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Jul 19, 2012 08:28 PM

Restaurant Chantecler - Parkdale

Anyone been to this place?

Walked by it tonight, looked busy, checked out the menu tonight at home. Not very extensive but looks like some interesting dishes.

So many new places in Toronto, hard for me to keep up! I tried searching for reviews on here but didn't see anything. Seems generally positive on Urbanspoon -

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  1. Been hearing good things, haven't been yet

    They just started taking reservations

    1. It's good stuff! I've been and been meaning to post.

      1. Had a chance to finally check this place out on Friday night with two friends. We didn't have a reso and it was 830 on a Friday night yet they made room for us at the bar.

        The service was friendly and well informed. The drinks were tasty and average in terms of price point. We had a total of six dishes between the three of us and all were rather lovely but IMO the zucchini blossoms and corn dish was AMAZING. I would go back just for that dish again. It was balanced, a beautiful, seasoned well and had a great variety of texture and mouth feel. IIRC it was $12 and it was worth every penny.

        With two dishes and three dished each our bill was $75 pp including tax and tip.

        As we were leaving the server called us back to give a wee digestif.

        This is a lovely local spot and I wish them all the best. I'm sure I'll be back soon.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Finally!

            I enjoyed the smoked duck (top dish), especially with those delicious marinated mushrooms and the creaminess & crunchy texture from the toasted hazelnuts. The chicken consomme (bottom two photos) with poached hen egg, smoked hen, & confit mushroom had a very strong broth. The intensity reminded me of my mother’s chicken soup. Very yummy and rich, with smoky elements and lovely green freshness from the cilantro.

            The halibut cheek (left) was good and I enjoyed the melding of flavours. I thought it a shade over-cooked, but I’m nit-picking. Though I could do without the grapefruit, I thought the curls of ramps(?) went really well with the cheek. The gnocchi (right) was so good. So. Good. Great creamy mushroom flavours on the tongue. Another favourite was the agnolotti (not pictured). It was really nice with the pine nuts and the sweetness of the carrots and creamy spinach filling. We had also ordered their titular chicken, and the smells when it was being cooked were phenomenal.

            Another favourite: the polenta. It ate almost like congee and had a delicious mushroom ragu on top. The flavour on the ragu somehow reminded me of pork flosss. This is a future re-order.
            For dessert, the panna Cotta, with bitter almond, tapioca, & osmanthus syrup. Done up very much like the Chinese almond jello dessert, but trading the canned fruit for rhubarb. Really lovely and light and refreshing.

            Lettuce Sundays at Chantecler are pretty awesome. For $19 you get a pile of delicious meat sided with lettuce, rice, house-made pickles, and condiments. Not to mention the interesting sides that you can supplement your meal with. Like that phenomenal cold fried chicken. Worth a visit some Sunday soon.

            Many of Chef Poon’s palate-pleasing dishes have a familiar Cantonese thread woven through them, yet I wouldn’t call anything truly Cantonese – or even Asian. And more importantly, it’s been done well. To me, Chantecler is one of those really comfortable places to have a meal. I don’t mean plush seating and smoking jackets, but the space exudes the feeling of someone’s home, albeit a really nice one. And the delicious foods match that sensibility.

            Intro babble and photos:

            18 Replies
            1. re: jlunar

              I need to go there soon and stuff my fridge. (stomach)

              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                Oh my, are you angling to get quoted again? You're on a roll.

              2. re: jlunar

                love this! It seems most of these dishes are no longer on the menu though. Wish I could try the halibut cheeks, love their texture. Almost like chicken and scallops combined. I'm definitely making a visit this week. Will also try daisho so I can compare with lettuce wrap sunday.

                1. re: brushfire

                  Yes, I'm back-posting pretty hard these days. So much to catch up on!

                  1. re: jlunar

                    i ate here last night and had a phenomenal meal. we had everything on the current menu, and i was basically floored the whole way through. highlights included the fish and mushrooms dish, the potato apple egg dish, and the sea buckthorn dessert, although honestly everything on the menu was executed really, really well. the beef tartare with nori and wasabi-y sauce was an unexpected hit with a couple guys who don't usually like tartare. oh yeah and the tuna/bean salad dish absolutely killed it. fish done in an immersion circulator and cooked perfectly. literally the only shortcoming was, i thought, the pork dish, but only when the pork was tasted on its own - it was a bit flavourless, but combined with the rest of the elements in that dish (lettuce/xo sauce/oyster i think?) it was actually a knockout. portions were perfect for sharing amongst the 3 of us and with a couple beers (and $3 shots of soju for some reason) by the end i was definitely feeling a little hazy. also worth noting is the service, everybody knew what they were talking about and were happy to answer questions about ingredients and preparations (although one of the benefits of our table was being able to watch everything in action), and plates were gone in an appropriate time and water was never low. dude even crumbed the table at one point, i was impressed haha. it's also one of the most comfortable rooms i've ever eaten it, just really warm and inviting, although we were there for like 2 1/2 hours and my ass was kinda sore by the end thanks to the not entirely comfortable chairs haha.

                    1. re: disgusti

                      LOL, totally agree about the chairs & stools!

                      1. re: brushfire

                        Well I went tonight for lettuce sundays and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to all on this thread for giving me the impetus to finally go!

                        Started off with the salt baked shrimp with szechuan pepper, five spice- very tasty and crispy though was hoping for more of a numbing sensation as advertised. Still a great dish, I'd easily order this one again. Also received the crispy soggy calamari on the house as they initially messed up my order on the shrimp. Savory, sweet tamarind sauce with garlic, but as someone else mentioned above perhaps a touch oversauced. For the main event, I found the portion to be very generous and I would have to agree that while both meats were tender, I preferred the pork. It was smokey and sweet while I found the black beans were rather muted in the beef portion. Finished off with almond tofu dessert, a trucked up version of do fu hwa, nothing too special. Service was helpful and very friendly. I'll be back for more in the future!

                        1. re: deabot

                          I was there as well tonight and had the exact same things! Crazy eh? :D
                          Fun dinner,very tasty good service,dessert was the only low point for me,not terrible just kind of meh..
                          A good time was had by all.

                          1. re: petek

                            Yeah dessert was just ok, was looking forward to the sundae. Ah well. :) Maybe next time.

                            1. re: deabot

                              "was looking forward to the sundae."
                              So was I! hope that wasn't the the $10.00 "sundae funday" that we sampled.

                            2. re: petek

                              tried to go tonight at 6:30, but was told next table for 4 won't be avail till 9:30.

                              didn't know they did resos for lettuce sundays, my fault. Ended up at grand electric, still a good meal.

                              next time....

                              1. re: aser

                                I was suprised(and happy) that they took resos.There was a larger party there that probably killed any chance of a walk in.
                                Grand Electric was rammed solid when we walkd by around 8ish..

                            3. re: deabot

                              What was in the almond tofu dessert? I'm very curious, really want to try it. Another person also mentioned the black bean in the beef but the boys from Chantecler wrote in a post that was deleted by admin saying that it's fermented bean paste and not fermented black bean. I'll have to google that one up to see what that actually means....

                                1. re: brushfire

                                  Ahh that makes sense. Thanks for filling in the blank brushfire!

                                  1. re: deabot

                                    I've had almond tofu dessert before at chinese restaurants. They came in cubes, slightly sweet in a syrup of what I thought was canned fruits? Is it the same at Chantecler?

                                    1. re: brushfire

                                      Yup. This one wasn't broken up more like a tofu panna cotta with the almond syrup. Refreshing but not exactly wow.

                                      I'm still thinking about those gulf shrimp.

                                      1. re: deabot

                                        Ya, those shrimp were mighty tasty,could have knocked back about a dozen of those fur sure.