Fashion District, Toronto
I had heard bad things about Marben from a friend, however, I had seen pictures of the burger, and the menu looked so good I decided to go one Friday night.
We were told that it was fully booked and couldn’t get a table after 6:45 but I arrived at 7 and it was empty. We were shown our seats and given menus, I already knew what I was ordering (I have a pension for checking the menu beforehand). We ordered the Tuna ceviche, crispy sea smelt, John’s burger and the fresh handcut pasta with B.C. dungeness crab.
The tuna came out first, it was almost perfect, served with tortilla chips and an avocado puree it had a spicy, sour finish with fantastically tender tuna, all scattered with peanuts.
Next out after a bit of a wait was the crispy smelt, it was served on a bed of fried zucchini and squid ink aioli, the smelt was just your average fish and the aioli wasn’t anything special, it’s only redeeming quality was the zucchini, which tells you how average the dish was.
Between finishing the entree’s and waiting for the mains, 45 minutes past, we waited patiently without any update from the staff until finally the burger and the pasta arrived.
The burger was a huge disappointment. It looked sad and pathetic and for what was meant to be their signature, it looked nothing like and pictures and didn’t have any sort of wow factor, and if you’re charging $19 for a burger it should have some sort of positive impact on ones dining experience.
The final dish, the pasta, was fantastic. It didn’t quite bring my experience into the positive but the dish was expertly crafted with amazing textures and flavours.
If you feel like going to Marben, don’t get the burger and tell them you’re in a hurry, hopefully then your experience will be a good one.