Monday, 19 September 2011


Origin (107 King Street East, Toronto)

After many attempts to dine here, I finally had dinner here on Friday night. There was much anticipated hype surrounding the restaurant and while some elements lived up to it, others fell somewhat short. For how expensive the place is, the service was very mediocre and could have been slightly more refined. Overall, great ambiance and some stand out items on the menu.

Ya Man Margarita: Chili infused tequila + Grand Marnier + grapefruit = EPIC! Luckily my fellow diner was adventurous enough to try this cocktail and I am so glad he did. It is incredible and probably one of the best margaritas I have ever had. It is sweet, salty, savoury and -- the combination of flavours create a great cocktail.

Helium Heels: Sage infused Tanqueray + Grapes + Tonic + Citrus. This cocktail was less exciting, as I was expecting a stronger sage flavour (to add a greater savoury element) but it ended up being a touch flat. The sweetness of the grapes was a nice touch.

Deviled eggs + souffletine + herbs + pancetta: Great texture in this dish. The smooth, creamy egg yolk with crunchy souffletine puffs. The pancetta crispy and provided that salty element. In combination with the herbs it created a very yummy deviled egg.

Ontario corn on the cob + lime chili butter: I love Ontario corn because it is local and you can taste the fresh, sweet kernels. Basted with this lovely lime chili butter and topped with (I am guessing??) a Mexican cheese ..  again a delicious combination.

Tostones + guacamole: I loved this and one of my favourites of the evening! The crispy fried plantain crisps were warm, chewy, sweet and salty. The guacamole has a nice creamy texture, good flavour but the plantains were undeniably the star of this show.

Spanish fries + chorizo +  manchego: This is very common in Spain and a.k.a. glorified fries. Very delicious but probably the least exciting of the dishes we ordered. The chorizo was delectably salty and fatty with a nice topping of manchego cheese shavings, herbs and some sort of an aioli (which is why I wish they explained their dishes when presented, so I could tell you what it is!!) 

Bufala Mozzarella + Pear + Honey +  Rosemary oil + Pine nuts: One of my most favourite things on the menu and great flavour profile. The first bite is cloyingly sweet (verging on dessert) but the more you get into it = complete perfection. The mozzarella is generously served and is supple, creamy and mild which helps to cut the sweetness of the honey and pears and the rosemary oil and pine nuts just complete the combination.  

Beet + Goat Cheese + Pickled Red Onion + Walnut + Sherry Vinaigrette: Great combination of flavours.
The beets are subtly sweet and the goat cheese is intensely creamy. The pickled onions and the sherry vinagarette provide acidity to create great balance.

Miso glazed black cod + soba noodle salad + ginger vinagarette + miso broth: This was one of the dishes I was MOST excited to try but ended up disappointed. This dish fell a bit flat for me (especially for $29.00 I was expecting something to blow me away, and remember these are all SMALL plates). The redeeming qualities were that the fish was perfectly cooked and the flavours of the entire dish was good but definately would not order it again. It was also slightly overseasoned.

Curried shrimp + naan bread: This was also a very delicious dish but nothing special. A mildly, spicy curry with great flavours and the naan had a wonderful doughy, chewy texture. Very tasty but nothing memorable.

Origin Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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