Little Fin – Lobster Roll

Lobster roll

About the meal: I love lobster so naturally it made sense to try the lobster roll. I chose the coleslaw and potato wedges as my 2 sides. The coleslaw is great! Not your typical creamy one, but I think they put some apples in there and that adds a whole different twist to the traditionally “heavy” salad. If you love potatoes like me, the wedges are a must try! They’re just amazing, a think layer of crispiness on the outside, and a soft center. Yum! Finally, the lobster roll. After trying it, my opinion is that it was a little overpriced. I felt like the ratio of bread to lobster meat was weak. And for the lobster, it tasted fresh but I felt like it wasn’t seasoned enough (perhaps just salt). All this to say, I thought it was just OK – but now I know!

About the place: I’ve only ever visited this place at lunchtime (on a weekday) and it always seems to be busy! I love that there is a patio, so on a nice summer day it’s great to sit out there. The staff has always been nice and helpful, making it a great experience despite the long lines. The service is also fairly quick. This place grabbed my attention because of their seafood vibe; located in the financial district of Toronto, the blue and white colours along with the beach-style cafe tables made it appealing. And I can say I wasn’t disappointed!

-RaspberryCream

Ninki – Poke Bowl

Poke bowl

 

About the meal:
I was quite disappointed in this. I’ve been looking at Poke Bowl pictures wondering what it would taste like. I love sushi, and particularly anything that is salmon based. When I asked around, I was told a poke bowl is like a sushi, in bowl form (kind of like how you can get a burrito in a wrap, or a burrito bowl). So I was quite excited to try this!

The dish was comprised of white rice, fresh bits of raw salmon, avocado, tofu, soy sauce (that I poured myself) and some mayonnaise looking sauce. I’m not sure whether it was the mayo that didn’t sit in properly with the rest of the dish but this was quite nauseating!

The other thing that I didn’t like was that there is an art to how salmon is cut – for sushi at least. You cannot just cut chunks of raw fish and put it there; unfortunately this is what the salmon in this dish felt like, and it’s just horrible to chew.

Finally, I’m not a fan of Tofu, so having it scattered all around this bowl was just not my cup of tea. That’s just personal preference however. And despite the fact that I tried to dodge them, I still couldn’t enjoy this dish. Overall, not something I would recommend.

About the place:
I will not comment on this as I took my food to go, but judging from the outside it seems like a nice plate to eat – more on the “date”/”corporate meal” end. The lady who was there when I picked up my food was very friendly. All this to say, I would definitely sit in for food in this restaurant.

-RaspberryCream

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

The One That Got Away – Salmon Burger

the-one-that-got-away

 

About the meal: When I first heard about the “salmon burger” from my coworker, I thought it was weird. But when a couple of other coworkers suggested that I try it, I decided to go for it. And…. I regret not having tried it sooner! This is an amazing burger to have! The salmon filet is fresh and perfectly cooked – doesn’t crumble in the bun from being overcooked. The bun is nice and fresh; there is minimal dressing but just enough veggies (lettuce & tomatoes) and sauce, so that it doesn’t taste dry. In my opinion the salmon burger is a must try! And I have to tell you I am not usually a fish person. 

About the place: The perfect place for anyone who is looking for seafood options – if you do not eat fish or seafood, don’t even bother stepping foot in here! I’ve never actually eaten at the restaurant but the vibe I get is that of a cosy, small town diner. The staff is pretty friendly (although I wouldn’t say exceptional). Worth a try for sure!

Bonus: they’re on ritual!

-RaspberryCream.

Saku Sushi – Special lunch “Combo A”

saku-sushi

About the meal: I always go with the Combo A, so I speak with confidence when I say the fish is fresh and the chefs will surprise you with a unique set of sushis every single time! Combo A is a selection of 12 piece sushi and maki rolls created by the chef. Gotta love it!

The lunch combo also includes a miso soup and a green salad. I’m not a big fan of miso soup generally speaking, but their miso (top left in the picture) is quite flavorful and not too salty, compared to other misos I’ve had.

Not pictured here, the green is a mix of lettuce and tomatos and the salad dressing aboslutely fabulous!

If you’re not a big eater, this will most definitely be enough but for the big stomachs out there, you might want to try something else on the menu.

About the place: It’s a nice spot on Queen West, with great decor and a great ambiance. The music can be  a little lound, especially if you have to take a call – there’s no quiet corner to go to. Having been there several times, I find that there may be a lack of customer service when the place is busy, and the wait times can be long (especially at lunch time) but otherwise the experience is great. There are plenty of options if you’ve come for seafood or Japanese food.

I’d say it’s a great for dates, meeting up with friends or lunch with coworkers. Try it out and let me know your thoughts!

-RaspberryCream