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Spice Route or Kultura

I will be taking my fiance out for his birthday and invite some friends to join but we are all vegetarians (who eat fish but no shellfish). Who's food, service, ambience and menu options is better?

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  1. Have you seen this thread? It should help you decide.

    Most reviews I've read don't have much good to say about the food.

      1. Honestly, my suggestion would be to go somewhere else altogether. Only go to Spice route for drinks afterwards as drinks are ridiculously cheap before 10pm and it is a nice looking place. (kultura on the other hand is a ripoff for drinks, and I have no idea who likes spending up to $18 for a champagne martini)

        1. Kultura has average to good food, service, great ambiance and an interesting menu. You might also want to consider Nyood- same chef as Kultura, but a W Queen W address, and a little more scene. I like the food at Nyood better than Kultura.

          Spice Route is good for people watching and drinking.That's about it.

          1. If you must choose between the two i would suggest Kultura. More culinary driven than Spice route but just barely...

            1. Absolutely Nyood or Kultura for dinner. Spice Route, while is a beautiful space, with beautiful people to look at, really is not a comparison.

              8 Replies
              1. re: TOfoodie

                How do these compare to JK Wine Bar? I happen to love it there and am now wondering if that might be the best place to go.....

                1. re: zengirl18

                  Nyood and Kultura serve more dishes that use global ingredients- Moroccan, West Indian, Indian or Asian ingredients (jerk, coconut, curry, edamame, lychee, etc.), whereas JKWB seems to focus on local ingredients.

                  People with traditional Anglo palates and/or non-adventurous palates are more likely to enjoy JKWB than Nyood or Kultura. JKWB has a sommelier, whereas Nyood has a mixologist. People who are seeking scene and innovative cocktails are more likely to enjoy Nyood or Kultura.

                  Visit each of the websites- the music, menu and layout will give you an idea of what each restaurant is like.

                  Jamie Kennedy
                  9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

                  169 King St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 1J4, CA

                  1096 Queen West, Toronto, ON M6J 1H9, CA

                  1. re: zengirl18

                    Not sure why you prefer JK - but I find the food significantly better at both Nyood and Kultura. But the winelist is more interesting at JKWB.
                    Certainly the ambience at Kultura (upscale bistro) and Nyood (hip bar) are far better than JKWB.
                    And JKWB doesn't take reservations (the others do).

                    1. re: estufarian

                      They do take reservations (I was at Hanks cafe yesterday and I noticed they were taking one after the other)....

                      1. re: Suresh

                        Maybe that's since the ownership change!

                          1. re: ChalkBoy

                            Apparently Jamie Kennedy has 'stepped out' of JKWB and the 'regular' chef has taken over. Jamie has retained (most of?) the other outlets bearing his name (formerly co-owned with the same chef). i.e. they've simplified the ownership. It was suggested to me that this was part of Jamie's more formal move to Prince Edward County (where he already lives).
                            The source was somebody with a good record of knowing what's happening in the food community and I heard this at a social occasion before Christmas. Although this wasn't strictly "off-the-record" it was said during a longer discussion of events on the Toronto scene.
                            Has anybody seen JK himself at JKWB since Christmas?
                            Apparently it's all amicable and reflects what was effectively happening anyway.

                            1. re: estufarian

                              I know this thread is a bit old, but I went to the two restos recently (not my own choice). What is up with restos that are too cool to have a name posted? For both, I had a bit of difficulty locating them if it weren't for their address.

                              Both restos make dishes that are for sharing. The biggest difference is that Spice Route had bigger portions and were more hit or complete failure. Kultura's were tiny, especially when sharing, but I bet everything on the menu tasted good. A few standout dishes are highlighted.

                              I love knowing what people liked on the menu, so here are my picks:

                              Spice Route:
                              Spiced chicken and peking duck lettuce wraps were a hit. A big portion to boot.
                              Miso glazed black cod - Very well done but a tiny portion of fish. Basically 4 tiny mouthfuls (not great for sharing).

                              Other dishes I tried, but not that great:
                              Thai crab cakes _ I actually thought these weren't too bad, but my companions said they'd had better (I am not crab cake connoisseur). Very small portions.
                              Calamari and rock shrimp - Not memorable.
                              Lemon-glazed chicken - Really lackluster and too sweet. Huge portion.
                              Wok steamed mussels - Again a lack of flavour.

                              My top 2 picks:
                              Butternut Squash Risotto- very good with a reasonable portion
                              Ponzu-poached salmon - Flakey, melt in your mouth, loaded with flavour

                              Miso Black Cod - Much better at Spice Route.. this one tasted more like teriyaki than miso (not bad but not what I wanted)
                              Tuna Carpaccio - Good, but other dishes were better
                              Scallops with Gow Gee - Good but other dishes were better

                              169 King St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 1J4, CA

                              Spice Route
                              499 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4, CA