Showing posts with label corn ribs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corn ribs. Show all posts

Marked (Toronto)

The temperature is rising in Toronto’s entertainment district as Marked enters with a South American menu focused on dishes created on the grill, essentially a host of barbeque and rotisserie style dishes.

There’s a spark of creativity with the corn ribs ($17) where Marked quarters corn cobs allowing the diner to hold a rib of corn and eat the kernels off like a bone. Thinking about it more, I guess it’s how you would normally a cob, in this case cut smaller so it becomes more manageable bites. Dusted with a chipotle lime salt, make sure you slather some of the whipped queso fresco on top, it gives it a lovely cheesy buttery taste.

Another dish that reminds me of ribs is the dates ($14), which are stuffed with pickled pepper and Manchego cheese, wrapped with smoked bacon, and then grilled. The bacon crisps around the edges and after biting through the smoky meat you’re greeted with a soft date that’s all at once sweet, salty, savoury, and spicy. It’s almost like popping a burnt end in your mouth.

The spicy tuna ceviche ($21) is made with big chunks of fish tossed with a spicy soy marinade, cubes of avocado, and refreshing julienned cucumber and radish. Given it’s a little salty, it is best eaten over the tapioca seaweed crackers, an interesting airy crispy chip that’s like a rice cracker but lighter.

We’re told what makes the guasacaca ($12) a Venezuelan avocado dip that’s different from guacamole is the use of vinegar rather than lime. The difference in taste is rather minor, perhaps a little less citrusy. Nonetheless, the guasacaca is just as creamy and goes nicely with the crispy tortillas. If anything, the extra tortillas are perfect for scooping up the leftover ceviche as there aren’t enough tapioca crackers for all the fish.

While it looks plain, the shrimp a la parilla ($29) has a spicy kick held in the huancaina, a Peruvian spicy cheese sauce, sitting on the bottom. The marinated shrimp is quickly grilled so that it remains plump and juicy, going nicely with the grilled pineapple separating each crustacean.  

The shrimp pairs well with the Brazilian coconut rice ($14), especially if you spoon some of the huancaina onto it for an extra pop of flavour. It’s a more al dente rice that’s studded with goji berries then topped with crispy coconut shavings and chives. I can also see this combining nicely with a grilled meat dish where the juices can permeate into the grains.

I’m generally cautious with ordering roasted Brussels sprouts ($14) as many turn out overcooked and saturated in sauce. Marked leaves half of the sprout unroasted with only the bottom thoroughly caramelized so there’s a nice balance to the vegetable. Topped with sofrito, thick coconut milk and garlic aioli, the recipe is a welcomed change from the bacon and balsamic vinegar combo.

Of all the dishes, the most normal is the fried chicken ($24), the main difference being served with a biquinho sauce (it’s like a less vinegary Buffalo sauce) along with a buttermilk ranch. This is the go-to dish for children or picky eaters who may want to stay away from “exotic” flavours, it’s like an elevated chicken finger that’s juicy and light.

Fairly full, we still ordered the Latin mess ($16) to end. It’s a great dessert for sharing and since it is made up of a lot of coconut whipped cream, it’s not overly heavy. Within the “mess” is coconut namelaka, sponge cake, passionfruit curd, and thin almond brittle pieces, everything surrounding a scoop of passionfruit sorbet. The couple of spoons was just what I needed to satisfy the sweet tooth.

On weekends, Marked offers a bottomless brunch with unlimited food items from a special menu ($100 a person) with the option to add unlimited Prosecco for an additional $20. It’s a promise of two hours of excess where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. Of everything we tried at dinner, only the dates make an appearance on the brunch menu. Perhaps this is my cue to return and delve a little deeper into all the other dishes Marked offers.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 132 John 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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