I will be visiting TO in a few weeks and am going out for a nice meal with friends. We would like to do a tasting menu and need some suggestions.
My friends have very recently eaten at Splendido and Colborne Lane, so they want to try something else this time around.
I have already been to Susur, Rain and Perigee. I tending towards Susur again (it been like 5 years), unless there is someplace else that I should definitely try.
I am not sure about others but my meal at Kaiseki Sakura a few months ago is a rip off. Nice food presentation (kind of), ok food, but when I leave the restaurant, my stomach is only 30% full, same with my wife. I understand kaiseki is about small plates of food but it just does not have any value with it. I remember there are quite a number of people give similar comment in a older post before. It may be better off just to order a la carte from the menu. Service is good though.
Be prepared to hit the crepe place opposite the street to have a big dessert afterward.
Not sure if condition have been changed in these few months though.
I like The Town Grill at 243 Carlton - you can have both Vegetarian tasting menu as well as non-vegetarian with or without wine pairings.
I tend to go there at least once a week, and the chef - will accomodate any special needs without blinking an eye.
Their website does not do the food/service justice.
Kaji Sushi, is a favourite, and a long relaxed evening with great food.
We are never able to finish the final course.
George is another restaurant that I would highly recommend.
Once went with a vegetarian,two who eat everything, and me, advising them that I don't eat game or veal.
We were all fed well, with no mistakes.
Unlike my last and final meal at Susur when they made two errors during my meal including venison carpaccio!
I see very mixed reviews about Susur on this board - some very good and some very bad.
The meal I had there, I believe it was way back in 2001, was one of the best meals of my life. It seems most problems I see described here are service issues, which is a shame. It should be the food that is the hard part. With the price point, expectations are legitimately high, I suppose.
For what it is worth, I have eaten at Susur many times and have never had service issues. Always attentive and professional. For me the waiter should be able to answer our questions and serve the food. Keep the liquids full. I dont like talkative waiters when fine dining. Nor do I need them to make me feel special.
I agree with you as to the minimum requirements for good, professional service. I, myself, prefer to be left alone with my dinner companions. Also, service for me is very secondary; I'd rather eat great food with minimal service than good food with great service.
However, most of the service issues I see on this board concerning Susur don not involve a failure on a social, "feel special" level. Also, for meals in the range of $200 per head, one came ligitimately expect a server to have some instinct as to the desired level of interaction. I have heard of people being virtually ignored, waiters with zero knowledge of food, and a fair bit of attitude. I have not experienced this myself, but in the restaurant biz, more than most, perception is reality.
Personally, having eaten in almost all of the finest restaurants in town, I find the standard and quality of food have reached a plateau, with no clear cut stand out. On a given night, whether it is Susur's or Rain's Asian fusion, Splendido, Perigee or Georges' French fusion, they can all be very good. However, for a visitor to our city, I would suggest having the tasting menu at a 'WINDOW' table at Scaramouche. Beside the food, I'm sure the view of the downtown core will add a special unique touch to the evening!
Since you like Susur's food, here may be something for you. It is a gala dinner but looks very interesting. I actually see an interview on TV with Susur and the chef from Grand Chinese Cusine regarding the preparation of this dinner and it looks very interesting.
This dinner is created by 4 chefs,
Susur, Exe. Chef from Grand Chinese Cuisine (one of the top chinese restaurant in toronto at this moment), Exe. Chef from Langham Hotel Hong Kong, and Exe. chef of toronto convention center.
Some info on this dinner :
A unique menu that will be prepared by renowned Hong Kong and local chefs and presented in consultation with Toronto’s own eminent Chef Susur Lee. He will oversee the culinary process and discuss the intricate preparations. This menu promises to be a one-of-a-kind that guarantee you will not be able to taste anywhere in North America.
I always love the tasting menu at Bymark - that's our standard celebration meal.
Less pricey, and somewhat less decadent but relaxingly enjoyable is the small dishes menu at George - not a tasting menu per se but you could eith request it or just order the small dishes you prefer.