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Haisai

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Loved the approach that Jorg and Marita had when they were the chefs in residence, and the wood oven breads.

Now that they have reopened with a dim sum focus, pondering another road trip. Has anyone tried the new incarnation?

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  1. yeah, around 10 items on the menu in total, priced aound $5-7 each, some really nice dishes, and right sized for the price. the wood oven pizzas were also on offer, and those are very good as well. the dishes showed capable execution, subtle balancing of flavours, and good use of fresh ingredients. good food, well mannered staff, and of course that lovely room made for a great lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shekamoo

      Thank you. Looking forward to trying it again.

    2. Going for lunch on Friday. Can anyone tell me approx how long the drive is from downtown TO?

      Thanks!

      9 Replies
      1. re: JennaBean

        Jealous. Looks like an hour and a half...

        1. re: justxpete

          That's what I thought but I've had TERRIBLE luck with map estimates in the past. I never trust them! :-)

          1. re: JennaBean

            Maybe you drive too fast, or too slow? ;P

            1. re: JennaBean

              Give it two hours. If you are going up Airport Road/124, watch out for speed traps around Shelburne. Bonus points if you can post a menu!

              1. re: Snarf

                .Eigensinn Farm Garden and Wild Green Salad
                .Charcuterie Board: Eigensinn Farm Smoked Ham, N'Duja, Haisai Bread and Eigensinn Farm Pickled Beans or Wild Leeks
                .Eigensinn Farm Tomato Soup with Sun dried Tomatoes and Wild Leek Sour Cream
                .Vegetarian Gyoza: Organic Tofu, Cabbage, Wild Garlic Chives, Carrots, Shitake Mushroom and Ginger
                .Pork Gyoza: Eigensinn Farm Pork, Cabbage, Wild Garlic Chive, Shitake and Ginger
                .Braised Beef Tongue in Miso and Sake with Bok Choy and Pickled Ginger
                .Beef Heart Tartar with Haisai Bread
                .Terrine from Smoked Georgian Bay Whitefish and Lake Trout with Green Asparagus Salad
                .Stinging Nettle and Roasted Almond Ravioli with Nutmeg, Almond and Lovage Butter
                .Panko'd Georgian Bay Whitefish with Wild Leek Aoili
                Speck Wrapped Georgian Bay Lake Trout with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree and Chips
                .Chervil and Chive Glazed Asparagus
                .Eigensinn Farm Pork Steak with Wild Eigensinn Farm Mushrooms and Jus
                .Wood Fired Oven Roasted Eigensinn Farm Piglet with Potato and Pea Puree
                .Saugeen Country Kefir Mint Maple Ice with Wild Ginger Croc ant and Peach Puree
                . Cheese Board: Grey Owl or Sauvagine, Walnut Raisin Bread and Fruits
                .Lubecker Marzipan Dark Chocolate Ice-cream with Rhubarb Compote

                from their FB page. we had most of these, so I was wrong to say only 10 items, this looks closer to 15

                1. re: shekamoo

                  I'm not going to eat on Thursday!!! This is way more than what I was expecting!

                  1. re: shekamoo

                    Good scouting! Definite bonus points.

            2. re: JennaBean

              It's pretty brutal on a Friday in rush hour, I've done it then.

              I'd say in the 2 hours range....

            3. Friday's trek was a big hit and the bf loved his bday lunch. The drive was almost two hours and while it wasn't warm and sunny the lush country side was lovely driving.

              We arrived a little before our 1 p.m. reso but it wasn't a big deal, because sadly, we were the only ones in the place and it remained that way the whole time we were there.

              I had the following dishes:
              Stinging Nettle and Potato soup
              Pork Gyoza
              Radish greens in dashi
              Pork sausage
              Panko whitefish
              Speck wrapped trout

              The speck wrapped trout was my far my fav dish. It was on top of the most velvety mound of sun choke puree I've ever had. I would have licked the plate but that might have been a bit much.

              The dashi for the radish green was amazingly flavourful and the refreshing.

              Well we enjoyed all of the dishes we had, I will say that in most instances, I could have used a wee bit more salt. That being said, I have low blood pressure and a love of maldon so I may be a hard person to please in this department!

              On our way out we bought a loaf of wholewheat sourdough, some almond cookies (which the bf said tasted of Christmas) and a bottle of honey produced not far from the resto.

              We plan on making the trek again for brunch sometime soon.

              6 Replies
              1. re: JennaBean

                Thanks for posting this! Do you know what other stuff they retail here? Used to be some terrines, preserves, and their smoked fish.

                1. re: Snarf

                  It was the first day the bakery was open so that's all they had. They did say that they will have "full stock" starting in late June/early July. Well he mentioned more baked goods he did not say anything about terrines, smoked fish, etc.

                2. re: JennaBean

                  Thanks for the write up. I will know I have found the right girl when she offers to take me to a place like this for my birthday :)

                  1. re: ylsf

                    I fell head over heels for my bf when he inivited me to his resto to make me my all time fav comfort dish - coq au vine. It was and still is to this day the best coq au vine I've ever eaten.

                    I blame the food/love connection fully on my grandpa, He was a chef and he's my fav person in the whole world. Food is a key element of love for me! :-)

                    1. re: JennaBean

                      Not sure if they still have it, (or if you've been there) but Richmond Station had a pretty good coq au vin for a while. I can't seem to find their menu, or even their website, for that matter.

                      1. re: justxpete

                        http://richmondstation.ca/

                        It's dropped off of google for some reason. I had to go to their facebook page to find the link.

                3. I tried to email for a reservation. I typed in what I thought was the address, got the error message that, and when I checked the fb page, realized i had typoed. Frantically forwarded earlier note to correct address, then began to wait anxiously for confirmation, presuming that the Toronto rules were in play: if we don't acknowledge, you don't get in/ be cool or be cast out.

                  Very wrong on my part. The cutting edge does not require cutting wit, constant reinvention, or twitterfeed. The fact that the reviews that make it this far do not have reams of photos, intertable chat groups or the occasional grumblings of the 'not what it used to wannabes' seems to suggest that Haisai eschews the modern media experience in favour of feeding people food they will like. Three wary travellers of different vintages (and off-vintages, depending on your perception of the particular regions from which we hail) arrived for our non-confirmed (my bad probably, didn't ask for a reply, and we were welcomed without question) and were shown to the entry from which we were invited to select where we wanted to sit. We received and ordered the menu to share. I think there were around 12 dishes, which all utilized the flora and fauna from Eigensinn, and collectively were a good feed for three hungry gents.

                  I may expand upon this and talk about ingredients, presentation, etc, but at this point let me say presentation and flavours were rich, ingredients had that combination of fresh, local and not only sustainable but encouraged. The staff, who on the day consisted of Stadtlander family, treated the guests as if they were enthusiastically sharing family secrets to friends, really, in my mind, have the perfect understated way of letting people into their world.

                  For the reality cheque, the full menu costs somewhere around 100$, give or take and you should tip to reflect the intimacy of the experience. The wine list is good and well chosen, mostly Ontario, and the Sommelier's ability to explain the subtleties of the choices in terms of the dishes is pretty damned impressive (he also has the title of waiter, bus, bakery counter guy, and Tamworth herder). 2xmarkup on top of list or something like that.

                  For the area, the only comparable is Eigensinn, where the per person charge is multiply higher with the same ingredients. Or you can pay slightly more for bad chain food, or you drive through.

                  This is, of course, without mentioning the pizzas. Someone should talk about those.

                  1. So, um, can anyone point me to this FB page y'all are mentioning? I can't find it.

                    7 Replies
                        1. re: Snarf

                          Can one just walk in and get seated for lunch on any given weekday?

                          1. re: magic

                            No.

                            Opening, at this point, is limited to Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunch, and Friday and Saturday dinner. That may change, but when I was there the traffic wasn't huge.

                            1. re: Snarf

                              Thanks Snarf.

                              Think I'd need a reso for a Friday lunch?

                              1. re: magic

                                Better safe than sorry if you're going that far. The contact details on the fb page are probably best. Cash and debit only in the fine print. Enjoy!