HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Anyone been to Tomi Kro

Haven't seen any recent reviews about Tomi Kro.
Going next week with some friends.

Can anyone plesae provide me your experience.

Greatly appreciated.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I was there a few months ago and was very impressed.

    Good food good atmosphere, well priced but not cheap.

    My friends and i ordered a bunch of appies and small plates and shared.

    Standouts were the duck, and the short ribs

    1. i've been there a few times (not for several months) and i've always enjoyed the food and service.....i agree that it's not cheap but i do think it's well priced for what you get.
      enjoy! be sure to report back.

        1. re: FlavoursGal

          1214 Queen St. East at Leslie, north side.

        2. Tomi Kro is great! I've not been in a while so I am sure the menu has changed. It's shared plates and it's very good. What I like most about it is the consistency. I've never been disappointed in the food or the service.

          1 Reply
          1. re: regale

            I agree - I love the place, it's reliable for sure, but it's not cheap.

          2. I will definitely report back.

            Thx for all your feedback.


            1. I've been a few times, and it is excellent! It's all small plates, and everything I've tried has been lovely, but the lobster maki balls are the loveliest--creamy, crispy, warm and good. They also make a very good margarita--shaken, not blended, with fresh lime juice, not bar mix.

              It was crazy busy the Friday night we went, and the food wasn't quite as excellent, so we've gone on weeknights since then and haven't been disappointed.

              1. It's been about 9 months since I've been there, but I really enjoyed the food the two times I'd been there.

                1. This place rocks. Check it out for sure. One of Johnny K's places. Always a fun night out!

                  1. Going this week-end. I will let you know how it is if you haven't yet been.

                    1. Laura Prentice. The one-woman crusade to improve the quality of food in east end Toronto.

                      1. I just went for dinner there a couple of nights ago and while the food was quite nice I was a little dismayed by the service. We had reservations for a late 9pm dinner and although the restaurant was not in the least full, our table was in the back by the kitchen door. This bothered me. I couldn't tell if they decided to put us back there upon our arrival or if they had sized us up on the phone before hand and decided we weren't worthy. Our server was pretty blasé about the whole affair at first but the more items we ordered and the more wine...our reception got a lot warmer. Suddenly we were inundated with anecdotes and suggestions galore. By the time we left it felt like we walked a gauntlet of staff who actually shook our hands after our $500 meal! I couldn’t and can't get it out of my head. It would be nice to have had a little less glad-handing at the end and a little more at the beginning. It just smacked of elitist disingenuous pomposity!

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: inciquay

                          Since I find most Queen street restaurants are ~really~ cold at the front, sitting at the back by the kitchen would be my preferred spot--less drafty, and your food gets to the table faster and hotter.

                          1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                            Logically that makes sense, but the snobbery was so palpable that there was no mistaking the true motive behind our seating placement.

                          2. re: inciquay

                            Many times seating placement is based more on staff then the customer. If the other waiters had more tables during the evening or if they had just finished with large groups or the other waiters started earlier (or worked a double shift) etc they may seat you in what seams like an odd location in a restaurant but in the scheme of the night makes sense. You probably were sat in the section of the staff member who was designated as the one to stay late.

                            I have hung out with many restaurant staff / owners / bartenders / hostesess for way to long in my life (but never working in a restuarant myself) that I know that last thing they think of when taking a reservation or greeting someone at the door is how they can make that person or group uncomfortable. They are thinking how can we make this easier for the staff.

                            Not sure what you mean by "sizing you up" on the phone. I can only assume that you mean that you have some sort of accent and think they were discriminating against you. I have never seen this at Tomi Kro everyone I have encountered there is extremely nice and accomadating to everyone. Now they do have a bit of a queen street attitude in service and the staff is not what I would call extremely "fine dining" professional so I can understand that the server may have been a bit reluctant at the start getting the "last" table of the night.. and then happy to see that it would not be a waste of their time.. remember they are just human this was not a conspirocy against you... :-)

                            1. re: OnDaGo

                              Without reference to Tomi Kro, which I haven't tried yet, I take serious exception to your comment "that last thing they think of when taking a reservation or greeting someone at the door is how they can make that person or group uncomfortable".

                              While you are certainly correct in your observation that seating arrangements often revolve primarily around staff needs, a startling number of restaurants make a real effort to weed out those that they feel don't belong. It may be overt or covert; sophisticated or crude, but it happens a lot.

                              This reaches its peak in Toronto at the clubs which block perceived undesirables from entering (even when they are virtually empty), but restaurants do it too, and often. (In New York, putting paying customers into "Siberia" and providing poor food and service is common - Le Cirque raises this to an art form.)

                              Kubo Radio made us feel extremely uncomfortable and unwelcome while fawning over some other patrons. I know other people (generally of similar age and style) who had the same experience there. OTOH, we are always treated well at Allen's while others on CH complain of snobbish service and disrespect. I can generalize these two situations to encompass many other restaurants where I have eaten over the years.

                              Re: sizing up people on the phone - I recall one B&B in NOTL. We were referred there by people who had stayed there and praised both the place and, especially, their food. I made the arrangements by email. When I called to confirm our arrival time, the guy decided (apparently from my voice) that we would not be welcome there since "it is obvious you won't fit into an upscale B&B". Huh?

                              Getting back to Tomi Kro, its principals have a history of selectively discriminating against customers they perceive as undesirable. I don't know whether they do it at this establishment. They didn't do it at Pan, but they sure did at Gus. And they had another place further east on Queen a few years ago with a locked front door. You had to be in the know to get in, since the working door was in a cramped little alley and purposely unmarked. If you weren't in the know, they didn't want you to find out. (Note: it bombed.) I'm inclined to take inciquay's experience at face value. Without any evidence to back up my perception, I think you are wrong.

                              1. re: embee

                                Clubs are an other story so lets not even go there.. And an underground place with a locked door should tell you that if they did not know you you may not be welcomed (locked doors are not meant to be welcoming :-) Gus was basically a lounge and yes when it was open and busy and there was a lineup do you blame them for letting people they know in first? if you owned a lounge and there was a lineup of 40 people outside would you not let your freinds, family and regular customers in first?

                                If this seems to be happening to you a lot I would look at my own actions and say to myself what am I doing that is making people instatntly dislike me?

                                In todays restaurant marketplace the last thing a place needs is to lose ANY customer. If certain customers get fawned over, well you never know the reason, it could be the owner of the building the restaurant is in, or the chefs sister whatever...

                                1. re: OnDaGo

                                  As I said, I can't comment specifically on Tomi Kro. Laura Prentice is a very good chef and I intend to go there, but I haven't yet. And no, people aren't taking an instant dislike to me. I've been on both sides of this fence and I know what it feels like to be one of the chosen AND to be one of the not chosen. Hell, it's nice to benefit from special treatment.

                                  Your comment on "today's restaurant marketplace" sounds like the preaching of a hospitality PR rep if not a restaurant principal. It's true that one doesn't necessarily know why someone is being fawned over. Or why someone has been Siberia-d. Then, again, one often does. And if you own the place, you can treat people however you want.

                                  As I said, Johnny K and company have a history of doing this and you validated this totally, albeit with excuses, in your post above. But that isn't my point. My point is that inciquay was not likely hallucinating about the treatment received. Whatever the economics of the restaurant business (a business with which I am very familiar), more than a few proprietors will treat people who don't fit some criterion as second class. That's just the way it is :-)

                                2. re: embee

                                  I like TK - like the food, like the vibe and have been quite fond of the service. Polite but not fawning. However, I think the above forays are quite absurd! While I have been in restaurants where certain people (regulars, friends of the owner, etc.) have been getting more attention than myself, I'm so insecure as to think that this somehow reflects as a negative on myself. It's a moot point really. Just go, enjoy and try to have fun.

                              2. re: inciquay

                                If a handshake on the way out is considered elitist disingenuous pomposity fthen count me in....most restos make you feel like they're doing you a favour by serving you. It's rare that a server or owner takes the time to thank you for your patronage....But then again I appreciate the Greeters at Walmart

                              3. Went to Tomi-Kro on Saturday, and really enjoyed it. The service is a little... "extremely friendly" - which might weird out some people, but hey, at least they're being nice at all.

                                There are apps/tapas available as starters, mains, and accompanying sides that they table shares. We started with the raved about lobster maki rolls (very good), and a greek salad (good, but waaay to many onions - can you say fire breath?). For mains, I (as well as one other diner) had the beef topped with stilton, caramelized onions, and wasabi. It was a nice portion and cooked rare to my liking. Another person had the spicy shrimp which was also very good (note: it's not actually that spicy). My husband the veal osso bucco, which was by far the best dish. It was surprisingly big, and the marrow from the bone was delicious. For sides we had the edamame (okay, nothing that special), and the risotto - which was the best risotto I've ever had. I would go back just for a bowl of that. :)

                                We shared a bottle of wine during the meal, as well as a piece of cheesecake at the end (we were plenty full). Total bill was about $195 before tip. I'm looking forward to going again and trying some more of the menu items.

                                1. I was at Tomi Kro 2 Fridays ago and was really impressed. They were very busy but found us a table with only a 4 minute wait. We started with the lobster Maki balls (worth the trip alone), split a green salad and each had a main. We also each had a cocktail and split a bottle of wine and the total was less than $150, which I thought was great. I live in the Beaches and have discussed this place many times with my neighbours who find it inconsistent. Nonetheless, I would definitely give it a try.

                                  1. My sister and BIL went last night and really enjoyed EVERYTHING. They spent $100 plus tip, which included two huge apps (including 4 huge, tender ribs and teriyaki beef), 2 huge mains (tender osso bucco and delicious salmon-avocado-coconut rice, both $20), a side of asparagus (since the osso bucco comes solo), a chocolate dessert, glass of wine ($9) and latte. Great service, cool atmosphere (giant Sumo artwork) and better than Barrio in their opinion. (I trust my sister's opinion which is why I'm posting their comments!)

                                    1. I finally tried Tomi Kro. I wasn't sure what to expect, having heard the typical food and service inconsistencies that plague restos in this part of town. In short, it was a lovely meal.

                                      Being terribly un-hip, I was expecting possible attitude issues. There were none. Arriving very late and alone following a lengthy hospital visit, I looked particularly uncool. Perhaps they took my vintage (mid eighties) Grimm t-shirt and ripped jeans as a sign of being artsy but, whatever the reason, the welcome couldn't have been warmer. The service was consistently excellent throughout the meal.

                                      I was seated at the window table. Warm oiled and herbed pita arrived immediately. It was tasty, but had either been microwaved or heated too long and was a bit dry and chewy. I was asked whether I wanted bottled or iced tap water and was not made to feel chintzy for requesting tap. This was delivered pronto.

                                      Feeling like food I could play with, I ordered the beef rib starter in an Asian-ish glaze and the osso buco. While the ribs could be shared, neither of these dishes was really a "small plate".

                                      Not knowing what wine might go with these plates, and restricting myself to one glass of red, I asked the server for a recommendation. She suggested one that I would never have chosen, and it worked well with both dishes despite their very different styles.

                                      The ribs, beef short ribs cut in the thin kalbi style, were very good, though a bit overdone for my taste. Their sweet and spicy glaze was fabulous.

                                      The osso buco was a big hunk of meat, tender and tasty. It did not have the succulent gelatinous quality of the best osso buco I ever had (oddly, at a resto in an apartment house in suburban Cincinatti), but was otherwise fine. As with the ribs, the sauce was fabulous. There were lots of mushrooms, though no visible sign of the promised leeks. There was a nice amount of marrow and they provided proper utensils for attacking the marrow and for getting all of the sauce to mouth.

                                      I ordered just one side, the panko crusted potato cake with a wasabi cream, which was perfect. (This does seem time to warn of the chef's extreme fondness for wasabi, which seemed a component of (too) many different dishes on the menu).

                                      With this quantity of food, I was too full to try anything else. With tip, the tab was about $60. I will return.

                                      1. Thinking of trying it this week - anyone been lately?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: peppermint pate

                                          Yes, had a fantastic meal there. My new favourite place in the neighbourhood. We had the foie gras creme brulée, which is really a fancy mousse presentation, but is seriously delicious. Also had some tempura shrimp, the teriyaki steak, and probably something else...I forget. Sorry, bad review. We had a lot to drink...the pomegranate mojitos are good.

                                          My wife is in love with the place now. Let us know what you think.

                                          1. re: childofthestorm

                                            We were there this past Saturday after the Cirque. In general, I agree with most of the other reviews-- good food, a bit pricey, service was nice.

                                            The menu format isn't entirely small plates: there is an apps, mains, sides, and tapas section. Not clearly defined, which may be a bit confusing. I also thought that many of the small plates (if ordering that way) would clash.

                                            I had the foie gras creme brulee, and thought that it was very tasty. (Probably the best of the dishes I tried that night.) The Miami ribs and the risotto are good (I ate them together) but not spectacular. Also had the tempura shrimp-- three large, moist shrimp in a nice crispy batter. Which was nice, except that it was $12. (Is $4 per shrimp a bit much, or is it just me?)
                                            My wife had the butter chicken, which she really liked. It wasn't swimming in sauce, and rather looked more like a chicken tikka, but she said the flavour was good.
                                            Total cost, including a glass of wine, tax and tip, was about $100.
                                            I would go again if I was in the 'hood, but it wouldn't be a destination place for me.

                                          2. re: peppermint pate

                                            Thanks for all the feedback. A group of us went this week-end and had mixed feelings about the place.

                                            First, the food - I was tempted by almost every dish on the menu, lots of interesting choices and we found it very hard to choose. The lobster maki rolls and shrimp dumplings were standouts amongst the starters ("tapas", technically). The miami ribs were good. I didn't care for the octopus ceviche at all - I found it too acidic. We then shared the beef with gorgonzola and caramelized onions, the black cod (forget the preparation but also quite good), the shrimp with rice noodles in sweet chili sauce and pineapple and the sauteed asparagus with miso sauce - all were very good. There was a bread basket that we received at the beginning with toasted pita/nan triangles that tasted 3 days old. But apart from that and the ceviche, I'd give quite high marks for the food.

                                            Service - beyond awful. In total, we probably had about 6 or 7 people serve us at different points in the evening with no one primary waiter/waitress. Service ranged from silent to unfriendly and definitely a bit of attitude from at least one of the waiters. There was a large, gruff, bearded man who seemed to be the maitre d - he was the antithesis of a welcoming front of room guy. I overheard him trash-talking one table who moved because they found their table to be too breezy and he generally had a scowl on his face for the whole night.

                                            I liked the room and the place was hopping busy but as good as the food was, the service was pretty off-putting. I'd probably try the place again to see if we had an off-night for service and since others on this board have commented on the good service.

                                          3. Can they possibly have a wose sign out front? A photo of a big metal pot with their name on it...who ever did their sign needs to go back to design school.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Finnegan

                                              Yeah I know what you mean. We were there once last summer and weren't all that impressed with the food or the atmosphere. The entire time we were there the wait staff when not serving tables (the place was pretty empty) were hanging outside smoking with the locals. I was not impressed - and the food was not memorable. I'm surprised to hear all the praises for the place and perhaps I should give it another try. But I must say I found it pretty sketchy.

                                              1. re: millygirl

                                                We were there on a Friday night at 10 pm, and to me it was just the right vibe - crowded room, wait staff on their toes, good music, funky space. Traditionally Gio's has been my late-night spot, but their steadfast refusal to change the menu AT ALL, coupled with the fact that sometimes I don't want to hear the Scissor Sisters and Mika blared at high volume at the end of a long week, has made me steer away from there lately.

                                                1. re: childofthestorm

                                                  Totally agree about Gio's menu....nothing has changed since day one. It's like they have lost all interest. Even the east end dines out thing, they couldn't find the energy to put together a prix fixed menu.

                                            2. Went there for dinner last Monday night. 3 people and I decided to order all of the Tapas on the menu. Turned out to be a perfect amount for 3 people and they spaced the courses very well. With a $60 bottle of wine price, with tip, was about $200. I look forward to going back to try the menu but really enjoyed dinner last Monday. Service was excellent.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Attknee

                                                I've always had a great time here! Food is stellar, and the service has always been pretty good. When we go out we're not there to make friends, so we don't expect much more than someone who doesn't drop stuff on us. Never understood people who need a server to bond with them, hold their hand and walk them through the entire menu. Puhleeze.

                                                1. re: ostracario

                                                  Re: your comment on service:
                                                  I like to think that there's a middle ground somewhere between what your expectations are, and what you think others are looking for. At least for me anyways.

                                                  1. re: millygirl

                                                    True. And we both like Starfish, so I won't attempt to you irritate you any further!

                                              2. Does Tomi-Kro have a website? I did a quick search but couldn't find anything...

                                                1. Delicious, carefully prepared food, mid-plus price range; attentive friendly service. Only drawback for my party of four was volume of music/conversation. SO loud you could not hear person next to you. We screamed, adding to the volume. left after great meal/wine with headache from noise.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: duchesse

                                                    Thanks for the tip about noise level. That alone would stop me from going there or anywhere that loud.

                                                    1214 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1L7, CA

                                                    1. re: JamieK

                                                      Not even the fact that is too loud, but the food sucks. i find the chef doesn't know the concept of FUSION. Everything had soy sauce, even the ossobucco!

                                                      I had tuna sashimi to start and it was dark! old! at least 2 days old. The ossobuco was too salty (full of soy sauce, cream and cheese), and they wanted to fix it with dessert, which toke 25 minutes to arrive. (our waiter seamed to be doing drugs, going all the time to the washroom, and smoking at the door, where all his customers could see him). I totally don't recommend this place!