Where To DINE Now: Miku Restaurant

A Tale of Two Palates: Sara Waxman and Adam Waxman dine-out in Toronto’s restaurant scene and share their views.
Kaiseki-ryori is about as far from fast food as is possible to stray. A number of courses in seductive, pretty morsels are presented in sequence. Historically, this Zen-inspired experience was a preamble to the formal tea ceremony, but in the 18th century, it began to appear in the fashionable Geisha houses of Kyoto. Kaiseki is like foreplay to the palate. Today, it is the most expensive haute cuisine of Japan, and considered the height of luxury. So when a restaurant in Toronto offers kaiseki, which differs from omakase –the chef’s choice–Japanophile foodies can tend to be a bit skeptical. The emphasis is on balance—of colour, texture and taste—as well as having a theme based on seasonality and region. Presentation is essential not just in plating, but also in plate ware. It is not only a reflection of what a chef can do, but also of his interpretation of the surrounding nature. Miku Restaurant, part of the Vancouver-based Aburi Restaurants Group, has launched in Toronto to create a new dining niche with its own kaiseki menu. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Miku Restaurant”

Where To DINE Now: Indian Street Food Co.

When Hemant Bhagwani changes a menu, we all notice, because other Toronto Indian restaurants quickly follow suit. Bhagwani is a trailblazer, and he has revolutionized Indian dining in Toronto. Beginning with his Amaya restaurants, then his renowned sauces, chutneys and naan breads, more recently his naanini (tikka masala panini), and now with the opening of Indian Street Food Co., Bhagwani has celebrated and innovated the delicious panoply of flavours and dishes that make up Indian cuisine, perhaps the most interesting and complex cuisine in the world. Rather than Canadianize Indian food, he simply uses better quality ingredients. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Indian Street Food Co.”

Where To DINE Now: The Good Son

A Tale of Two Palates: Sara Waxman and Adam Waxman dine-out in Toronto’s restaurant scene and share their views.
When we go out to dinner in Toronto we hope a restaurant will fulfill its promise. There’s nothing worse than shlepping through traffic and parking to waste an evening on mediocre food. So we ask each other, is The Good Son really that good? And we answer, no, The Good Son is great. Oleg Dreitser, Sako Dekirmendjian, Darren Hinds and Chef Vittorio Colacitti, formerly of George, Lucien and Didier, and world traveler, whose culinary studies led him to the Thai & International Food Academy in Bangkok as well as stages across Italy, are a perfect match for the eclectic Queen West vibe. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: The Good Son”

Holiday Gift Picks

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen, by Amelia Saltsman
This book is comprised of recipes and folklore written by the daughter of a Romanian mother and an Iraqi father, who was born and raised in California, surrounded by the glorious bounty of local farmers markets. With this heritage, her recipes jump off the page and say, “cook me.” Dishes like Blood Orange and Olive Oil Polenta Upside Down Cake; Pure and Simple Brisket; Roast Chicken with Tangerines, Green Olives and Silan (date syrup) yes, there’s a recipe for that. There are extraordinary vegan dishes as well. North African and European flavours meet and shake hands with California cuisine. The best dishes of three worlds will surely lure you back into the kitchen. Continue reading “Holiday Gift Picks”

Where To DINE Now: House of Chan

A Tale of Two Palates: Sara Waxman and Adam Waxman dine-out in Toronto’s restaurant scene and share their views.
They have never had a slow night for over fifty years. Saturday nights, you could wait at the bar for over an hour. The policy was no reservations. Sunday dinner, House of Chan was like a private club, with a lot of table-hopping and multi-generational families meeting and greeting.

Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: House of Chan”

Sloane’s Tea Time at Holts

It’s teatime, but where can we go in Toronto’s café society? Holt Renfrew has the answer.
Recently the esteemed Sloane Fine Tea Merchants introduced a new product line. Where better to launch it than at the Holts Café? Tea service is a time-honoured tradition that is both a luxury and a healthy time-out. From the moment we sit down and commit to unwinding, we are immediately sensitized to appreciate the details in the presentation of confections, the fine chinaware, and the delicate purity of each blend of tea. Continue reading “Sloane’s Tea Time at Holts”