Showing posts with label ceviche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ceviche. Show all posts

COYA (Dubai)

Special thanks to Parv for so many of the photos in this post
You’ll find COYA on a busy cul de sac of restaurants at Dubai’s Four Seasons. After getting through the queue of cars being dropped off with the valet and the throng of people making their way to the many establishments in the area, the actual restaurant is a welcoming serene environment.

The colourful bar and dining room works well with the restaurant’s Peruvian menu. Quirky artwork adorning the wall is great for starting conversations and keeps the atmosphere fun and cheerful. There’s still an air of sophistication to the décor – the colours are done in rich jewel-toned hues and with lux velvet. And it’s the attentive service and little touches, like the mini shelf for purses that retract from the chairs like a CD player, which reminds you that you’re still at the Four Seasons.


COYA’s ceviche are one of the most ordered dishes and I can see why. The pargo a la trufa ceviche (AED88) uses chunks of tender red snapper that are gently marinated with a not-too-citrusy ponzu and jazzed up with chives. Even the truffle oil, an ingredient that can sometimes get overpowering, was present in scent and only slightly lingered on the tongue. Absolutely delicious and a great start to the meal.


The salmon tacos (AED60) may be more accurately described as a tostada: cubes of salmon and avocado sitting on a crispy fried tortilla. Once again, the dish didn’t lack flavour, but the strong ingredients (in this case the aji amarillo chilli) added just a bit of heat still allowing us to taste the fish.


While the pulpo rostizado (AED92) is described as a ‘small dish’, the portion was just as big as some of the mains. The protein was prepared wonderfully - you barely need to bite to get through the tendrils of roasted octopus. Yet, there’s something topping the creamed potatoes that wasn’t my cup of tea – the garlic chips and bits of olives covering the silky spuds gave it a bitter finish.


COYA offers tons of seafood on their menu. The lubina Chilena (AED180) leans towards the Japanese influences of Peruvian cuisine tasting like miso black cod rather than anything to do with the aji amarillo described on the menu. Nevertheless, the fish is cooked beautifully and it was a tasty rendition of miso cod.


I would go back for an entire langosta iron pot (AED158) for myself. The rice a luscious risotto that stays warm in the clay vessel. It’s everything I want with a risotto – creamy texture, just enough moisture, and filled with lobster essence with a bit of pea shoot for freshness.


COYA prepares chicken well, their pollo a la parrilla (AED148) arrives as four pieces of juicy and tender boneless meat with a fiery looking sauce covering it. Don’t worry, the aji panca is all look and no spice, instead adding a smoky flavour and aroma to the fowl. For me, how well a restaurant prepares chicken is a marker of their chefs’ talent. After all, it’s a protein that needs to be cooked thoroughly and has a rather neutral taste.


It’s not like the bife angosto wagyu (AED460), the beef so well-marbled that even being a sirloin cut there was plenty of flavourful fat covering the tongue. It’s left a ruby rare and stays that way as the grill it arrives on is all for show and isn’t actually heated. While the steak was tasty enough on its own, COYA’s chimichurri is something else – ultra fresh and the micro cubes of onion creating a great contrast against the rich meat.


Make sure to save room for the churros de naranja (AED52), they are the best I’ve ever had. The pastry’s centre is fluffy and creamy while the outside delightfully crispy. I had my doubts as the menu described them as orange and lime churros with a milk chocolate and dulce de leche sauce – fruit and chocolate should be kept separate in my books. Luckily, all the citrus seemed to lie within the dip so I ate the churros by itself and they were exquisite.


In a city where buildings and new restaurants and being constructed at a mile-a-minute I can see why COYA is still busy and respected since its opening in 2014. What a great meal for the senses, for both taste and sight.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 Address: Restaurant Village Four Seasons Resort 

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:

COYA Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Xango (Toronto)


To see Chef Claudio Aprile in real life is a treat. To get to preview Xango’s menu before it opens made the occasion even more special. By being a Toronto Life Insider Member, I had the opportunity to dine at the restaurant before dinner service commences on September 18th and know that Claudio was actually inside the kitchen. My mouth would taste the food his hands touched!



For someone who’s about to showcase a whole new menu, he’s calm and collected. Claudio explains that he loves the opportunity to cook food his own way and with his own flavours. Having dined at his other establishments - Colborne Lane, Origin, and Copetin – Xango certainly differs from the rest and is perhaps closest to Uruguay cuisine, the Chef’s native country.


Of all his restaurants, he felt this was his “riskiest” as Peruvian flavours are relatively under represented and through Xango he hopes to push Torontonians to try new things. While it’s a noble thought, I’m don’t necessarily agree as there are already tons of mainstream Peruvian restaurants (Kay Pacha, Mira, Baro, and Chotto Matte). Plus, being part of the Liberty Group means there’s a lot of financial and corporate muscle behind the restaurant, not exactly risky. Regardless, if it helps expand the culture palette of the city, I’m supportive.

Family style dishes came out in quick succession following the short opening speech. We’re warned that not all these items will make the final menu and that we should vote for our favourites of the evening. Ask and you shall receive. Here are some of the top picks from each category for me:

Starter – The crispy thin tostones topped with black bean and salsa with a drizzle of crema and silky queso fresco was delicious. A quick two bites that works great to warm up the taste buds or for passed nibbles. With a bit more seasoning, it’d be even better.


Raw + Salads – I loved the big chunks of tuna in the ceviche. Along with watermelon, avocado, and daikon, it’s a great dish showcasing the mix of Latin and Asian flavours that’s popular with Peruvian cuisine. And those nori chips, yum! Such a good idea.


Even the simple tomato and avocado salad impressed. Intuitively, I wouldn’t have thought seaweed would work with tomato, but it actually sets off the fruit nicely and the kalamansi dressing adds a bit of acid without things becoming too sour.



Robata – We all swooned over the lamb chops that were cooked to perfection, simply seasoned with sweet chili. This has to be a keeper. Their octopus was also delicious brushed with a sweet soy so the meaty tender pieces has a wonderful balanced smoky flavour.



Large Dishes – Sadly, one of the dishes, the scallop, never made it to our table, despite numerous follow-up attempts. So, if I had to choose between the beef and chicken, beef generally is a top choice.  Like the lamb, the striploin is cooked to perfection – whoever is manning the meat grilling station is amazing. But, the fishy flavour from the encebollado really threw me off and doesn’t work with the steak unlike surf and turf. At the same time, I appreciate Xango’s attempt to push people out of their comfort zone and introduce an atypical combination of flavours. Maybe fishy beef is something I’ll grow to love.



Extras – In my haste to get some vegetables into the system, I forgot to snap a pic of the grilled and wokked gilan. The leafy Chinese green is elevated with a quick grill before being tossed with chili crisps. This works nicely as a side with the large dishes.

Sweet – To be fair there was only one dessert for the evening, yet it was all the table needed. A shallow dish of luscious coffee and milk chocolate pudding arrives with cinnamon dusted buñuelo (a fried tortilla) to dip into it. It’s a lighter alternative to churros, but still has that same satisfying end that you want with the meal.



There were some dishes that could be great, it just needs a tweak:

Overall, I really enjoyed the flavours in the spring rolls filling, which combined sweet shrimp and light maitake mushrooms. Yet, the filling’s paste consistency means the spring roll wrapper has to be crispier to provide a better contrast. Perhaps the more fluid filling is causing the wrapper to get soggy, so a layer of nori between the shrimp paste and wrapper may help to keep things crunchy.



While the halibut ceviche is such a pretty dish, arriving in halved coconut, it tastes bland since it’s really just a combination of mild fish with coconut milk. I’d imagine a hit of chili and something with texture, like Inca corn kernels, would help add pizazz to the dish.



The chimmichurri goes nicely with the whole roasted hen, but the actual fowl was overcooked. It could come down to the piece chosen or the difficulties with serving a whole bird to so many tables within a short time frame, but after the impressive lamb chops and steak, a dry bird is not how you want to end the night.



Most shishito peppers are grilled; at Xango they’re battered and fried like tempura. So while it’s tasty, I wouldn’t classify it under the “extras” sections, which to diners may seem like side dishes. It’s simply too heavy to be an accompaniment, but as a “starter” it works.



Lastly, if these dishes never made it to the final menu, I wouldn’t be disappointed.

For a dish the menu describes as being garnished with a caramelized peanut sauce, the crispy squid is oddly sour and lacks nutty flavours. I get it, calamari is a safe corporate option. But, it’s also on so many menus across the city that if it’s not fantastic, why even bother.



While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the skewer of chorizo, shitake, and pickled peppers, there’s nothing exciting about it as well. Literally, if tastes like you’re eating a mushroom, than chorizo, a pepper, and ending off with another mushroom. Is the progression of ingredients or combination really memorable or important? Not really.




In the end, it feels a little strange to be judging a Master Chef judge. After all, he’s the one that critiques the creations of so many hopefuls and offers suggestions in his calm friendly manner. Here’s hoping my thoughts came though as rationally as Chef Claudio himself. And to Master Chef Canada, if you ever need a judge, my services are always available. 
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Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 461 King Street West

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!

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The Good Son (Toronto)


Have you’ve heard the positive sayings “look on the brighter side” and “things always happen for a reason”? Sometimes, they’re true. During a recent staycation, our outdoor day trip was dampened with rainy weather so we decided to stay in town and check out close by destinations. We first visited Oomomo (it’s definitely no Daisho) and then headed to the Shops of Don Mills down the street.

It just so happens, the newest outpost of The Good Son also opened at the Shops so we stopped by for dinner. It’s then we realize the food gods were looking down upon us. Firstly, we made it there in time for happy hour where all cocktails and draft beers are half off. Score! I wanted to try the Little Priest (normally $13) anyways. It’s a refreshing concoction that tastes like a lighter Long Island iced tea – while I couldn’t really taste the vermouth Amaro, it was a fitting spring drink.


Since it wasn’t a busy in the restaurant, we took our time with the meal, ordering appetizers to nibble on with the drinks. Of course, the burrata ($19) was soft and creamy, but The Good Son adds a bit of roasted garlic on top. While this may sound overpowering against the mild cheese, the roasted garlic provided mostly aroma versus bite and the balsamic reduction creates some sweetness. It’s a tasty burrata.


In the future, I’d stick with the Italian dishes and steer clear of the sea bream ceviche ($16). The fish became lost under all the avocado, pear (?), pomegranate, and tomatillo sauce so it tasted like eating chunky salsa versus ceviche. Plus, incorporating both pomegranate and pear in the dish made it too sweet and it lacked the chili bite I like with ceviche. On the bright side, the corn tortillas were tasty and abundant.


Regardless, the food gods continued to bless us. Wednesdays also means $10 pizza day! It would have been our choice anyways given The Good Son is known for their wood oven pizza… the large station in the corner certainly entices you to want to bite into the smoky pie.


Craving a hearty pizza, the capricciosa ($20) fit the bill with big chunks of mushrooms, mild sundried olives, artichokes, fior di latte, and layers of Prosciutto cotto. Understandably, under the weight of all the toppings, the pizza is impossible to pick up but the crust is well-toasted on the bottom so it’s not mushy either. If only they left off the balsamic with the mushrooms – don’t sneak a sweet and savoury combination on me please!

Normally, I likely would have ordered the spicy sopressata ($21). Simply adorned with slices of cured meat and little chunks of Anaheim chili strewn throughout for a manageable heat.



In the end, the rain did not put a damper on the day and we ended up saving quite a bit on dinner. But as a good customer, just remember to tip a higher percentage. The restaurant workers are doing the same work, even though you’re saving a bundle. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 11 Karl Fraser Road (in Shop of Don Mills)

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:


Quetzal (Toronto)


Quetzal certainly looks and feels different compared to other Mexican restaurants. The dining room is white and sleek and there’s no images of skulls or Frida Kahlo anywhere, they’re bringing an upscale flair to Mexican cuisine.

Things haven’t gone so smoothly since its opening on August 2018. The restaurant had to temporarily close down in January when two of their chefs and co-owners quit, citing they felt overworked.  Chef Grant van Gameren stepped in and after adjusting the menu (so long, nine types of salsa) things are simpler but still relies heavily on the 26-foot wood-fired grill. They also stopped serving bugs and grubs (you heard right), with the exception of crickets found in their dessert (more on that later).

While some establishments serve complimentary salsa and chips, at Quetzal their amuse bouche is a tostada adorned with spiced salmon and guacamole. It gives you a taste of things to come - fresh neutral ingredients combined together to provide flavour, but nothing tastes overly harsh (any use of lime and cilantro is restrained).


The kanpachi tiradito ($21) is absolutely delicious. The fish is first grilled so the skin has a slight crispiness and a mellow smokiness that hangs in the distance. Yet, the flesh remains raw and after sitting in the light acid sauce starts to break up so it’s even tenderer than typical sushi.


Nonetheless, it’s a dish I’m torn about. Sure, it tastes great but when you’re visiting to experience bright Mexican flavours, you can’t help but feel a bit disappointed with something that tastes like tataki. Perhaps it’s where this dish sits on the menu, under ceviche, when this is noticeably not ceviche. The flavours are rather neutral sitting in a liquid that’s not overly tangy and merely adorned with chili oil and micro greens. Delicious, but not Mexican.

Luckily, the memelas ($16) that followed has the traditional tastes. Blue corn masa tortillas are freshly pressed and toasted so they emit such a lovely aroma when mixed with the cheese and morels. It is dishes like this that reaffirms why I love sitting at the Chef’s table … the aroma, at its peak strength, may only last a minute so you want to be sitting close by.


Covered onto the masa are asiento (a thin layer of pork lard) and plenty of quesillo cheese so they form an almost squeaky cheese curd layer. It sounds like it’d be heavy, but with the plump morels and dollops of refreshing salsa cruda everything works nicely together. Just don’t bother eating it with a knife and fork – it’s difficult to cut through – hand-to-mouth is definitely the way to go.


Almost all the mains are cooked on the wood-fire grill. The whole grilled sea bream ($58) was an excellent suggestion from the chef near our seats (consequently, he’s also the one preparing it so we had an excellent view of our meal being created). Our waiter’s suggestion of adding on an order of tortillas ($2.75 for six pieces) was another smart suggestion as it helped make tasty fish tacos.


The sea bream is butterflied, deboned, marinated with salsa roja (a slightly spicy red sauce), and then grilled over the fire so the skin get crispy and the meat retains a lovely smokiness. On arrival, the fish is moist and tender, but because the plate is heated, starts to become overcooked halfway through the dish. Indeed, the heated plate helps ensure the fish stays warm until it’s served, but perhaps provide bigger sharing plates and suggest to customers that they move it onto these dishes, if they’d like the fish less done.

Having had the fish by itself and sandwiched inside warm soft tortillas, both work and taste delicious. However, since the tortillas are rather plain, I had to really layer on the salsa verde to give it flavour, so an extra dish of the condiment is required if customers pair the sea bream with tortillas. In fact, I wish there was the option to purchase an order of pico de gallo to add to the experience.


Quetzal’s dessert menu is sparse: with only two options, I almost wanted to call it quits and find something elsewhere. However, the helado de hoja de aguacate ($11) sounded so interesting that we had to taste it once.

You really need to dig straight through to the bottom to get a bit of the avocado leaf ice cream, chamomile and tropical fruit espuma, cocao nibs, and of course one of the candied crickets. It’s a dessert that reminded me of a margarita – there’s sweet citrus flavours that ends with a salty finish. As a person who only occasionally enjoys salty and sweet combinations, it really wasn’t something I warmed to.


And the candied crickets? If you don’t think about it, they’re really just crunchy bits in the ice cream. As soon as I saw a leg, my stomach turned and I could only manage it get down two of them. My previous statement that eating bugs should be left to Fear Factor contestants remains.

Quetzal’s service really excels compared to Grant van Gameren’s other restaurants. We were appropriately brought to an ideal spot at the Chef’s table: closest to the centre of the restaurant so I could still see what’s happening elsewhere and right by the fire but not under the drafty venting system. The experience was much better than the terrible encounter at Bar Isabel. Moreover, the Chef manning the fish and meat station immediately started speaking to us – offering suggestions on what to order, so there wasn’t that period of awkwardness when I wondered if I should ask questions.

For those who are really stuck on what to order, you can even ask the waiter to put together a customized tasting menu. In retrospect, that may have been a smart idea as he would have likely steered me towards a more traditional ceviche and away from the crickets.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 419 College 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:



Quetzal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kay Pacha (Toronto)


Even though I’ve had Peruvian cuisine previously, I’m still surprised by the seemingly varied choices available on a menu. Due to their proximity to other countries, their cuisine has European, Asian, and West African influences, aside from the traditional Inca-based dishes. Moreover, since Peru’s geography has many climates (mountains, rainforest, and access to water), dishes also range from light seafood to heartier grains and meat. This makes Peruvian restaurants an ideal gathering place for groups with varying tastes - there’s so much on the menu that you’re bound to find something that will satisfy picky eaters.

Kay Pacha’s menu is no different, our meal encompassed dishes often found in Argentinian, Mediterranean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants… with a Peruvian twist of course. Their empanaditas ($12 for 3) are like empanadas but the pastry is not as flakey and a bit harder. The filling of ground sirloin, boiled egg, and olives was delicious. Plus, I’m glad the kitchen left the olives in big chunks, so they could be picked out if necessary. Accompanied by two condiments (rocoto cream and chimichurri), I found the rocoto cream goes well with the empanditas; the sauce has a faint chili taste and is mellower, adding a hint of richness and a wonderful aroma to the pastry.


When you see the ceviche classic ($24), you’ll notice it’s distinctly different from the Spanish and Mexican versions of the dish. Firstly, the ingredients (red snapper, red onion, toasted chulpe corn, boiled choclo, sweet potato puree, yam puree, and leche de tigre) arrive separated allowing someone to remove something they really don’t like. 


After mixing everything together, the sweet potato and yam purees cause the ceviche to turn a bright colour, the dish looks like halo halo but tastes like ceviche… it takes some getting used to. Overall, the ceviche is decent but needs more salt and there’s almost too many crunchy elements for my taste.

The antichucho grilled skewers of black tiger shrimp ($15) were done perfectly, the shrimp tasty on their own or with the hot sauce. It’d be even better if the ribbing on the sides of the sugar peas were removed as the vegetables were a little tough and sinewy.


While the final dishes took a while to prepare, they were worth the wait. The Miami ribs Nikkei ($28) is very flavourful, the short ribs marinated with Chicha and soy sauce, so the meat becomes sweet and salty. Some may find the ribs fatty and chewier, but this is expected with beef ribs and is also heartier than the pork version. Lining the bottom of the plate are “majaco” style plantains, which are deep fried and then stewed so while they’re not crunchy, they contain moisture.


An order of the chaufa de mariscos ($30) goes great with the ribs. The fried rice smells amazing and is filled with large pieces of tiger shrimp, squid, scallop, and mussels. Soy and “chifa sauce” are added to give the rice a sweet saltiness. Just a bowl of the rice would make a satisfying meal. It’s a dish that embodies things I love: fried rice, seafood, wok hay, and bursts of flavours. Ah… Peruvian cuisine, why are you not more readily available?


Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10



How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 744 St. Clair Avenue West

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!

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Rosalinda (Toronto)


It’s getting easier to have a plant-based meal in Toronto. Newly opened in the spring, Rosalinda serves vegan Mexican cuisine and is probably the fanciest meatless eatery you’ll find in the Financial District. Their airy dining room feels carefree and is polished and pretty enough for business lunches and socialites alike. The love child of Grant van Gameren, Jamie Cook, and Max Rimaldi, these owners know a thing or two about creating trendy hip restaurants.

Their multigrain chicharron ($9) provides a tasty nibble while waiting for the other dishes. You’ll want to gently spread the thick tangy guacamole onto the crispy multigrain crackers as they're not nearly as strong as pork rinds. But, they do have that puffy crunchy texture, the various seeds giving it a nice nutty flavour. 


It’s not often you’ll find fritters light and moist. Rosalinda’s veggie fritters ($7) contained plenty of shredded vegetables bound together with a bit of chickpea flour, enough to hold it together without forming a lump of dough. Accompanied by a tamarind-ancho dip, to give it that Mexican flavour, I could have easily eaten them plain if there was a bit more salt in the batter.


If I didn’t know Rosalinda’s menu was vegan, the young coconut in the ceviche ($14) could almost fool me for squid. There’s the blast of acidity you’d expect from ceviche, but the dish lacked the herbs and onion to balance out the lime juice. Moreover, if the coconut was cut into cubes, it’d combine better with the diced apple and celery for contrast. With the coconut slices, the dish felt fragmented as it’s difficult to get all the elements in one bite. 


Our waitress described the chilaquiles rojos ($15) as “nachos”. While not entirely untrue (since the dish is made with a base of tortilla chips), my friend described it better as “soggy Frito Lays”. You really need to get to the bottom of the dish for the ones soaked in sauce for flavour; the ones on top merely taste like moistened chips. With nearly half a dozen ingredients listed on the menu for the dish, it was still bland and uneventful, even just a drizzle of crema on top would have been nice.


Not surprisingly, there are a variety of tacos and tostadas on the menu. I’d skip the roasted cauliflower tostada ($7) - the fried shell was brittle (not crispy) and breaks into shards with a slightly bitter finish. Although the cauliflower florets were nicely roasted, the sikil pak (a pumpkin seed spread) and herb salsa verde were all colour and no flavour. The chorizo verde taco ($14) was better, at least the corn shell was warm and soft with great flavours seeping through from the poblano tomatillo salsa and cucumber pico de gallo. Just don’t order it expecting the salty spicy taste of chorizo as the filling tastes more like spinach paneer than sausage.


In fact, the taco led us into a conversation as to why vegetarian restaurants insist on naming dishes after meat to begin with. If it’s their way of appealing to meat eaters, anyone who orders these tacos expecting chorizo would be sorely disappointed. However, if they called them paneer verde tacos, it’s closer to the reality and would be just as appealing. I, for one, wish vegetarian restaurants will just showcase vegetables, legumes, and pulses proudly; not trying to disguise them as imitation meat.

The dish I was most excited for was the roasted Japanese eggplant ($16), which when done well can be so good. Rosalinda’s version was almost there, with plenty of flavours and textures from the salsa macha, sikil pak, cashew crema, cilantro, and pomegranate - I especially enjoyed the spicy kick from the salsa macha – it just lacked salt, something the spongy eggplant needs a lot of.


Thankfully, the Casare aioli on the Tijuana-style broccolini ($14) saved the day – adding it to the eggplant made the dish sing. Consider ordering both dishes together as a bit of the crunchy roasted broccolini paired with the softer eggplant is a nice combination.   


Although the spiced churros ($8) with cinnamon sugar and chocolate banana caramel looked and smelled great, they were so dense it was felt like we were eating fried bread sticks. Where is the airiness of churros? Since the recipe doesn’t call for eggs, it’s not as if making the dessert vegan is to blame.


Go for the rhum roasted pineapple ($8) instead. While the pineapple is a little sweet and there’s no rum flavour, the coconut whipped creamy is heavenly and the toasted coconut chips adds a nice crunch.


Even with my love for Mexican food, I don’t love Rosalinda … it simply doesn’t do the cuisine justice. Mexican fare has so many vibrant sauces and ingredients. While Rosalinda’s menu lists many of these, what shows up on the plate looks pretty but tastes bland. All pomp, but little substance.

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10



How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 133 Richmond Street West

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:


Rosalinda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato