Showing posts with label Fine Dining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fine Dining. Show all posts
 Scaramouche is located on the corner of an unassuming apartment building on Benvenuto Place. Surprisingly, when you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted with a lovely view of the skyline, so booking a seat at a window table is highly recommended. We have been here twice a couple of years back and decided to return for mine and J's 10th-anniversary last year (July 2018) for nostalgia sake.


 The restaurant opened up in 1981 and has since become one of Toronto's top restaurants for business dinners and special occasions. Scaramouche's menu offers a fusion of traditional and modern culinary styles combining both French and Canadian cuisine. In doing so, they have become a culinary institution who has been celebrated by customers and critics for their commitment to making each dining experience a memorable one. They have received several recognitions in the media. Scaramouche placed #13 in the Toronto Life's 100 Best Restaurants and #36 on Canada's 100 Best last year.



We started off with Bread with Stirling Creamery Butter with Sea Salt for Two ($3). I was surprised that they charge for bread, as I have never been a restaurant (casual or high-end) that did that. However, they claimed on the menu that the small charge for bread will help us to reduce significant waste and half the proceeds will be donated to Community Food Centres Canada. 


Next appetizer was an order of 9 Oysters ($45) - served on the half shell with red wine mignonette, horseradish, and lemon. It's market-priced, so prices will vary accordingly.


J got an order of Tomato Soup ($17) as his appetizer. 


We also got another appetizer to share, the Hand-Made Ravioli ($22) - Cauliflower filling, double smoked bacon, radicchio, parsley and preserved lemon, and brown butter jus


For my main, I opted for the Grilled Filet Mignon ($50), which was an Ontario AAA beef. The dish consists of mushrooms, sliced shallot, haricot vert, and crispy pressed potatoes tossed in parsley garlic butter, and Bordelaise sauce. The steak was cooked to perfection and I loved the sauce.  


I also got a side order of Parmesan Fries($8) to go with my steak.


 Scaramouche Restaurant does offer specials of the day, so J ended up getting the Salmon Special ($38) as his main course.


Pineapple Juice ($8)


Scaramouche is very well-known for their Coconut Cream Pie ($14) - coconut custard, chantilly cream, white chocolate shavings, and dark chocolate sauce. It's their signature dessert, so I definitely had to get it. It was still as good as I remembered it. 


After dessert, I gifted J with two tickets to The King & I at Mirvish Princess of Wales for the upcoming weekend show. I am not a huge fan of musicals, but he is so I knew that he wanted to watch it.


The macarons were from Delysses! Their old location on King Street is now closed, but they do supply other vendors with their macarons and pastries.




Scaramouche Restaurant

by on Friday, July 19, 2019
  Scaramouche is located on the corner of an unassuming apartment building on Benvenuto Place. Surprisingly, when you enter the restaurant...
Celebrity chef Akira Back's first Canadian namesake restaurant is now open in the Bisha Hotel Toronto. Located inside of the luxury boutique hotel, the restaurant offers a menu of Japanese cuisine with Korean flavors and Canadian twist. We had the pleasure of attending a media preview at Akira Back Toronto last week, where we were treated to a tasting menu of some of his best dishes. 


I was looking forward to the opening of his restaurant when it was announced earlier this summer. Akira Back has a growing reputation in the hospitality industry for the creativity that he brings to his culinary creations. Back's food is inspired by his passions for adventure, travel and culinary exploration. "Each of his restaurants features inventive menus that embody his life and travel inspirations throughout the world, representing the root of his culture and his culinary background in every dish. Akira Back is one of the most exciting names in the culinary world, growing rapidly across major international". (credit: press release) 


“Toronto is a cultural epicentre with a diverse and multi­cultural food scene, which is why I always hoped to have a restaurant here,” says Chef Akira Back. “The menu will feature a number of my signature dishes along with some new ones that were inspired by my time spent in the city.” - Akira Back
Throughout his career, he has many culinary successes, including being awarded the title of “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality (2008) and has had the distinct honor of hosting the prestigious James Beard House dinners (2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013 & 2014). Besides having restaurants in the USA, he has opened several overseas locations such as Akira Back Restaurants in Singapore, New Delhi and Jakarta. Earlier this November, he was awarded a one Michelin Star by the 2018 Michelin Guide Seoul for his restaurant DOSA in Seoul, South Korea.


Walking into the restaurant, I was in awe of the space as it paid homage to traditional Japanese culture with contemporary ornamentation. "Subtle nods to Japanese culture will appear through refined and intimate details which balance the central design feature, a full­-length cove ceiling showcasing a colourful custom graphic". The overall interiors contain several neutral elements with bold wooden decor, which creates an intimate yet classy environment that appeals to a wide range of diners.




The menu at Akira Back Toronto features a number of his signature dishes, along with several new ones that were inspired by his visit to Canada. The tasting menu that night consists of five courses with wine pairings that perfectly complement each specific dish.


[First Course] 

Tuna & Mushroom Pizza ($22) - truffle oil, micro shiso


[Second Course] 

Jeju Domi ($22) - orange tobiko, red sorrel, chojang

Salmon Tiradito ($21) - roasted peaches, Kizami wasabi, spinach cilantro


[Third Course] 

Eggplant Miso ($12) - sweet miso sauce


Rock Shrimp ($17) - sriracha ranch

(photo credit: @akirabacktoronto)

[Fourth Course] 

Seared Halibut - mushrooms, soy beurre blanc,

(photo credit: @akirabacktoronto)

48 Hour Wagyu Short Rib ($32) - root vegetables, quail egg, braising jus


[Dessert] 

Black & White Sesame Matcha Cake - salted agave ice cream


Yuzu Citrus - sable crumble, strawberry gelato 



“Akira Back is an extremely talented chef on the cusp of exploding internationally and we’re excited that Bisha will be his first location in Canada. After interviewing many recognized chefs over a three­year period, I felt that Akira Back’s talent and uniqueness would be the perfect match for Bisha Toronto to make it a complete hospitality experience,” says Charles Khabouth, Chairman, ICONINK. (credit: press release) 


All of the dishes were perfectly crafted to combine the various cuisines that Back is influenced and inspired by. The use of fresh ingredients definitely enhanced the flavors of the dishes, particularly the two mains (halibut and short rib). The night ended with not one... but two desserts. The elegant desserts consist of two very popular Japanese flavors; matcha and yuzu. My favorite was the black & white sesame matcha cake, which was rich in flavor and creamy in texture. I loved matcha desserts, so this definitely hit the spot for my sweet tooth! Akira Back Toronto is definitely a welcoming addition to the city of Toronto for its visionary dishes that encompasses the combination of Asian and North American cuisine. Can't wait to be back!


** Pictures by Cherie. Visit her Instagram and Blog to check out her feeds **
** Pictures of Chef Akira Back by Akira Back Toronto **

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Akira Back Toronto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Akira Back Toronto

by on Friday, December 08, 2017
Celebrity chef  Akira Back 's first Canadian namesake restaurant is now open in the Bisha Hotel Toronto . Located inside of the luxury ...
Every Thursday until the end of the year, join Blowfish Restaurant for after work cocktails at their #ThirteenThursdays event from 5 pm to 7 pm.  Experience product launches and sampling as well as cocktail flights & featured food from a special menu.


What is #ThirteenThursdays? It's a program that was started on October 13th, 2016, and will last for 13 weeks every Thursday (hence its name). Every Thursday, guests are able to enjoy an array of cocktails and order from their snack menu. It's a great spot if you're looking for a place to unwind after a long day of work. Blowfish Restaurant is conveniently located in the bustling Financial District, and a walk away from the subway station.


A few friends and I had the pleasure of checking out Blowfish's #ThirteenThursdays, and was able to sample a couple of items. We were seated in the modern cocktail bar lounge (BarFish); a narrow space lit with bright neon lights adjacent to the dining room.


We started the evening off with their featured cocktail ($15), the Autumn Fantasia - tito's vodka, cointreau, cinnamon syrup, lime juice. The drink was a delightfully light cocktail, and a favorite among the four of us.



Battera (box sushi) - masago, salmon, tabasco, negi, sesame, and tempura bits 


Edamame - with sea salt


Mochiko Crusted Chicken - with spicy daikon ponzu


Lotus-Steamed Lobster + Shrimp Dumpling - with spicy tobanjan sauce


Spicy Rock Shrimp - tempura style shrimp tossed in a hot garlic kewpie sauce


Spicy Tuna On A Crispy Sushi Rectangle - topped with jalapeno


Crispy Crab, Shrimp, and Scallop Spring Roll - with lemon and tamari kewpie dips



Wagyu Gyoza - pan-seared dumpling stuffed with wagyu, black fungus, ginger, preserved spicy vegetables


Tempura


Blowfish Restaurant has an extensive bar menu concocted by award-winning mixologist and head bartender, Nishan Nepulangoda.





The chefs at Blowfish Restaurant have created a delightful palette of Japanese fusion dishes. I have dined here before, and I do find the prices to be quite up there in terms of fine dining. However, #ThirteenThursdays allow diners to sample some items from their menu for a fraction of the price, while enjoying some after-work cocktails.

Address: 668 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M7

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

In Chinatown, there is a plethora of Asian dining options to choose from. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the newly opened 98 Aroma where they offer refined Northern Chinese cuisine. The prices are higher than some of the neighboring establishments, so I highly recommend going with a group of 3-5 people to offset the costs. This way, you can order several dishes to share, as most plates are served with generous portion sizes and are meant for sharing. 

The outside may look unassuming, but the interior was designed to replicate traditional Chinese decor with its elaborate wood ornaments, and Asian-inspired craft works. The dimly lit restaurant sets a very relaxing ambiance, and there are several private booths available along with tables.

The menu consisted of several popular Northern Chinese dishes like dumplings, scallion pancakes, and spicy seafood and beef dishes. Most of Northern Chinese dishes are characterized by its bold flavors, and dishes are served in big portions. So, you can expect both at 98 Aroma. My friend and I started off with the refreshing Summer Breeze Salad ($9.99) - a colorful mixture of sweet-potato noodles, julienne leeks, bell-peppers, red cabbage, radishes, onions, and carrots with a sweet vinaigrette


Northern Chinese cuisine is very wheat-based, so I had to order the Pan Fried Pork and Chives Dumplings ($9.99), which was very good. The crispy potstickers were filled with a generous amount of pork, and the chives gave it a nice aroma after being pan fried.  


 Next up was their signature dish, the Steamed Tilapia with Chopped Bell Chilies ($29.99) - the dish arrived in a considerable sized bowl with the bone-in tilapia slathered in a rich yet spicy sauce. The fish was juicy and flaky, and the chili-based sauce complemented it beautifully. However, there were just way too many bones, so be extra careful when eating. 


 
I enjoyed the crispy texture of the Fried Salt and Pepper Calamari ($15.99), and it was perfectly spiced. 


Out of all the dishes, my least favorite was the Signature Chicken Wings ($15.99). Pricewise, it's pretty expensive for wings, and it was lacking in flavor. The peppers were sporadically spread out to the side, so it wasn't spiced very well.


Overall, I had an enjoyable dining experience at 98 Aroma. The restaurant was bustling with customers that Friday evening, and I thought that the wait staff did a good job of handling the customer service. Since they are a new establishment, there were two new waiters on staff training around that time. They were relatively slow, but it's understandable since they're new. 98 Aroma is a welcome addition to the area as they offer a more refined take on Chinese food, and is sure to please the people in the area looking for a nice place to dine.

Address: 440 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2G8

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


98 Aroma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

98 Aroma

by on Saturday, November 19, 2016
In Chinatown, there is a plethora of Asian dining options to choose from. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the newly opened 98...