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Feb 21, 2010 06:38 AM

Mildred's Temple Kitchen - What a Disappointment

After much anticipation, a group of us went for dinner last Friday at MTK. Must say, the vibe of the restaurant is great - industrial feel, lots of concrete, fantastic open kitchen. With positive memories of Mildred Pierce in our minds, we eagerly anticipated our meal.

The food, however, left 3 of the 6 of us saying we won't be back.

The reality is that there is just no good reason to ever have a bad meal in Toronto, and 3 of us left feeling that's exactly what we'd had, at not insignificant cost.

The fois gras app was fabulous - the one saving grace. And the three of us who had either the beef or the curried cauliflower, were generally happy with their meals (we all agreed the cauliflower was the best dish going), but the three who had the Pig Shin (at $28) or the Roast Hubbard Squash (at $17) were incredibly disappointed.

The shin was small, dried (hard to understand, since it was braised - can only assume it sat under the heat lamp too long), and everything - I mean *everything* on the plate - was cloyingly sweet. There was no variation in flavours on the plate at all.

The roasted squash dish was likewise without any variation in flavour, and also way oversweet (yes, I get that roasted squash is sweet, which is why it makes sense to pair it with contrasting or complementary flavours - not more sweet).

While the server made all the right 'we're very sorry' noises (after attempting to educate me that the pork was sweet because it was braised in cider - thanks for that), apart from apologies there were no actual attempts to do anything to make good on a bad dining experience.

All in all, a significant disappointment. As I said above, there is no reason to have a bad meal in Toronto, and no reason to pay $28 for a cheap cut of meat done badly (this, from someone who revels in a cheap cut of meat done in a way that's fabulous!).

We won't be back.

Mildred's Temple Kitchen
85 Hanna Avenue, Toronto, ON M6K 3S3, CA

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  1. we had a similar experience last year. desperately wanted to love this place (we loved mildred pierce).....we were so disappointed with the food that we have never returned

    1 Reply
    1. re: todc1996

      Ditto. Went last year not long after they opened - loved the space, wanted to love the food, totally underwhelmed, haven't been back.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. While it can't replace a dining out experience, their cookbook seems to contain authentic recipes from the "old" Mildred Pierce. So you can't get the old - or new - ambiance, but you can replicate much of what they used to serve.

        1. Totally agree with this review. And with peppermint pate's comment about the space - definitely the best part about the experience. Went once, super excited, left super disappointed. Posted about it, I believe.

          1. DITTO
            Went for Valentines and it was really very disappointing. The space has a typical industrial feel, maybe a little too open and cold, but certainly well designed if that is your thing. The food and the service were terrible! Really. Had a John Mayer concert to attend, opted for the meal-for-two special thinking we'd be pressed for time. The entire meal (except for the dessert we had to remind the server we were entitled to) arrived at the same time. Bruschetta, salad, and spaghetti - bam! Bruschetta was awful (bland and oily). Seafood salad was fine, but the size of a martini glass. Over-salted water made the pasta dish a mess. Asked for some parmesan cheese to see if that might improve things and the server arrived with this crazy hand-held file that sprayed cheese all over the table, and into my wine (pathetic wine list btw).. Won't return!

            1 Reply
            1. re: astaylor

              THe place has gone to crap, crap, crap. Had dinner there a couple of months ago, and didn't finish most of what they brought. Brunch is still good, but far from jammed the way it was at the old place. They're on my deathwatch list.