I think this place is completely style-over-substance.
Agree with Caffeinated that there was something just "wrong" about the lemon risotto with the jerk (although the chicken was good), mushroom oricchiette, which our server promised we would "looove" was a fancy mac-and-cheese that got boring before we finished the dish, oxtail meatballs were OK, lamb ratatouille not bad, but not "wow." Wine pours were stingy. We didn't bother to stick around for dessert.
Our service was not rude, but it was definitely inexpert - again, the style-over-substance problem. Wouldn't go back.
Frankie was featured in a full page ad for Grey Goose in last month's issue of Toronto Life. He certainly concocts interesting libations using unusual ingredients ($15 each). However, the food - I'm sorry to say - has gone downhill. Tandoor beef tastes like it has paste straight out of the jar slathered all over it (way too intense), and oxtail croquettes were too densely packed and not moist enough. Nice touch to get comp pappadum and chutney dip. The downstairs was surprisingly quiet and only filled up with bar patrons after 9:30 pm when the DJ started.
The food is mediocre at best. One of the dishes -- gnocci duo -- was so doughy and tough that it tasted like stale Korean rice cakes (dduk). While the jerk chicken was whisper soft with a great amount of heat, the risotto was far too al dente and so citrusy that it tasted like it was cooked with lemon cleaner. there were some other dishes as well, but for the price of dinner, it was not worth it at all. i would rather eat at JKWB or Coca for some good small plates.
What irritated me the most was the service. I had never encountered such rude service from a hostess. She would not allow latecomers to the table because "there just wasn't enough room." This wasn't said kindly at all, rather in this exasperated and patronizing way. It might be good for a drink or two downstairs, but i would never go back there for dinner.
I went there last year for my birthday with friends, after confirming my reservation we arrived and they had no record of it and told me that it must have not actually been confirmed. (I still had the voicemail saved) They offered to serve us food in the bar area food was alright, but the service was so rude I wouldn't go back.
Agree with most of the posters. The food is pretty good, but by no means mind-blowing. I woukd suggest that if you are intending to make a "meal" of it, make sure to get a seat upstairs as the shared bar tables and low tables at the booths make dining uncomfortable downstairs... head there for your post-meal drinks.
I've been there twice and most recently about a month ago. The atmosphere is modern and trendy with young and attractive staff. The food both times I was there was mediocre but that is reflected in prices that are not too expensive, so can't really complain. All in all, I'd say it's a good place to eat out with friends and be seen with beautiful people, but if you're looking for excellent food and are willing to pay more for it, there are better places to be found.
review - april 2007
i usually stay away from a place during its trendy phase. circumstances with friends brought me to kultura. it was excellent.
note about menu: the website menu is not up to date. it's mostly accurate, but has lists some deleted items, and it lacks some of the new items.
caribbean shrimp 4/5 - nicely textured lumpy banana sauce.
jerk chicken on lemon coconut risotto 5/5 - *highlight* - description sounded not too promising, but the three main flavours worked perfectly.
crudo plate with raw salmon, tuna, grouper 4/5 - each fish has a distinct dressing, overall dish is mild, eat this early before your spicier dishes.
oxtail nuggets 2/5 - nuggets were not that tasty nor tender, pineapple salad had nice herby dressing.
naan with dip 5/5 - *highlight* - dip was nothing great, but bread was great, hot, fluffy inside, crispy on edges.
8oz rib eye 5/5 - nice and cooked exactly as ordered, sided with tangy pickled onions and fig slices.
pork chop 4/5 - generous size, arrived a bit cool, meat seemed almost unseasoned, flavour came from dollop of chipotle sauce.
donut holes 1/5 - i don't know what the raves are about.
peanut butter chocolate mousse 1/5 - very average.
the two desserts we picked didn't do it for me.
service: we got a server who was down to earth and in good humour. when he didn't know something about a dish or a wine, he simply went away and returned in a minute with the information. that approach was appreciated.
atmosphere: the upstairs dining room was full. we sat in the downstairs lounge and it was comfortable with music low enough for conversation. if you don't like eating off the low coffee tables, there is a regular height table downstairs as well. the upstairs has nice decor and i like the ample space between tables.
6 savoury dishes
1 mixed drink
4 wine by glass
1 icewine by glass
$210 incl taxes and before tip
We held a private corporate function there -- and we all had really good food. It was a few months ago, and there were several dishes served, so I can't remember everything. The only thing I remember people commenting on was that dessert was disappointing. But everything else was fine.
The food there is so so. But provided that it is relatively inexpensive, it is good value to dine there. I love the atmosphere which is trendy and hip. I can only recommend the Tandoor Beef which I find is pretty good. The other dish I tried like the the Lobster Ravioli and Fish and Chips and the dessert are not bad. But the lemon chicken is sub par.