Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summerlicious '08, Part II

My Summerlicious adventure continued the next day with lunch at Senses, located near Rogers Centre (aka Sky Dome) on Wellington St. W. at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. I used to frequent the Senses bakery over at Bayview Village to buy their delectable pastries, but that store has since closed down for a few years now. Luckily, they still had a shop open in the downtown district, but with the crazy traffic in Toronto, it just isn't worth driving all the way to downtown in heavy traffic just for a slice of cake, as delicious as it may be.

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Citrus-Cured Salmon Carpaccio with Petite Bok Choy Salad, Fennel & Mango Slaw, Ciabatta Toast

The bakery over at Bayview was a small establishment, a cafe that served only pastries and coffee. When I stopped by the downtown establishment last summer though, I realised that this establishment also boasted a restaurant. Thus, I was quite happy to find Senses listed as one of the participating restaurants of Summerlicious, allowing me to not only once more taste their luscious desserts, but also some of their savoury fares as well.

The menu again offered 3 starters, 3 entrees and 2 desserts to choose from. While the choices for the entrees were interesting and offered a variety of different protein, it would have been nice to see more of a range in their starters. They offered two fish selections, both prepared raw (spicy tuna tartare or citrus-cured salmon), while the 3rd choiced was a chilled cucumber & mint soup. For starters, I had the citrus-cured salmon carpaccio. The sweetness of the mango slaw balanced the saltiness of the salmon, while adding a nice crunch to the texture palate.

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Bouillabaise with Steal-Head Salmon Fillet, P.E.I. Mussels, Purple Potatoes & Saffron Aioli

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Moroccan Chicken Tangine with Preserved Kumquat, Couscous Salad, Harissa Broth & Orange Balsamic Glaze

For the main course, I had the Moroccan chicken tangine, which smelled divine from all the spices. The harissa broth came in a separate little bowl that you can pour over the chicken yourself. The chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious drenched with the flavourful broth. The saltiness from the broth was balanced with the sweetness and slight bitterness of the kumquats. This was a really great, hearty dish; not too heavy in the summer, and would be fabulous throughout the winter as well.

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Top: Senses' Signature Banana Cream Pie
Bottom: Strawberry Shortcake

For dessert, I tried their signature banana cream pie. The crust of the pie was made from phyllo and filled with a banana-flavoured cream custard, topped off with slices of banana that were caramelized, leaving a golden-brown, crunchy finish.

All in all, it was a fun (and delicious!) dining experience at this year's Summerlicious. Both restaurants offered good-quality food, but if I really had to pick one to go back to, it would definitely have to be Canoe. I think the preparation of their food, the range of their menu, the friendly staff and the killer view all makes Canoe a winner. But if you ever find yourself close by the SoHo Metropolitan, I do suggest to stop by Senses for a cup of coffee and a plate of one of their delicious pastries, or better yet, take one home with you!

Name: Senses Restaurant & Bakery
Address: 328 Wellington St. W., ON (Ground floor of SoHo Metropolitan Hotel)
Cuisine: Continental, Fusion
Price Range: Entrees $30-45
Accessible: Yes


Anonymous July 20, 2008 at 11:45 p.m.  

*drool* Aw man, you're killing me with those pics! If only Toronto was just a bit closer to me...

Then again, good luck for me finding a job in the GTA nowadays to satisfy my gourmand urges. :oP

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