Sunday Brunch Buffets
I've been researching for the past week on Sunday brunch buffets and it seems that Toronto doesn't have the same focus on this culinary joy. I've been in other cities around the world (Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai) and usually the Sunday brunch buffet is a culinary event of great food and variety!
Most of the CH posts here are a bit dated and scattered. I'm hoping this consolidated thread can get the conversation going on what are the best brunch buffets in the city. I've added my notes and research into this but I'm desperate to hear fellow CH'ers thoughts and experiences as well.
Luxury Premium ($40 and up per person)
Ritz Carlton TOCA
$89 for adults, half price for kids, complimentary for toddlers/babies;
Reviews have been postive on quality and selection. Large variety including seafood, carving station, Hapa Izakaya maki; soup/salad, omelettes, cheese, charcuterie, dessert and alcohol. Service has been noted to be excellent
King Edward Victoria Restaurant
$53 for adults, half price for children
Not many reviews but a CH'er has mentioned it was a pleasant experience. It's not clear what they serve. Service has been stated to be good
Trump Towers STOCK
$49 for adults, half price for kids;
Reviews has mentioned to be ok for quality but they have a good selection. Service was excellent. Millygirl had a negative service experience (exorbitant and hidden costs for drinks).
$50 for adults, $35 for kids;
Poor quality, serving temperature cool, service is careless and haphazard
Frank @ AGO
Sen5es Soho Metropolitan
Moderate Luxury (Between $20 to $40)
$35 for adults and $16 for children
Reviews have mentioned the quality and selection is underwhelming. Service is efficient
Fairmont Royal York
$29 per person
I haven't seen a review on this one?
Hot House Cafe
$22 per person
Posts and reviews mention how it's a great atmosphere and decent selection. Quality is a steady offering over the years. Selection is moderate
Basic Brunch (Less than $20)
$19 for adults
Reviews originally showed this as being great quality brunch for the value but recent reviews are showing it as taking a nose dive. Small portions with luke warm serving temperature and lacking flavour
$16 for adult; $10 for kids
Basic fresh breakfast offerings. I didn't see many reviews. Anyone been here?
Free Times Cafe
$19.95 per person
Jewish cuisine brunch style with live Yiddish music
Did I miss anything?
I'm debating between King Edwards and TOCA for our annual holiday brunch event. There's a huge difference in offerings and price point so it's hard to compare apples to apples. We were thinking of Stock as it seems it's in the same price point as King Edwards. We're not drinkers so we wouldn't have the same nightmare as Millygirl. We care more about quality of food and selection. Has anyone been to King Edwards and Stock to compare?
Just a note that I heard Old Mill is closing down its restaurant at the end of the year. No more brunch buffet and no more Saturday evening big band dancing. Apparently the owner plans to renovate and open a more modern restaurant and bar.
Great post! Thanks for all this legwork.
I'm a big fan of Hot House's Wednesday and Sunday buffets.
I believe they recently changed their name slightly to:
The Hot House Restaurant & Bar.
Personally, I hated it (!) but my companions loved it.
Service? At a buffet? All they have to do is clear plates.
As for 'quality' - it was actually good compared to my limited exposure to this traditional cuisine. Plus the Klesmer music adds ambiance.
But for $19.95 it's quite good value - reservations essential - it's always packed, but I'd recommend it more for the 'experience' rather than the food. Perhaps a guilty pleasure.
First problem is that I'm not a fan of buffets (any of them).
Colder foods 'can be' mushy or semi-frozen and hot foods are rarely that - they're 'often' steam tabled or tealight (or other heat source)-style burners.
For me, texture is very important in food - and that's what's frequently lost in a buffet. In my post I was trying to show that my opinion was probably not the common reaction, but I couldn't bring myself to praise it.
I recall that coffee (and juice) was also self-serve at the buffet. Don't recall the water.
Overall this was as much fun as I've had at a brunch. Where I've had better food the price was always higher. Accordingly worth mentioning.
But if people are looking for more formal (or traditional), and quieter brunches, then this is probably not the best choice. It's popular and very crowded, with tables close together. But it's $19.95!
Your experience is what makes me hesitant of booking it for our Sunday holiday buffet outing. I don't mind paying higher prices PROVIDED I know what I'm getting myself into... underhanded techniques just sours the entire experience.
The price (without the crazy drink prices) is closest to King Edwards and it looks like a better spread at Stock compared to King Edwards. If TOCA had an option of no AYCD mimosa and prices less than $75, I think I'd book there first.
I know what you mean.
If you drink, I would say the Ritz is better value.
Initially I was going to suggest you go to Stock and just be aware of the prices, etc. but I do hesitate. Too be honest, I felt the food fell short. It was okay but nothing memorable for us, in fact the oysters, which I love - were really flat. I was told later but someone inside, that they apparently shuck them ahead of time which is why they seemed to have a funny texture.
If I think about it now, I would not go back.
But definitely will be hitting up The Ritz.
Luckily our waiter wasn't stingy with the mimosas nor the bellinis at the Ritz yesterday. Our table of 4 consumed 14 glasses worth plus our waiter brought a glass of just prosecco when asked in lieu of a final bellini. You definitely need to drink to justify the $79 price tag per person. The food was solid but nothing mindblowing. Highlights for me were the oysters, lobster, smoked fish, antipasti, pancakes and fresh fruit. Service was great. I would return for a special occasion.
Great pictures! Comparing your shots to what I had at KE, Ritz plating wins easily. It all looks so pretty.
The idea of lobsters and oysters sounds great. Was the lobster chilled or steamed with melted butter? I'm assuming they were tails only and a moderate size ? Also , were the oysters freshly shucked?
I'm not a drinker so the extra $25 per person charge is a bit much but if the lobsters were really good, maybe I'll put Ritz ahead of Stock.
The lobsters were chilled and of a good size. We really enjoyed them, our table probably went through as many tails as we did bellinis and mimosas :) The oysters were freshly shucked in the kitchen and brought out. The seafood table was definitely a favourite, it was continually being replenished and devoured throughout the 4 hrs we were there.
Bloor St Diner.
Was $29 last time I went (last year)
Regular brunch food. Rotisserie Chicken, Carvery, Omelet station, salads, pre-made benny's (bad), sausages and a table of desserts that includes the infamous chocolate fountain!