Taste of Toronto

Taste of Toronto

Taste of Toronto is back for its second year July 2nd – 5th, 2015 at the Fort York historical Site

Operating much like a restaurant with lunch and dinner services, Taste of Toronto is comprised of six half-day sessions that last between 4- 5 hours which gives our guests the time to enjoy their pick of restaurant dishes, browse the artisan stalls and enjoy some of the many attractions including the Taste Theatre, Metro Master Classes, the Tasting Room, a Delta Air Lines VIP Lounge and a Music Stage.

Being new to Toronto I grasped at the opportunity to see what the food scene had going for it here. I headed out early on Friday night to get my hands on whatever I could without waiting forever (lines are the death of festivals).

My first dish was the Crispy Black Vinegar Chicken shishito pepper, cucumber, toasted peanut, cilantro aromatic glaze from Bosk. It was rated as the gold winner for best dish, that being it should be one of the standout dishes of my night.

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It unfortunately was not, the dish in my opinion was lost with during the mass production for the festival, the chicken was juicy but the coating wasn’t crispy, the flavours weren’t prominent or balanced, it was sweet, slightly vinegary and not at all tangy.

Second up I went looking for the Babi Panggang, Roasted Pork belly with fresh chili sauce served on a bean sprout & red onion pickle salad from Little Sister. I had heard many a things about it and was excited and thankfully this didn’t disappoint. The pork was done amazingly, flavourfully spiced outside with a soft fatty inside pairing perfectly with the chilli sauce and refreshing salad, a definite winner.

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The thought of Morimoto’s Toro Tartare with caviar, sour cream, wasabi and dashi soy had my inner gluttons interest peaked so I wandered over, intermediately checking out the stalls of local produce and listening in on the master classes going on until I found the right stall. The main thing to remember when you’re going for expensive ingredients such as toro and caviar is that it’s quality , not quantity because the tartare was tiny!

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Absolutely delicious but had I not shown self control it would have been over in 2 bites.

After walking around again and seeing lines for everything (I’m not a patient man), I settled with trying the Braised Pork belly with Peanuts, KFC and Thai basil from Splendido. it came out as was a nice hunk of Pork coated in a couple of sauces with few fried brussel sprouts. The dish was well constructed and everything worked but it was very very rich.

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The taste of Toronto was for me a mixed bag in terms of eats, my main concern the cost of $30 entry ($19 if you pre booked) was a high price to pay for even higher priced hit or miss tapas.

 

 

Origin – St Lawrence, TO

Origin
St Lawrence, Toronto
http://origintoronto.com/

Brunch may have to be one of the greatest things around, my cousin was up from the states and after a substantial night out we wanted a heavy Brunch, enter Origin.

When we arrived we were shown our seats on their great patio then given menu’s. I ordered a TBD (the brunch drink) to have while we decided on food.
This more of a public service announcement rather than a statement but you need to get TBD, it is freaking awesome.

Anyway, onto food, everything on the menu was legit mouth watering but we narrowed it down to three things, the Miami short rib hash, the tostada and the sweet potato and kale salad, you know, to pretend to be healthy.

The waiter said he would stagger the food, to which I responded “no no, all at once” like a boss, because staggered food is boring food.

About 20 minutes later all the food arrived. At precisely the same time, exactly as I dreamed it, behold.

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I started with the hash, obviously, and it was fantastic, rich jus, tender meat, perfectly cooked potato and sweet potato all with a sunny side up egg, onion rings and chimichurri. A fitting hangover meal that had everything you could ever want ever.

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Next I tried the tostada, not a fan of tostada’s but Origin did this justice with a great balance and layer of all the ingredients and textures.

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Finally the salad, possibly the best salad I’ve had in forever, fresh, sweet, tangy and ever so simple. The only thing that could have made it into a meal would have been a grilled meat of some sort.

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Origin is doing brunch Justice and I would break my “once only” rule to eat there again without thought.

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