Pay What You Can Meal @ The Atlantic

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I just got home from a lovely date night/(belated) birthday dinner at The Atlantic. My friends and I have been meaning to go to for quite some time. We actually tried when we first saw BlogTO’s post about the restaurants million dollar review. That’s where we learnt of the premise of the restaurant. There is no set menu. Nathan Isberg buys fresh ingredients daily and cooks you what he feels like. There also is no bill. You pay literally what you think the meal is worth. You can even barter other goods and services.

We had a reservation at 7pm (opening time). We wandered around the area until a little after 7 because you can’t really tell the restaurant is open from the outside. We strolled in after 7 and chef Nathan Isberg came out of the kitchen in the back to greet us. As far as we could tell tonight, he was the only employee: the chef, the server, and the greeter. We were seated and told the premise of the restaurant.

7The first thing we were brought was a drink. Nathan had recently made the decision to eliminate alcohol from the menu (except for bottles of wine on special occasions). Our first drink was some sort of warm apple cider with spice and bitters. It was delicious and warmed us up from the cold weather outside.

A soup was also brought out at the same time (pictured above). It was an Austrian squash soup with rose, lentils and a kick of spice. Though the cider also had a spice, it served also to cool down from the heat of the soup.

4Our second course was a salad that consisted of a beautiful poached duck egg on a bed of greens with roasted cauliflower, goat cheese and beets. The combination was delicious. We were especially in love with the goat cheese.

5It was served with a cherry shrub drink with a hint of elderflower. Shrub was a splendid complement to the salad as it provided more acidity. It was almost like a second salad dressing when you sipped it after a bite of salad.

2The main course was a Striped Bass with mushrooms, noodle-like turnips, kimchi in an yuzu broth. The fish was perfectly cooked and we wanted to lick all the components off the plate (including the yuzu).

3It was paired with a matcha tea, yuzu, honey and jasmine drink. It didn’t work on it’s own as well as the other drinks but when sipped with the main course it was superb.

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The dessert was fried apple with brown sugar topped with fried apple peel surrounded by a delightful whipped cream. Our plates were cleared within minutes. Nathan jokingly asked if we wanted seconds and we legitimately thought about it for a second.

The whole experience was very delightful. I call it “experience” because it really was that. It’s a night you have to plan for because it will take a few hours. But I actually didn’t mind waiting for my meal (and neither did anybody else there). We had plenty of time to chat with each other at the table and anticipate with excitement at each course.

When it was all over, we didn’t know if we should pay and leave or what was the protocol so we waited for Nathan to come around and retell us the barter system. There was no pressure whatsoever to leave any kind of amount. We had all the freedom to decide for ourselves and I feel we left a fair amount. I decided not to publish the amount as I feel like it’s based on the whole experience of the evening, and every person would have their own set of opinions and experiences.

This is seriously one of the best and most memorable meals I’ve had in my life and we can’t wait to go back already!

The Atlantic on Urbanspoon

Date Night @ Lee’s

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A few weeks ago, Nash and I had a lovely date night at Susur Lee’s restaurant Lee. I haven’t been to any of his restaurants prior, but had wanted to for the longest time since seeing him on Masterchef! All the items are meant to be shared so we ordered a few things.

lee4I spoke about our reservation for the entire week to friends and colleagues and all of them recommending ordering the exact same thing: the slaw! Susur’s Signature Singaporean-style Slaw ($22) is a mixture of like 18 different things including taro root, fennel, flower pedals, daikon sprouts, fried shallots, sesame seeds and more. I literally cannot remember all the things in it. It was served on a plate like a mini mountain and the server mixed it for us so that we could get most of the ingredients in each bite. It was one of the most flavourful and colourful salads I have ever eaten. By the way, these shitty phone photos don’t do justice to the food

lee5 Next was these Spice Crusted Diver Scallop ($29). They were served with crispy bacon, squash puree, grapefruit and a sweet bean pesto. The scallops did have a little kick of some sort and I was in love with the puree.

lee6Next was the Cold Pressed Octopus ($17). The octopus was served in thin slices with a vinaigrette. While good, we found it the least memorable dish of the night.

lee7Our last dish was the Slow Braised Beef with a potato and leek puree, crispy shallots and sour cream. Everything in the dish melted in our mouths and we wanted to lick the bowl afterward.


To drink I had the Lee Lemonade and Nash had the Burnt Orange Manhattan. They were both delicious (and booze heavy).

lee8Of course we saved room for dessert. The special of the night was a banana ice cream with a homemade toasted marshmallow. If we could lick the plates we would’ve.

Lee on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Cookie Necklace from Tiny Hands


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I stumbled on food jewellery site Tiny Hands a while ago but I finally ordered my first piece. A chocolate cookie necklace!

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It arrived after a week and a half in a beautifully packaged box.

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All the jewellery on the website is handmade. They are also scented (unscented available too). It smells like a delicious baked good. Whenever I wear it, I get a waft of it every so often and it makes me crave cookies.

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It’s definitely a unique addition to my accessories. Now I need to stop myself from ordering the entire site!

If you use the following coupon code at check out you can get 15% off your order: A9EHQ997

http://tinyhandsonline.com/

Photos: French Macarons and Cream Puffs from Petit Nuage

My friend Stephanie is the owner of a little dessert shop called Petit Nuage. She specializes in macarons with unique tea flavours. Yesterday I picked up a few in black sesame, oolong honey and cocoa chai chai. I also picked up a Salted Caramel cream puff. They were just as beautiful as they were delicious so I had a mini photoshoot with them!

French Macaron
Salted Caramel Cream Puff
French Macaron
French Macaron

Beautiful and Delicious Sushi @ Jabistro

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I finally had the chance to go to JaBistro, deemed one of the best sushi restaurants in Toronto. I’d been following them on Twitter since their inception and their photos were always so beautiful. Their sushi was just as much as delight to look at as it was to eat!

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I wanted to try a little bit of everything so I had the Sashimi Sampler. It is a mixture of chef’s choice sashimi. I added Toro (fat tuna belly) which was not a guaranteed item on the sampler. The sampler had scallop, salmon, octopus, makarel, fried fish bone, fish eggs, and more. Everything was fresh and melted in my mouth. The fish bones were crunchy and salty to add variation in the palate.

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I also ordered the Aburicious set of blowtorched sushi. It contained 2 salmon, 2 makerel, 2 tiger prawn and 2 Jabistro roll sushi pieces. Blowtorched sushi seriously will change your life. The best ones were the salmon and tiger prawn as they just melded in your mouth in perfect harmony. It had a lovely butteriness in a way that makes you forget that it’s rice at the bottom. At other sushi places the rice is always hard to get through after a while but I probably could’ve eaten 10,000 pieces of blowtorched sushi and not realized it.

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My friends also ordered the Sea Bream Collar and Pork Belly which were also very tasty (I stole some bites).

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Throughout the meal I sipped a Shiso Smash which was a mixture of bourbon, simple syrup, lemon and shiso (a type of Asian spice). It was kind of a play on alcoholic lemonade.
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The three of us split two desserts afterwards. The first was the Matcha Parfait which was matcha spongecake, mascarpone cream, matcha chocolate sauce. I’m not always a fan of green tea flavoured things but this was very good! There were also berries and crunchy corn flakes which added a nice touch of texture

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The other item was the Genmai Pudding which was a brown rice pudding, coconut milk, nigori (unfiltered) sake, maple syrup, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. It was like a rice pudding with an interesting crunch provided by the almonds.

My bill ended up being quite pricey, but my friends told me that the first time people go, they always go a bit overboard. It was totally worth it though and one of the best meals I have eaten in a while! In a matter of fact, I had to write this blog post right away. I think I will be craving blow torched sushi until the next time I set foot in these doors.
JaBistro on Urbanspoon