Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Dessert, Downtown Toronto, Food, Restaurant Review
Tags: Bang Bang Ice Cream, Hong Kong waffle, ice cream, ice cream puff, ice cream sandwich, Ossington
I made reservations at Borealia for dinner this past Saturday. The restaurant, located on Ossington near Queen West, is quite small and only seats 45 people so I figured that’s it’s best to be safe than sorry. The service was attentive and informative. The decor is fitting for the cuisine which is Aboriginal fusion or Canadian cuisine. We sat in a little booth-like nook table that’s sandwiched between the large group table and the window nook table and booth tables. It had a view of the kitchen and the booth part of the table had a nice log cushion. The table was oddly shaped but roomy for 3 people. Based on the reviews I read online, we ordered the chopsuey croquettes ($6), red fife levain bread with cultured butter ($3), braised whelk ($14), pemmican ($15), L’éclade ($15) and pigeon pie ($23). We were forewarned that the portions were small.
Chopsuey Croquettes are deep-fried mini balls of sticky rice, Chinese sausage, soy sauce, ground beef and duck gizzard. It was scrumptious and although there were 3 in total, one for each of my friends and I, I could have easily ate it all since it was that enjoyable. It was the top 2 dish for my friends as well.
Red Fife Levain Bread & Cultured Butter is a kind of sourdough bread with butter that’s dusted with caramelized onion powder on the side. It was alright, my friends and I prefer the chopsuey croquettes alot more.
Braised Whelk is a massive whelk shell that was on top of a burdock salad with beurre blanc sauce inside the shell along with 3 skewers of succulently grilled sea snails. The beurre blanc is made with white wine, rice vinegar and seaweed. The sea snails were grilled to perfection. It was perfectly chewy but cooked thoroughly. I poured the beurre blanc sauce from the shell onto my portion of the burdock salad and it was delicious. One of my friends considers this to be his favourite dish amongst the six that we ordered.
We ordered the bison “pemmican” bresaola dish because of elementary school history classes regarding the fur traders traversing Northern Ontario to the Prairie provinces and sustaining themselves on pemmican. The pemmican is a bison bresaola with shaved lard and sweet blueberries with mint leaves and a blueberry juniper vinaigrette. It was quite tasty and definitely worth a try. You should eat a piece of the bison bresaola on its own without any blueberries or mint leaves and then with the blueberries and mint leaves since the initial method would allow you to fully savour the meat while the second method enhances the meat.
L’éclade is mussels that’s smoked in pine needles and drenched in a pine ash butter sauce. It’s served under a cloche and the server will lift the glass dome allowing the pine-scented smoke to escape for your viewing pleasure. It’s the first dish I’ve ever eatened in which the cooking method involves a smoking gun. The mussels were soft and succulent although the pine ash butter sauce had a bitter aftertaste. My other friend considers this dish to be his favourite amongst the six.
Pigeon Pie is a savoury pie that’s stuffed with dark squab meat, spices and parsnips that’s served with seared squab breast meat and roasted parsnips on the side. Although the meat is abit gamey, it was delectable.
I recommend the chopsuey croquettes, braised whelk and pigeon pie. You must try the l’éclade and pemmican at least once. The next time I come, I’d be interested in trying the smoked pickerel, pan-roasted trout and hot chocolate beignets.
Categories: Aboriginal Canadian, Canada, Cuisine, Downtown Toronto, Food, Restaurant Review
Tags: Aboriginal, bison bresaola, Borealia, braised whelk, Canadian, chopsuey croquettes, downtown Toronto, fusion, l'eclade, mussels, Ossington, pemmican, pigeon pie, smoked mussels