shaved parmigiano; even the greens were left undressed. Indeed, we could taste the beef, it just doesn’t taste like much without seasoning.


Similarly, the pan seared octopus ($16) and cannellini bean salad barely had a lick of salt so the flavours were derived from the herbed olive oil. I just couldn’t get used to the octopus’ texture, which was too soft. Sure, you may be thinking tender octopus is a good thing. Yet, when the seafood flavours disappear and the springy texture almost becomes mushy, it no longer tastes like octopus.


The clams to linguine ratio in the vongole ($19) was impressive: equal amounts of seafood to pasta. Moreover, both ingredients were prepared to perfection – the clams just cooked through but still juicy and the pasta retaining that lovely chewiness. If only the sauce wasn’t so acidic – it’s like the chef forgot he added lemon and did a second squeeze, then the person at the pass added a third helping – rendering everything so sour that even the garlic and white wine were masked. This could have been an amazing dish with a quarter of the lemon and double the salt.


Only the spaghetti carbonara ($18) had a decent amount of saltiness from the guanciale, pecorino, and parmigiano. If you like bacon, this dish is for you as Padella doesn’t skimp on the guanciale. Combined with the egg yolk, the cured pork’s fat creates a rich smoky sauce that covers the fresh spaghetti. For me, I would have like more pepper to balance out the flavours.


Padella’s tiramisu ($8) was equally rich with generous amounts of mascarpone cream, making for a moist and decadent dessert. If only it had a stronger espresso flavour it would be even better, but still left us satisfied.


The cozy restaurant was packed on our Monday evening visit. From the number of people speaking to the staff, I could tell there are a lot of repeat customers and this is a neighbourhood joint. The friendly environment and respectable portions were great, I only wish the flavours were better. Luckily, aside from the vongole and octopus, the others are an easy fix with a dash of salt and pepper, something that can easily be accommodated by asking for some shakers. 

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10



How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1967 Avenue Road

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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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Padella Italian Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Pick 6ix (Toronto)


Pick 6ix is Drake’s latest hospitality venture in collaboration with Montreal’s Chef Antonio Park. Having lived in South America, Canada, and Japan and coming from a Korean background, you can see Chef Park’s multi-cultural influences on the restaurant’s menu. In a single dinner I sampled dishes from all the countries!

He seems proficient in creating recipes from each of the geographies as the three stand-out dishes, for me, varied from Korea, Argentina, and Japan. The best was the 8-hour braised kalbi style short rib ($38), which I’d expect from Chef Park’s background. The slightly sweet soy marinade is bang on in terms of flavours and thickened to form a glaze on the meaty rib. It was moist and tender, but you could still taste the beef.


Pick 6ix’s beef empanadas ($18) reminds me of a meatier Jamaican patty in an empanada shell. The filling is lightly flavoured with Argentinian spices and goes especially well with the chimichurri sauce, which adds a tangy herby bite.


The spicy salmon maki ($12) was simple but delicious: the rice thinly layered and brimming with salmon with a significant dollop of spicy kewpie on top. So flavourful that you wouldn’t need the house-made low-sodium soy sauce.


Although the soft-shell crab maki ($18) was still good, I would have thought there would be greater interest with so many ingredients - avocado, tobiko, mizuna (a Japanese mustard green), and pickled radish. In reality, all I could taste were the leafy greens until the soft-shell crab kicked in, at the end.


The fried rice ($26) combines the Chinese staple where the chicken and shrimp is presented almost teppanyaki style, layered on top. Everything arrives in a hot stone bowl with a fried egg and sauce drizzled over top, a nod to bibimbap. It was decent and a good option if you just want a main meal.


We didn’t know what to expect with the choripan asiatico ($18) but all the dishes elements – sausage, guacamole, kimchi, mustard slaw, salsa creola and crispy shallots – sounded enticing. Look out traditional American hot dog, the choripan asiatico is an extreme version of one. Through all the crunchy textures the spicy sausage heat shone through, the heat further amplified by the gochujang spiked ketchup accompanying the fries. It is a rather heavy sandwich, so this is best for sharing.


The pork gyozas ($16) were fine but seemingly plain compared to the other dishes. While the meat filling was tasty enough, it could have incorporated an unusual element (perhaps kimchi) to give it more interest. Moreover, they’d be even better if they were pan fried (instead of deep fried) as I love the contrast between the chewy dough and crispy crust, a small nit-picky personal preference.


Although beef carpaccio ($19) is known for being thinly sliced beef, it would help if the kitchen overlaid the slices for this dish as with the dwarf peaches, olives, puffed quinoa, crispy wild rice, carrots, and plum emulsion the beef became lost; all I could taste was crispy rice with sauce. Overall, aside from this one miss, the other dishes were as I expected: good interpretations that were satisfying but not out-of-this-world.


Similarly, the décor was swanky, as anticipated, in a cool retro way. While the furnishings look great, the tables aren’t exactly designed for dining – the large booth style ones along the sides makes sharing plates difficult and the small ones in the centre have so little room that sharing would be impossible. Oh well, maybe none of that matters… after all, the city loves Drake.


Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 33 Yonge Street


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this: