Leña Restaurante – Albacore Tuna

Tuna

#summerlicious2017

About the meal: Ingredients – salt-roasted potato, caramelized onions, olive

The tuna was not served very warm. I also think there could’ve been a little more seasoning on the fish prior to cooking. I personally quite enjoyed the way it was cooked, seared on the outside and raw on the inside – I personally prefer tuna cooked that was, I find that the rawness adds juiciness and chewiness. Cooked tuna looses some of its flavour. I have to admit though, this is not for everyone (and the waitress didn’t ask me how I wanted my dish cooked, so some of you might be surprised!)

The potatoes and caramelized onions were a good side for the tuna, and the drizzle of olive oil also added a flair of mediterranean flavour. The mashed olive flesh was an interesting feature to add, and to my surprise went really well with the tuna – almost like it gave it more character. Very unique!

I wasn’t a fan of the accompanying greens, they were quite bitter; but I’m sure it was a very healthy option!

About the place: See post Leña Restaurante – Charred Veal Carpaccio.

-RaspberryCream

Leña Restaurante – Panqueques

Panequeques

#summerlicious2017

About the meal: Ingredients – dulce de leche crêpes, crème fraîche, charred orange

This was a good idea, whoever came up with this. I wasn’t a fan of the crepe texture, it didn’t taste like it was fresh out of the pan, probably preserved in the fridge. But I loved the fact that the dessert wasn’t too sweet. The oranges weren’t sweet but rather bitter, kind of like marmelade made with orange skins. I’m not sure whether this was intentional but I found that it killed the taste for me. Conclusion, maybe the orange would’ve been a better complement if it was infused in the dulce de leche? My suggestion to the chef 😉

About the place: See post Leña Restaurante – Charred Veal Carpaccio.

-RaspberryCream

Leña Restaurante – Charred Veal Carpaccio

CHARRED VEAL CARPACCIO

#summerlicious2017

About the meal: Ingredients – charred veal, roasted red pepper, pickled pearl onion, jalapeño & caper crema.

The veal wasn’t very flavourful, I could almost taste the raw meatiness of it. However the caramelized onions & pickled vegetables added a sweet and sour twist that went well with it. The creaminess was also a great complement and made the dish more savoury. The peppers gave the dish a bit of a soggy texture, but added a necessary umps which elevated and paired very well with the pickled taste.

About the place: I went alone and was given a seat with a large table and a great view of the whole restaurant – amazing for people watching or reading! It’s a great place for a business lunch or to bring a date, but it was a tiny bit loud if you’re trying to have a conversation without yelling. The decor was amazing, everything looked clean and in its place, and the servers were well mannered. I was seated in the dining area during this visit.

-RaspberryCream

Sassafraz-3 course meal

sassafraz-collagejpg

The meal (s): Bottom right: pumpkin spiced duck pâté, top right: banana custard tartlet, left: bison short rib pappardelle.

The meal: ****

The 3 course meal consisted of a pumpkin spiced duck pâté, bison short rib pappardelle, and a banana custard tartlet. I don’t regularly have pâté but I know a good pâté when I have one.  It was so very delicious and the ginger date paste cooked in syrup pairing was the cherry on top. At some point I had to give up the appetizer so we could get served the main dish. The meal was simple and quite rich as you would expect from a pasta dish. The bison short rib was tender and was well flavoured. To top it all off was the custard. It was not an exceptional dessert but was tasty nonetheless.

The place: ***

This is the second time visiting Sassafraz! The first time was for brunch and this round, we opted for dinner. The restaurant doesn’t have any obvious signs but the building is unique and stands out. If you know what you’re looking for, you can’t miss it.

The interior is split into 3 areas (the café/lounge, bar, and dining area) and has an elegant decor (pleasingly simple). It’s definitely a good spot for a date.

The price: $$

– Strawberry Sherbet

Bent Restaurant- Sweet and Sour Four (Part II)

bent-plate-1

About the meal(s): Top right: Oyster Sake Shot, bottom right: Yucatan Ceviche, middle: Wild Albacore Tuna Sashimi, bottom left: Scallop Tataki.

*Oyster Sake Shot*

This was my first time seeing an oyster dish being presented in the form of a shot. It was delicious and the ingredients complimented each other very well. This was my favourite serving that night. **** rating – Strawberry Sherbet

*Yucatan Ceviche*

As the name suggests, this was a seafood (octopus, shrimp, scallop) packed serving. The tortilla chip was glazed with sesame seeds and the avocado was a great addition. You can never go wrong with guacamole. *** rating – Strawberry Sherbet

*Wild Albacore Tuna Sashimi*

The dish was very well presented and yes, it did taste as good as it looks. The ingredients, rhubarb, orange confit, exotic citrus yozu, blended well together an yielded a good balance between sweet and sour. *** rating –Strawberry Sherbet

*Scallop Tataki*

Least favourite of the ‘sweet and sour four’ but was well-presented and appetizing. **`1/2 rating –Strawberry Sherbet

Dessert:

bent-dessert

*Indian Panipuri twist with custard*

The round hollow crisp was filled with custard and the sauce on the side is meant to be put into the crisp for additional flavour. **1/2 rating – Strawberry Sherbet

About the place & price: check out ‘Bent Restaurant (Part I)

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

Bent Restaurant2.jpeg

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