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Haisai

s
Snarf May 22, 2013 05:58 AM

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?

  1. s
    shudder Jul 3, 2013 05:56 PM

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

    7 Replies
    1. re: shudder
      s
      Snarf Jul 4, 2013 06:57 AM

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/13719...

      1. re: Snarf
        s
        shudder Jul 5, 2013 03:15 PM

        Thanks!

        1. re: Snarf
          m
          magic Jul 8, 2013 07:48 AM

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

          1. re: magic
            s
            Snarf Jul 8, 2013 08:13 AM

            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
              m
              magic Jul 8, 2013 08:51 AM

              Thanks Snarf.

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

              1. re: magic
                s
                Snarf Jul 8, 2013 02:58 PM

                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!

                1. re: Snarf
                  m
                  magic Jul 8, 2013 03:12 PM

                  Got it, thanks again :) !

      2. s
        Snarf Jun 23, 2013 08:22 PM

        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. j
          JennaBean Jun 12, 2013 06:50 AM

          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
            s
            Snarf Jun 12, 2013 04:47 PM

            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
              j
              JennaBean Jun 13, 2013 07:34 AM

              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
              y
              ylsf Jun 13, 2013 08:10 AM

              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
                j
                JennaBean Jun 13, 2013 08:52 AM

                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
                  justxpete Jun 13, 2013 01:36 PM

                  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
                    TorontoJo Jun 13, 2013 01:50 PM

                    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. j
              JennaBean Jun 3, 2013 07:45 AM

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

              Thanks!

              9 Replies
              1. re: JennaBean
                justxpete Jun 3, 2013 07:50 AM

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

                1. re: justxpete
                  j
                  JennaBean Jun 3, 2013 08:07 AM

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

                  1. re: JennaBean
                    justxpete Jun 3, 2013 08:14 AM

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

                    1. re: JennaBean
                      s
                      Snarf Jun 3, 2013 11:58 AM

                      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
                        shekamoo Jun 3, 2013 12:45 PM

                        .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
                          j
                          JennaBean Jun 3, 2013 01:34 PM

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

                          1. re: shekamoo
                            s
                            Snarf Jun 4, 2013 08:15 PM

                            Good scouting! Definite bonus points.

                            1. re: Snarf
                              shekamoo Jun 5, 2013 07:32 AM

                              thats what I was after!

                    2. re: JennaBean
                      m
                      magic Jun 3, 2013 12:31 PM

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

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

                    3. shekamoo May 22, 2013 01:03 PM

                      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
                        s
                        Snarf May 22, 2013 07:49 PM

                        Thank you. Looking forward to trying it again.

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