Park on Victoria wonderful
King had a soft opening this week that knocked Westmount's socks off. I went to lunch there today after a friend of mine raved about their Bibomap earlier this week.The restaurant was full except for one spot at the Bar. A full restaurant at Lunch on the fourth day open usually spells disaster. But this brand new restaurant handled the crowd as if they had been in business for 20 years.
The restaurant is the creation of Chef King (ex Sushi Chef at Kaizen) the restaurant is a combo of Korean, classic Japanese and Izakaya.
I chose the $15 Bento Box for lunch. My box contained a delicious crab roll, a Japanese flavored "Cobb Style Salad",Grilled Shrimps with Red Peppers and Brussel Sprouts and Chicken Balls ( Not what you might think) on a bed of super tasty Quinoa salad.
The staff was super helpful and when I told them I can't wait to come back for Dinner they told me to try the Omakase Dinner which is the Chef's choice of the run of the menu and more off menu creative delicacies.
This is a restaurant that must be tried before it gets Kaza type line ups!!
LC gave it 3.5 stars in the Gazette (July 28) but my experience at Park didn't mirror hers at all. The food was just ok for me - sashimi was the highlight - and the room is borderline dull and cold. Can personally think of a dozen other places I'd rather go at a similar pricepoint. Maybe good if you live in the area and don't want to schlep around but not a destination restaurant in my opinion.
I also went for lunch last week on the final day of the "soft opening". I had the Bento Box - it was good, but the "hot" items were lukewarm at best - a bit disappointing as the restaurant wasn't busy. Oddly, the sushi that was part of the Bento box didn't include any wasabi.
They also gave out a bowl of complimentary soup, which was good, but the ceramic spoons are dreadful. Way too thick and too wide, making it impossible to eat the soup without drooling it. My dining companion had the same problem. I mentioned it to the waitress.
went last night for dinner, had the 85$ tasting. very slow service (waited 30mins+ between the first and second course) and they forgot a course. kinda complained and everything was prompt after. chef came up to talk about the 2 sushi dishes and seemed apologetic. place hasn't really opened officially, so I'm assuming a lot of the kinks will be worked out with time.
first course was standard broccoli soup.. extremely bizarre choice, neither japanese nor korean
second course was a salmon "terrine" which was nothing special
third course was raw red pepper stuffed with bibimbap. interesting concept but would have been better if the pepper was cooked imo. again nothing special
fourth course was two kinds of nigiri.. seared salmon and "accupunctured" red snapper. red snapper was delicious.
fifth course was a hamachi crudo with shiso and japanese pear.. also delicious, but could have done without the "truffle oil" though. really hate that stuff.
sixth course was a sliced beef bavette which was just ok.
dessert was a pretty standard etagiere cake with black sesame ice cream
total with 5 drinks was close to 300$. kind of expensive for what you get. still hungry after.
seems his strength lies in the sushi preparations (obviously). would have liked there to be a selection of sushi/sashimi/crudo on the menu, perhaps they will do this in the future. the a la carte menu is pretty barren, no sushi on it. pretty much forced to get tasting menu.