Showing posts with label tuna tartare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tuna tartare. Show all posts

CLOSED: Mythology (Toronto)



As Mythology’s pictures mingled their way into my Instagram feed, the gorgeous looking plant-based dishes drew me in and created a sense of excitement. When I heard the restaurant was started by Chef Doug McNish, a well-known vegan chef in Toronto, it sealed the deal… plans were made and a reservation was secured.

Mythology promises an elevated dining experience. Indeed, the esthetics of the dining room with its black, white, and gold motifs gave the restaurant a polished air. The menu’s enticing dishes, spanning multiple continents, also made the place stand out.


As an amuse bouche was presented, we knew… oh yes, Mythology wants to transcend into fine dining. Yet, this first bite also foreshadowed the meal to come: dishes that look great, contain A LOT of ingredients, and then one or two things throws it completely off.

This first bite of pickled zucchini with tomato pesto and garlic chip - it tasted fine, but the garlic “chip” was so chewy that it’d be more aptly described as garlic jerky, leaving a strong lingering taste in my mouth.


Without the menu, it’d be hard to even recite all the ingredients that are part of each dish: their crab croquette special ($21) sat beneath so many garnishes and chips that it felt fussy and confusing. Such a shame, as the actual banana blossom cake was absolutely delicious, the texture oddly like crab, and the chayote relish, when used in small doses, was great.


The zaatar cauliflower ($20) felt like a similar dish and while it also had a lot of different elements, they at least complemented each other. Fluffy falafels are shaped into pucks and deep fried, then enhanced with sweet pomegranate, citrusy tahini, and fresh quinoa taboloui. The only downfall was the actual cauliflower seems secondary… really, this should be renamed as ‘falafels and cauliflower’.


As soon as the coq au vin ($22) was presented I knew something was off. Somehow the dish that’s synonymous with slowly braised meat in red wine arrives looking like a deep fried chicken cutlet? Sure enough, the seitan chicken was cut too thickly and along with the garlic mashed potatoes made for a heavy feeling meal.


Maybe French cuisine just doesn’t lend itself to being vegan – after all, it’s a cuisine that relies so heavily on butter, cheese, and meat. If the chefs sliced the seitan thinner and reimagined the dish as schnitzel – substituting the pastrami carrots and rapini with braised cabbage – it may actually work.

Of all the dishes, the one I thought Mythology would ace was the mushroom ravioli ($24). I’ve been to other vegan restaurants that makes great mushroom pastas with cashew based cream sauces. While the porcini cream sauce was spot on, in terms of flavours, it was too gluey and the pasta forming the ravioli was also so thick that the consistency resembled leftover pasta re-heated in the microwave. Similar to the crab croquette, the dish was then further ruined by having way too much stuff on it: hazelnut crumbs, garlic chips, baby greens, and truffle lemon vinaigrette?! All things that do nothing to help the ravioli.


When we saw the avocado and tuna tartare ($13) it was stunning. The “egg” yolk, which actually oozed, was also so impressively recreated. But then we bite into it and are repulsed by the saltiness, to the point we had to send the dish back.


We’re advised that it’s because the tomato is cured in salt so the texture changes to represent tuna. In my mind, couldn’t that also be done by simply pressing the tomato? At the very least, rinse off the cured tomato before using it. It was so salty that after one bite of the dish, it threw us off on the seasoning of everything else. After the shock to the taste buds, the next dish seemed bland.

Not all the dishes were disappointing, some of the tastiest ones were also the simplest. We all loved the panisse ($8; not pictured as it came out terrible), which is listed as a side on the menu but could easily work as a starter. The deep fried wedges tasted like mozzarella sticks, but finishes lighter and left us wanting more.

Who would have thought that king oyster mushrooms could be made to look like calamari ($14)? Indeed, biting into it you can tell it’s not seafood, yet the texture is uncannily similar. Served freshly fried with the crispy garlic cornmeal crust and cooling tartar sauce, we loved it so much we got another order.


It’s then we discovered portion sizes are inconsistent: the first such a mammoth mound of large calamari pieces filling most of the board, while the second serving barely covered the middle and the pieces puny like it was made with the leftover ends.


I can’t help but feel I was tricked into eating at Mythology by great marketing – kudos to their Instagram photographer. Even with the terrible experience, I can’t help but want the restaurant to succeed. Hence, I offer two words of advice: keep it simple and restrict garnishes to three items; and if the dish doesn’t fill the initial vision, pivot and change it into something else. I sincerely hope it gets better from here, Toronto needs more meatless fine dining options.

Overall mark - 5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1265 Queen 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!

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Chotto Matte (Toronto)

Nikkei is a term that describes Japanese people who live outside of Japan. In the food world, the word is also synonymous with Japanese Peruvian cuisine, which combines both countries’ love for seafood with traditional ingredients found in each culture (miso soy with Inca corn anyone)?

There’s also the tried and true sushi. Chotto Matte dresses it up Nikkei style ($28) by topping the seafood with elements like aji Amarillo (a hot pepper), black garlic, and truffle. Traditional condiments like yuzu also make an appearance to give the sushi a burst of freshness. The tuna, salmon, and yellowtail were all delicious; the scallop even better.


Most of the tuna tartare found in Toronto is made from the lean and vibrant Albacore tuna. Chotto Matte serves their’s ‘o-toro’ ($23), the fattier cut releasing a flavourful rich bite. Just make sure to get to the bottom of the dish where you’ll find sweet soy with a hint of wasabi, it’s where you’ll find the flavours. Yet, the dish really needs something like toasted nori as an accompaniment: to add a textual contrast against the soft tuna and act as a chip to eat the tartare from.


For the price, I was surprised to only see one shrimp spring roll ($14.50) arrive, but I guess it was a really really tasty one. Filled with succulent pieces of nobashi shrimp and shiitake, a shisho leaf is layered with the wrapper adding a citrusy herbal taste.


The kitchen made a terrible decision serving the barriguita de chanchito ($18.50) and gambas huacatay ($29) together. The pork belly is such a powerful bite having been marinated in a salty and spicy aji panca and aji amarillo chilli sauce … it reminds of a fattier deep fried chorizo.  Biting into the rock shrimp tempura afterwards tastes like eating plain batter. The gambas are said to be accompanied by mint and butter ponzu, but the dish seemed like overly soft tempura batter with what could be pieces of diced shrimp mixed into it.


From the robata, the pollo den miso ($21) is surprisingly tasty for a dish that’s really just grilled chicken. The miso glaze gives the dish flavour without rendering it overly sweet like teriyaki, while the yellow chili salsa bring in the Latin flavours of Peru. In the end, it’s also that lovely charcoal smoky aroma of the robata that ties everything together.


Peruvian fried rice is one of my favourites - the arroz chaufa ($9.50) is a bowl that needs to conclude each meal. Each kernel of rice infused with spicy soy and augmented by bits of herbs that adds a lovely freshness to an otherwise heavier dish. The bits of crusted rice strewn throughout creates a lovely toasted aroma and enough texture that the hard corn nuts are really redundant and frankly really annoying to bite into.


Chotto Matte brings a westernized version of the cuisine to Toronto (original outposts can be found in London and Miami). But then, it’s not trying to hide that it’s not authentic - the Andy Warhol like dining room and the black light bathrooms are a dead giveaway. It’s a place to be seen, shout over loud music, and sample Nikkei cuisine in the safety of corporate Toronto.

Indeed, the Brookfield Place address brings with it high price points. Luckily, Chotto Matte is offering Toronto Life Insiders a 50% discount off of food items from now until early December, just by showing the membership card. If you’re going to visit with a large group, the membership will likely pay for itself, especially using the discount code below. Note: amounts listed in this post are the regular menu prices.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

Want to become a Toronto Life Member? Toronto Life is providing Gastro World readers a $15 off discount code to become a member!

Just use discount code GASTROWORLD at the Toronto Life Member checkout and the discount will be automatically applied.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 161 Bay 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Chotto Matte Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Arthur's Restaurant (Toronto)

One of my pet peeves is when restaurants present a terrible table despite me having a long-standing reservation. Because of this, my first impression of Arthur’s was already soured as after placing a reservation 3-weeks prior, I wasn’t lead into the dining room, instead seated in a booth beside the bar where it was noisy and chaotic as staff members picked up drinks and entered/exited the bar. In my books, bar seating should be held for walk-ins or those who specifically request it.

To make matters worse, the table hadn’t been cleaned since the last guests vacated so water rings and small sticky spots were still visible upon seating. And despite its proximity to alcohol, there wasn’t even a wine list presented. Let’s just say Arthur’s isn’t good at making first impressions.

While both our appetizers were essentially fish spreads, in reality they tasted very different. Immediately, in catching a whiff of the smokiness from the smoked fish spread ($16.95), I was drawn to it. And if it weren’t so salty, this could have been a great dish – there were ample chunks of fish, the spread had a great consistency, and the pickled onion garnish a great compliment.


Maybe if they provided more everything bagel chips the ratio of spread to bread would have been better, rendering the dish less salty. As it stood, even after loading up the crackers we didn’t get through half the dip.

Adding other items to put the spread on would also be smart as I found the smoked fish worked better with the gem lettuce leaves that accompanied the tuna tartare ($22.95) as it helped calm down the over seasoned spread. Meanwhile, the fresh but relatively mild tartare benefited from being accompanied by the bagel chips, which were saltier and added a crunch against the soft tartare.


Having had two seafood appetizers, meats were in store for the mains. The cheeseburger ($20.95) was done medium and a nice combination of the traditional garnishes. While it’s a decent burger, the beef patty was too dense (I prefer my burgers releasing a bit of juice and fat on bite) and the bun wasn’t the freshest.


The pastrami on rye ($22.05) is so heavy that you really don’t need any of the additional condiments. The bread is dipped in butter and grilled before sandwiching hefty slices of pastrami. I can see where the chef was going with the creation – pairing crispy oily bread against the relatively lean meat. But, being so oily makes it difficult to move between sandwich and wine glass (a warm wet towel may help keep the mess at bay). Plus, the greasiness and extra calories really didn’t add to the experience of the sandwich.


Having been to so many of the other Chase Hospitality Group’s restaurants (Chase, Planta, Kasa Moto), Arthur’s was by far the worst experience. Poor hosting choices and a dirty table aside, being seated at the bar also meant service was lackluster and we had to flag down servers on their way to the bar to place orders and get our bill.

If Chase thinks having less competition Midtown means they can throw pretty paint on a dining room (but not seat everyone in it) and call themselves a restaurant, there are tons of better options even within the same building (Cava for one). The only saving grace for the evening was the great conversations and companionship at the table. Arthur’s itself didn’t impress.

Overall mark - 5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 12 St. Clair Avenue 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Arthur's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Alobar Yorkville (Toronto)


After opening the best restaurant in Canada and one of the fanciest diners in Toronto, what else can Chef Patrick Kriss do? He’s stepped out of their Queen West building and into Yorkville where the newest edition, Alo Bar, resides. Somewhere in between the tasting menu and casual eats spectrum, Alo Bar offers an a la carte menu with fancier dishes in a cozy dark environment.

As with all of their restaurants, you’ll be served fantastic bread. At Alo Bar, a cube of buttery brioche that’s so fluffy and aromatic that no condiments are needed. Even the hunks of sourdough that comes with the burrata ($16) is dangerously delicious, well grilled so it gives off a lovely smokiness amongst a liberal drizzle of olive oil. It’s so good that it almost steals the show. 



Nevertheless, the burrata is comforting, sitting in a pool of vibrant olive oil with figs done two ways – fresh and preserved in mustard oil, which is a delicious compliment with the neutral cheese and toasted bread.


For a dish that’s normally lighter, Alo Bar’s tuna tartare ($24) can hold up against beef any day. The delicate fish is chopped into small pieces and when mixed with the seasonings, copious amounts of grated truffle, and chanterelles becomes a rich spread against the thin rice chips. 


With a variety of sides, many could work as starters. I could barely make out the shishito peppers ($10) under the salty cotija cheese and creamy garlic sauce with a dash of tajin (a Mexican pepper seasoning)… there’s seriously more toppings than peppers. If you’re not a fan of vegetables, I can see this side being a great option. For me, it was too overpowering. 


The French fries ($10) were thin and crispy and would have been perfect if they weren’t SO salty. The only way to neutralize the flavours was to dip it in the aioli to form a barrier against the salt and my tongue. If only I could actually taste the potatoes. 


Even the cauliflower ($12) was heavy, despite the menu describing it as being accompanied with grape, mint, and almond. The combination was covered with a sweet syrup and the cauliflower cut into such small pieces and so well roasted with oil that it almost seemed deep fried. By the middle of the mains, I was seriously craving something fresh.

Something like the wedge salad ($18) that came at the beginning of the meal would be nice. The fourme d’ambert dressing brings a taste of blue cheese, but it’s sweeter and milder. Bits of bacon are mixed into nutty grains that goes surprisingly well with the crunchy iceberg lettuce. For a seemingly simple salad, it tastes surprisingly complex.


Maybe it was just our menu choices, but we ordered everything that’s sinfully opulent. By itself, the agnolotti ($28) is already a fairly flavourful pasta - stuffed with a sweet potato, parmesan, and piquillo pepper mixture so there’s a sweet, savoury, and spicy element. This is then covered with a cream sauce that’s undeniably rich, reminding you why the dish is more French than Italian.


It seems like the Muscovy duck ($42) is dry aged, so the meat is gamier than normal. Yet, you almost need a stronger flavour to hold up against the star anise flavour, which gives it an earthy licorice taste. Personally, I preferred the duck plain since the breast was cooked beautifully with a crispy skin. Save the bites of salty confit leg with poached plum for the end.


Be sure to save room for dessert. Alo Bar’s chocolate cake ($14) arrives as a slab with beautiful layers, each bite dense, creamy, and chocolatey. It would be nice if the caramel ice cream was replaced with something stronger ... a coffee based ice cream with a hint of bitterness would be great with the chocolate cake.


The menu’s description of the cheesecake ($14) doesn’t do the dessert justice… after all, does one get excited over cheesecake with cherries? Yet, when the Basque-style cheesecake arrived, the brûlée exterior was so dark that we thought it was chocolate. Upon cutting into the sizeable cake, we're greeted with a white creamy interior. It’s a luscious cake that’s sweet and cheesy, the caramelized sugar crust going nicely with the sour cherry jam. If you only have room for a single dessert, I highly recommend this one.


After experiencing the magic of Alo and Aloette, it’s difficult not to have high expectations. While Alo Bar is good, I didn’t leave with that same sense of excitement. Nonetheless, it’s a good option in Yorkville and Alo Bar’s lounge atmosphere is ideal for a night out. Consequently, if you’re looking for a quiet romantic meal, the loud music with bass vibrating through the banquette may not be the best option. Of course, it’s Yorkville and the neighbourhood parties. Now, with rich indulgent dishes, Alo-style.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 162 Cumberland 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!

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King Taps (Toronto)


Walking into King Taps I got a sense of déjà vu. Especially on the second floor, where the bar area seems to be a replica of another popular downtown Toronto hang out, both restaurants top choices for after work drinks. By 5:30 it’s packed. Despite it being early for dinner, I still had to wait about five minutes for the reserved table to be set-up - others are told it’ll be an hour wait.

I can see why King Taps is so popular - the atmosphere is casual, drawing in people of all ages, and their food is tasty but moderately priced.

There is of course a host of shareable plates for those who want to nibble. The poke ($16.50) is really tuna tartare, a stack of chunked Albacore tuna, mango, and avocado dressed with delicious miso sesame-ginger vinaigrette. Tempura bits are placed on top but most of the crunch comes from the deep fried wonton chips, which is light enough to not detract from the fish.


The steak frites ($27) is a good complete meal since it comes with a side of lemony Caesar salad. King Tap sources their steaks from PEI, the 7oz sirloin cooked to a perfect medium rare, tender and juicy. If you’ve never had beef from PEI, it's said that if the cow grazes outside, you can taste the minerals and salt in their meat due to the island’s proximity to the ocean. At King Taps, the steak was properly seasoned and the saltiness well balanced.


While I would have preferred the frites to be the thin variety, the chunky fries were nonetheless hot and crispy. The only oddity was the abundant side of horseradish that arrives with the meal; a condiment rarely seen outside of prime rib and there’s a reason – it’s too strong for such a lean meat. A side of au jus or aioli would work better.

If you like seafood, the salmon and prawn risotto ($26) is a great choice – there’s a large piece of salmon that’s moist and flakey and at least four fair-sized prawns mixed into the rice. The risotto’s consistency is spot on, creamy with enough broth so that it’s not overly watery or dry. The dish was also flavourful, perhaps a touch salty if that bothers you, but the chunky mushroom pieces helped tone the seasoning down.


Aside from the atmosphere and food, King Tap’s service is also commendable: staff members are friendly but are also great at managing the experience – our waitress advised that if she put our entire order into the system, the food would arrive together. Hence, she proceeded to enter our appetizer first and then when she saw it was received inputted the mains. For such a busy restaurant it’s a shame this is something staff need to look after, especially when it can be prone to errors; surely someone should look at the ordering system and have it set-up for a two stage firing from the kitchen.  

Thankfully, the dessert order isn’t something they need to remember as well. King Tap’s sweet offerings consist of a number of sundaes. The strawberry shortcake ($8) was a nice light sharable ending with a fair amount of soft serve-vanilla ice cream, layered strawberry compote, a few pieces of fruit, and crispy graham cracker crumb sprinkled over top. Not overly fancy, but executed well and priced decently, much like the rest of their menu. 


Oh and for beer aficionados they also have 50 selections on tap, some are even special collaborations with local breweries. Being a wine drinker, I didn’t crack into the tap, but nonetheless left with a happy buzz.   

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 100 King Street West (in First Canadian Place)

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:

King Taps Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bymark (Toronto)



Take a walk through TD Centre’s concourse level and you’ll encounter Mark McEwan’s domination of the floor: the second McEwan grocery store and eatery occupies an entire corner, walk in a bit further and his long time restaurant Bymark (a creative conjunction of “by” and “Mark”) takes up the rest of the corner. It’s a restaurant known for its decadent foie gras burger with a hefty price to match. Like most of McEwan’s ventures, it’s a fine dining establishment where bill totals easily reach $100+ a person. Hence, during Summerlicious, their special $48 dinner menu always draws a crowd.

What looks like mechanically processed tuna certainly tasted that way - instead of dicing the fish by hand, the tartare arrives pulverized so you end up spreading (rather than scooping) the mixture on the crispy wonton chips. I could have looked past the fish’s mushy texture if it was seasoned better; too bad the miso-ginger vinaigrette was so light that most of the flavours were from the fish’s natural oils and the chip. Thankfully, the crisp shaved fennel salad on the side helped to wake up the dish, if only smaller pieces were combined into the tartare itself, maybe the starter would have tasted better.

While the Summerlicious website describes the cod as being from "Fogo Island", Bymark’s actual menu revises it to "Atlantic". Honestly, I don’t care that much about the origin and I’m glad the restaurant was honest about the fish’s source – having read Olmsted’s Fake Food Real Food, it’s a shame how often establishments try to pass off non-authentic ingredients to diners, I applaude Bymark for being truthful.

Arriving as a sizeable piece, the baked cod was moist and flakey. Normally, the delicate texture would be fine, but since the accompanying polenta was also silky and smooth, it'd be nice if the fish was seared with the skin-on to create a crispy layer for contrast. Unlike the starter, the main incorporated plenty of flavour from the salty olive tapenade, rapini, and unexpected kick of chili oil. All in all, it's a satisfying dish.


Too bad the same couldn’t be said with the strawberry shortcake … I’m getting so tired of deconstructed desserts! The strawberry shortcake came with the usual elements: soft vanilla shortcake, delicious macerated strawberries, and whipped cream. Additional crisp meringue pieces were a nice touch, providing an extra texture and sweetness to the cake. Dutifully, I combined all the ingredients to make my own cake, only to find the Chantilly creamy overly salty. Perhaps it was the pastry chef wanting to play up the earthiness of the basil purée, but it didn’t work for me. Strawberry shortcake doesn't work as a sweet and salty dessert.


Meanwhile the s’more’s tart was elegant and delicious. Not normally a fan of rich chocolate desserts, I was even drawn in to take a bite of the smooth dark chocolate ganache and ever so slightly salty graham cracker crust.


Having previously visited Bymark for Winterlicious and a regular dinner, this was by far the worst experience. Indeed, I understand what's served during Summerlicious may be a modified menu with less expensive ingredients, but looking back on the Winterlicious experience from about six years ago, it was executed much better and was of closer quality to a regular dinner service. This time, nothing wowed us and the dishes were passable at best.

Luckily, their service didn’t falter; they were just as friendly and attentive as ever. For example, when our waitress noticed my friend rooting through her beef cheek pasta to find the actual meat - another downfall of Summerlicious is some dishes are cooked in larger batches so plates aren’t always split evenly - she offered to get the kitchen to bring out more beef cheek for her to add to the pasta. What a thoughtful gesture that made the experience better. Maybe next time she can take my dessert and make it into a real cake… feasible right?

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $48
Regular menu - $72.50 - tuna tartare* ($19), cod ($40) and shortcake ($13.50)
Savings - $24.50 or 34%
* Based on the steak tartare and cheesecake
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 66 Wellington Street West (in TD Centre)

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:


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

STK (Toronto)


STK is more of a place to be seen than eat: one scroll through the Instagram photos tagged at their location reveals more breast and thighs than steak. This should have been the first hint that the restaurant focuses on its boozy atmosphere and food is secondary.

The tuna tartare ($19) was boring but respectable - a bed of mashed avocados topped with diced tuna sitting in a sweet and salty soy honey emulsion. Too bad everything was just so soft, the only crunch coming from the taro chips. It’s fine, but seems like something I could easily replicate and hardly restaurant quality.

At a whopping 28oz, the dry-aged porterhouse ($150) should be shared amongst two (it was even enough to satisfy our table of three). The menu declares the cut the “king of steaks” given the bone holds together a NY striploin and filet mignon, two cuts in one. Sadly, it wasn’t prepared like royalty. The filet mignon was grossly overcooked from the requested medium-rare, instead arriving at the cusp of medium-well. Luckily, it’s a tender cut of beef and has been dry-aged so even with the extra time on the grill the tenderloin was still edible.


What a shame to cover the beef juices with a sauce, but with the steak’s haphazardly seasoned exterior, depending on the slice you choose, sauce could be necessary. With a choice of two accompanying the steak, we opted for the au poivre and chimichurri. The chimichurri was so tart that someone must have substituted cider vinegar for olive oil and the au poivre so tame it might as well be gravy. After a taste of each, I decided to go back to how it should have been enjoyed in the first place – plain.

As common with high-end steakhouses, sides must be purchased separately. The Mac ‘n’ cheese ($14) could have been warmer as the cheese was congealed making the pasta spoon out in clumps rather than displaying long creamy strands that makes you salivate. Nonetheless, at least it had plenty of cheese and with its heaviness was a large satisfying serving. 


The Brussels sprouts ($14), on the other hand, sorely lacked vegetables … bacon made up half the dish. For some, this meatiness may be a welcomed addition, but since I actually enjoy roasted Brussel sprouts, the meagre portion was a disappointment. I’ve never had such gluttonous Brussels sprouts: aside from the huge cubes of hard candied bacon, it was also drenched in a sweet balsamic glaze – do yourself a favour and stick with the asparagus or broccolini. 


Despite the lackluster meal, that evening I decided to post a picture of the boring but at least pretty looking tuna tartare. Here’s your second hint that STK is really a lounge than a restaurant: a friend commented on how I was out “partying it up” … you’ve been warned.  

Overall mark - 5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 153 Yorkville Avenue

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:


STK Toronto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato