Bent Restaurant – Bent-o Box Tasting Menu (Part I)

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About the meal: See below for a breakdown. Top left: Baked Crab Potato Jacket; top right: Caramelized Black  Cod; bottom: Garlic Shrimp with Szechuan Soy Bean Crumble.

*Baked Crab Potato Jacket*
A very elegant way to upgrade potatoes! the baking was just perfect, and the hint of crab meat was a great addition of taste and texture to a rather plain vegetable. –RaspberryCream

A good twist to your typical backed potato but it was mediocre compared to the other dishes on the list. See ‘Sweet and Sour Four‘ review. *1/2 rating –Strawberry Sherbet

*Caramelized Black  Cod*
Take this with a grain of salt as I am not a fish lover. The fish was very tender and dipping it in the pickle sauce & mustard enhanced the taste quite a bit. Please refer to Strawberry Sherbet’s opinion for a more accurate point of view 🙂 –RaspberryCream

The ingredients, miso mustard, pickled grapes & lemon, enhanced the taste but didn’t really add to the dish. As a result, the cod felt plain and separated itself from all the other dishes where the flavours blended effortlessly & blissfully. * rating –Strawberry Sherbet

*Garlic Shrimp with Szechuan Soy Bean Crumble*
Save the best for last. Not sure if they did this on purpose but I have to rate this one as my #1 in the whole tasting menu, an explosion of flavors! Mildly sweet and sour, with the great contrast of texture between the shrimp, the squid-inked French toast and the lettuce. A MUST if you’re fond of exploring a new food dimension! –RaspberryCream

The French ink bread was a nice touch and the ingredients, yuzu squash puree, made the dish colourful. Unfortunately, the flavours did not excite my taste buds. ** rating –Strawberry Sherbet

About the place: Nice elegant and cosy restaurant on Dundas St W. The welcome was great and so was the service, the staff did a great job introducing the different dishes that were served at our table. Great place for a date or celebrating an occasion with friends. Just make sure you have a reservation!

The price: $$

Quick note – Bent Restaurant is owned by Chef Susur Lee, who also runs Lee Restaurant. We originally went to the wrong restaurant but the staff was friendly enough to call Bent and request that they hold our table.

Check out ‘Sweet & Sour Four‘ for Part II

Spring Rolls – Mango Creme Brulee

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About the meal: My sweet tooth couldn’t skip desert after a good meal. I’m a big fan of creme brulee and denjoy the taste of mango, so I figured this would be an interesting desert to try. If you’re trying to picture the taste, it’s as if you had creme brulee with the custard having a mango aroma – not the artificial kind of aroma. It was an interesting fusion of tastes, but not my favorite.

About the place: Went to the Dundas location with family on a Saturday evening, and I didn’t find the service particularly great. They forgot to bring some of our drinks and were not the most patient when it came to answering questions we had about the dishes on the menu. Apart from that the menu has a selection that will satisfy people who enjoy Asian food.

-RaspberryCream

Poutini’s – BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine

poutinis

About the meal: The poutine was great, good crunchy fries, good gravy, and poured just right so that the cheese curds melted with the heat of the gravy, and the fries weren’t soggy. The pulled pork was pretty decent, not the best I’ve ever had but I would definitely order this again! By the way, in the picture above I’d ordered a “teeny weeny tiny” size, as they name it, but it was a pretty decent size; had it for lunch and the itis was real after the meal! Zzz…

About the place: Tiny little place on King W, it’s the perfect spot for a quick lunch. The staff is friendly, the service is fast and the food tastes pretty good. They also have a bench outside, for those who wish to sunbathe and people-watch while they’re eating – King St is a good street to people watch by the way!

-RaspberryCream

Infuse Cafe – Chai Masala (Organic Milk Tea)

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About the drink: Having had Masala Chai in India, I am always disappointed in “chai tea” served anywhere in Canada, for the exception of some Indian restaurants. This Chai Masala didn’t taste like the authentic one but you will definitely be one step closer to the real deal! The original recipe comes with 2 spoons of sugar, which in my opinion are a little too much; next time I think I’ll try 1/2 sugar. Overall tasty tea, I think I’ll be back there to sample more teas! So stay tuned 😉

About the place: Small little shop hidden on the busy Yonge street, near the Eaton Center. The place looks a lot smaller from the outside but has a decent amount of sitting space. It also looks a little .. shady (for lack of a better word) from the outside, but my love for tea pushed me to try something and I realized the place is decent – clean, spacious, and with a good variety of tea options. They also sell loose leaf teas in store.

-RaspberryCream

Lalibela – Lalibela Platter

lalibela

About the meal: If you haven’t had fermented food before, this may be a good place to start. The lalibela platter is a combination of vegetarian and carnivore sides, all on an injera bread (injera is a fermented bread, traditional of Ethiopia and the African horn region). The dish comes with a combination of vegetarian peas, lentil, cabbatge, collard green, split peas, doro wat, lamb or beef dished arranged on the piatter. Everything is flavorful but as a carnivore myself, I prefered the lamb stew – quite spicy though. The vegetarian options were all mild (not hot).

This platter makes a decent size for 2-3 people and altogether makes quite a complete meal! If you didn’t know, fermented foods are great for digestion. A must try, and a good way to taste different types of dishes if you’ve never trried Ethiopian food.

About the place: The decor is beautiful! I love that in summer they open up the main window, which gives the place the allure of an African style bistro/restaurant. The staff is generally quite friendly, although service may be a little slow when they’re busy. The food is simple but tasty! Families and kids are quite welcome there as well.

-RaspberryCream

Ajisen Ramen – Teppanyaki Filet Mignon Ramen

ajisen

About the meal: On this particular day, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted Ramen or Tepanyaki, until I saw on the menu that I could make both wishes come true! Ajisen’s ramen generally speaking is great; I love that their ramen is not too salty and doesn’t taste like soy. I do prefer the eggs at Kinton Ramen, but that’s a minor detail. The tepanyaki was tender and well seasoned and because part of it was on top of the soup, I was still able to enjoy it as a snack 🙂

About the place: Ajisen ramen! I used to live by the one close to Yonge & Empress. The staff is always friendly, service is pretty decent, meals are affordable, tasty and filling. They also offer a great variety of food options (not sure about vegetarian food – note to self, I’m going to start paying more attention to that!)

-RaspberryCream

Wilbur Mexicana – Mexican street corn

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About the meal: Charred corn on the cob with chipotle crema, cotija, guajillo chili powder. I loved the amount of chili and cheese but found the sauce (chipotle) a little too much – then again this is coming from someone who loves her corn on the cob simple, with butter and spices, Jamaican or African style.

The corn was well done and the mix of sweet and salty was a good combination. Even more interesting given that the savory part came from cheese and sauce, not something I’d ever tried before!

About the place: I saw this place open at which place it was great, but over time I’ve seen the line up become INSANE, both around lunch time and dinner time, as well as random times in the afternoon. They have quite a variety of options, making it a decent place to visit often – it used to be my go-to lunch place.

The staff is very friendly and the service is usually pretty fast. Compared to other Mexican food spots around, they’ve definitely worked hard on making their brand yell “fast but tasty!”

-RaspberryCream