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May 17, 2009 04:57 PM

Good Experience at 5th Elementt

My wife and I often like to take in a movie at the Varsity in the Manualife Centre, but have often been disappointed with the available pre-movie dinner offerings in the area. Just tired of Yorkville I guess.

But last night we tried 5th Elementt near Bay and Wellesley, and have to say I was really impressed. The concept is sort of Nouvelle Indian, and they offer two prix fixe menus, a three course menu at $32 and a four course at $36, with a very reasonable, though limited by the glass wine list.

We opted for the three course menu. My wife had a fennel and asian pear salad, which she really enjoyed. The crunchy textures with an indian inspired dressing were really good. I had a pulled lamb appetizer, with subtle indian spicing (cumin coriander pepper?), goat cheese and crostini. Really tasty and I washed it down with a nice california cab at about $10/glass (6 oz).

Mains were, for my wife, a baseball steak (8 oz) and venison (for me, one rib with a lot of meat on it), each server with mashed potatoes and an interesting indian spiced demiglace. I ordered bread to mop up the demiglace (oddly a bread basket was an additional $5, though I really had no problem with it), and when I expressed how much I like the demiglace they brought me out a ramekin of it for dipping. Yum!

Desserts were a fabulous mango kulfi for my wife and classic and competent chocolate mousse for me.

Service was excellent and attentive without being overbearing. After complimenting the food, to the waiter, the chef came out and said hi. I get the feeling he's not part of the established Toronto "fooderati" and has not quite achieved greatness, but I he's doing a superb job with this place. Kind of a an indian bistro camino, but more upscale.

The room is airy and open, with chiffon like curtains partitioning off parts of the room.

Overall, a really good experience and with the prix fixes, excellent value for money. The nouvelle Indian concept works overall and I highly recommend it. Perhaps not as a destination restaurant, but very competent well done interesting food with superb service.

Total bill, with two prix fixes, one champagne cocktail and four glasses of good wine, $125 including tax but before tip (and i tipped well: they earned it).

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  1. Hi Bluedog.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Was the prix fixe $32 each? Right now, 5th Element has a 2-for-1 special at $32/couple (which is a great deal!) and the menu sounds identical to the one you enjoyed.
    This special has been running for 2 weeks, I wonder why you were not offered it (unless I misunderstood your post).

    5th Elementt
    1033 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3A5, CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: toveggiegirl

      The menu IS identical to one we had. Not sure why we weren't offered it. There was probably some condition or another. But you know what? I could care less! The menu was still a great value and I really hope people try it out.

        1. re: toveggiegirl

          :-) I've also e-mailed to find out what "the deal" is and will get back to you if I hear from know, its possible I was charged for the deal as advertised but the bill was so small I didn't question it. I could have had one or two more glasses of wine than I realized! (its been known to happen!).

      1. re: toveggiegirl

        I just found this post with a quick search. I have been getting emails from and other places advertising 5th Elementt. I've always been very skeptical of this place, only because of their persistent advertising for expensive sounding meals are crazy low prices (I remember I kept getting one that said "Lobster and steak dinner for only $25" or something like that).

        Has anyone else had any experience at this restaurant? If it really is good, I wonder why they are forced to mass advertise and lower prices to cut-throat levels.

        1. re: SMOG

          I went there once for winterlicious. it was what you said, very low prices for an impressive sounding menu. but guess what, it was actually really good. we were all impressed with the quality of the food and the service. i think the need to advertise may be because i don't think their location creates a lot of traffic outside of regular office hours.

          1. re: SMOG

            Well my OP is all about this place :-). But I agree with ddelicious: I think the location is really off the beaten path and attracts almost no foot traffic forcing them to be advertise heavily and be highly competitive. To reiterate, both my wife and I liked the food/atmosphere/service, and thought it was extremely good value.

        2. Just wanted to add my experience, went for Summerlicious last night $25/pp. To start had the bacon wrapped scallops, small but good. Main was an l.a. baseball steak 10oz though it didn't seem 10oz as it was cut in half. It was good but didn't eat the charred outside, it also came with yummy sweet potato fries and dip. Dessert was a good rich peanut butter chocolate mouse/cake thingy with i believe reese's pieces on top. My friend had the shrimp skewer and chicken tandoori with rice, both okay chicken not dry. Then an orange mango cheesecake mousse thingy for dessert, nice and light. I think there were about 5 app and main choices to pick from, lamb or chicken or seafood incl 2 veggie options. Service was good and attentive at first then our server seemed to have gotten busy. But ambiance was nice, the place was full yet it didn't seem loud at all. We also got $10 gift cards each to use in Aug. I think you get good value for the money here, its rare to see high quality but not high prices, i will definitely return with my gift card!