C5 at the ROM (long)
Dined at C5 with my wife last night. Overall, excellent experience.
C5 is located on the 5th Floor with a separate entrance off Bloor on the west end of the Crystal. The room is designed beautifully modern chic dominated by off-white colour not unlike the original Lobby restaurant (as I remembered it). About a third of the room was the lounge area which sat mostly empty throughout the night, which was too bad because the beautiful modern design makes for an excellent lounge experience.
Our reservation was 7:45pm early evening and the sun lit up the room through the almost floor-to-ceiling V-shaped windows which made it seem almost outdoor-like. The ceiling was high and uneven (due to the crystal shape) which made the room big-feel spacious. After the sun set, the room ambiance changed to a modern elegance feel. The kitchen was open concept at the "back" of the restaurant.
The menu is 3 courses plus dessert, like the menu at George restaurant (price-wise as well), though we both ordered only 2 of the 3 courses plus dessert. For appetizer, my wife ordered the Dungeness Crab salad and I ordered the grilled foie gras on top of a ravioli (forgot what it was called). My wife absolutely loved the crab and my dish was very good though the foie gras was overcooked. We talked with the couple next to us and he had the C5 Raw Tasting which he said was absolutely amazing even though he didn't normally liked raw food!
I had the rib eye special for the main and my wife had the bass fish which she said was excellent. My 5 oz steak was cut into 5 small pieces and was excellently flavoured. The guy next to us ordered the strip loin which he said was the best steak he has had in a long time.
Dessert was excellent as well. I had the panna cotta which was firm in texture and very good to taste. My wife had the waffle dessert (forgot the name) which was quite original and she said was fantastic! We were also served 2 amuses and the 2nd one was after the dessert - some kind of a banna bread pudding cake. Very nice!
Service didn't start off very well but got better as the evening went along. The waiter - a very nice soft spoken gentleman - forgot to give us bread (we had to ask another waiter) and forgot to tell us about the specials until we were in the middle of ordering. The wine (we ordered by the glass) we wanted on the list wasn't available, however, the lady who took our wine order offered to let us taste another on the wine list before ordering which was very nice. She also, without asking, was very quick in getting my wife a bread knife after it was accidentally dropped on the floor. This attentiveness was very much appreciated, thank you!
Overall, C5 was an excellent experience (much better than our last Susur experience at not nearly Susur's prices) and we would definitely recommend C5. In fact, my wife was so impressed that she booked C5 for next Saturday with her parents.
Overall, compared to other Toronto restaurants: Food = A/A+; Service = B; Ambiance = A
re: Charles Yu
About $170 for 2 people and we both had a glass of wine each. Had we ordered a bottle of wine the dinner would've been over well over $200 as their wine list was pretty expensive. Then again, my rib eye special was $42 which was more expensive than anything on the menu. All in all, their prices were similar to George.
Thanks for review. Is it busy on a Saturday night (wonder how hard it is to get a reservation) ? How's the food compared to George, which do you like more ?
My experience was the same as yours. We sat around 7:15 at the corner of the restaurant, probably the second best view of the place. This was on saturday, so we might have been close to each other.
i've posted my review which is also quite long on my blog.
ps. I was able to get a reservation on short notice, and the place was never full throughout the night.
Both George and C5 are excellent but I thought the food at C5 was better. The ambiance is completely different though - C5 is bright, elegant contemporary while George is dark, casual relaxing. Suresh is correct that the place was never full throughout the evening, so I don't think reservations is presently a problem. Unlike other restaurants such as Bymark or Lobby which opened with lots of fanfare, I don't think C5 has done much self promotion as no one I've talked to even know of the restaurant. It's kind of a little secret of the ROM right now, but word may slowly spread if they maintain their high food quality.
Suresh, where's your blog? I'd be interested in hearing your review.