Showing posts with label truffle fries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truffle fries. Show all posts

CLOSED: Fring's Revisited (Toronto)


My last visit to Fring’s was shortly after it opened. After hearing all the hype about the restaurant, I had to experience it in person, secretly hoping to get a glimpse of Drake. Since that first weeknight visit was so busy and loud, I readied myself for a night of drinking and music. Strangely, this return Friday visit was much quieter: we were seated at the bar (surrounding areas had some empty tables) and there was no live performance. Alas, there was still no Drake.

The menu has completely changed and now offers more items. Arriving as crispy golden spheres, the crab cakes ($24) were delicious with plenty of lump crab meat and not much other filler. The sweet seafood was the dominant taste with an herby tomatillo verde and cooling sour cream for contrast. It’s a great starter to share or something to nibble on even if you're there just for drinks.  


In fact, they have a few good options for sharing. The beef short rib tacos ($16) also arrive four to an order and incorporate a fair amount of juicy tender beef held in a crispy wonton shell. Unlike other tacos that tend to be messy, Fring’s was easier to devour as it relied less on sauces for flavouring and more on ingredients like creamy avocado, spicy mango pineapple salsa, sour cream, and a slice of red chili.


While the actual grilled skirt steak ($28) was merely decent – unfortunately, the meat was overdone and the flavours somewhat covered by the chimichurri and thick slices of red pepper - the accompanying Parmesan polenta “croutons” were delectable like a traditional crispy polenta but much creamier and cheesier. 


We had added a side of quinoa crusted onion rings ($10), thinking they’d go great with the steak. At first glance, they looked good – plenty of crispy crust and not overly oily. Then when you bite in and are met with the mealy tasteless crust, the perception changes. When I slathered enough chilli mint yogurt chutney on the onion ring it was a bit better, too bad there was so little of the condiment. Note to self: quinoa and onion rings do not mix.


Thankfully, the tried and true roasted Brussels sprouts ($12) didn’t disappoint. There was enough bacon to make it sinful while still keeping the dish predominantly vegetables, the pearl onions providing a bit of sweetness, and to cut through the typical sweet maple glaze was a generous sprinkle of fresh thyme.


One dish that just wouldn’t arrive was the grilled octopus ($26). Unlike my previous dinner experience at Fring’s, our waitress kept an eye on the dish, coming by to provide us with updates. In the meantime, she provided complimentary truffle fries ($20) and another order of crab cakes (likely from hearing our moans of deliciousness) to keep us placated. Upon receiving the fries, I realized why a side of spuds would cost $20. In lieu of truffle oil, the chefs dust on real black truffles instead. Along with the Parmesan cheese, it makes for flavourful fries!


In the end, we decided to replace the octopus with fried chicken and waffles ($26); plate after plate kept whizzing by so they seemed popular and looked tasty. Although the chicken were pieces of boneless chicken breast, they were still tender; the batter spiced enough for taste, but could still handle the sweet and spicy maple syrup glaze.


The Hong Kong egg waffle was cold and soft, not terrible but definitely doesn’t do the accompaniment justice. Note to restaurants: if you’re going to use the bubble waffle, these need to be made-to-order as it really doesn’t lend itself to sitting around.

As a nice gesture, due to the long wait for the octopus, Fring’s also gave us the replacement chicken and waffles on a complimentary basis. Needless to say, we left terribly full (the walk back to a car a welcomed exercise to help start digest the mass of food), since the one octopus dish was replaced with three heavier items.

Compared to the first dinner, service has improved – staff were more attentive and there were no delays at clearing dirty dishes. Of course, due to waiting around for the octopus, dinner wasn’t a shorter affair (the meal still lasted three hours), but on a weekend I don’t mind hanging out over another drink … with or without Drake.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 445 King Street West

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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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Fring's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Red's Midtown Tavern (Toronto)


Reds Midtown Tavern is a great place for gin and tonics: with 29 types of the spirit and three different tonic waters, you can customize whole heartily. If you’re like me and the selection stumps you, they also have a selection of G&T cocktails (all $9 on Fridays). The foxy lady (normally $13.25) is ultra-refreshing made with my favourite Hendrick’s gin and Fevertree Mediterranean tonic. For a drink that looks rather plain, every sip brings an array of flavours given its also incorporates rose water, mint bitters, and an infusion of strawberry and cucumber.

Their food on the other hand, is average at best. Even for a person who loves salty foods, I found the truffle fries ($8.75) over seasoned. The freshly made fries were good but with so much salt and parmesan the truffle essence became lost.

And it’s likely my own fault for the passable main – why would I visit a restaurant in downtown Toronto specializing in fancy cocktails and order low country fried chicken ($18.95)? Never order to what you’re craving and rather to the restaurant (despite their fault for offering something on the menu). I would have been better off with a steak sandwich.

The restaurant’s first mistake was using boneless chicken – sure it’s much easier to eat but the juiciness and wonderful Southern specialty is non-existent. Truthfully, the chicken was tender, but aside from the salty breading the dish lacked flavour. If it’s renamed “boneless fried chicken” or “fried chicken tenders”, at least there would have been a warning and I’d stay away.


Unlike the truffle fries, the ones that accompanied the chicken weren’t as salty so you could actually enjoy the potato flavour. The coleslaw, dressed in a sweet and spicy vinaigrette, is an interesting choice and goes rather well with the fried chicken helping to cut the grease. But, with a light sweet side, I would have preferred the dipping sauce to be more savoury instead of the honey Dijon, which reminded me of the slaw itself.    


Despite the run-of-the-mill food, Reds’ service was great and being a large restaurant, you don’t feel bad sitting at the table longer and starting with a round of drinks before moving into dinner. And if you’re not particularly hungry, trying their gin and tonics is a good enough excuse for a visit.

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 382 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:


Reds Midtown Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato