2003 Summer – I believe that was when the first Summerlicious was held. Since that summer, I’ve been participating in this event (Summer/Winter-licious) everytime. After 4 years of the -licious experience, my enthusiastism towards this event has kinda died off. Got the link from my dining buddy JK but I didn’t look at it. (Maybe I was also kinda busy and sick back then.) Thank to HL, we were at Flow Restaurant + Lounge for Winterlicious.
Monday night, around 7:30pm we were downtown @ Yorkville. Parked at the parking lot next to the restaurant. It was a bit cold and wet on the road. When we went in the restaurant, we were greeted by a lady and she pointed out the slippery floor and asked us to be careful since our shoes were wet. (I wonder why they didn’t put a large mat instead though…)
Before I went to this restaurant, I’ve already heard some positive feedback from friends. So, I went there with certain level of expectation. The restaurant was quite spacious with two levels. We were led to a private room at the lower level – even better for us.
Here’re the selections:
1. Pear Pecan & Rocket Salad – baby arugula, bosc pear and spiced pecan salad dressed with lemon honey jalapeno dressing
2. Pepper Chili Scallop – seared diver scallops dusted with pepper chili, Shijemi & Snap pea ragout, tart tamarind drizzle and Savoy cabbage slaw
3. Yellow Potato Gnocchi – crisp pan fried gnocchi, tea steeped mushrooms and crisp pancetta in a light roasted tomato cream sauce
This is one of the few times that I’ve ever used flash for food. Obviously, it was too bright. I gotta try using a white card to reduce the flash next time. I had a bit of everything. Both salad and scallop were spicy. I had a bit of the salad and liked it. However, those who had the whole dish said that the jalapeno was really kicking towards the end. The scallops were tasty as well. The Gnocchi was ok.
1. Roasted Black Angus Striploin – herb and garlic crusted striploin, sauté of forest mushroom, Yorkshire pudding and pan jus
2. Cast Iron Red Shrimp – blackened jumbo tigers shrimp, steamed broccoli rabe, Malaysian fried rice and roasted garlic beurre blanc
3. Seared Miso Chicken – miso glazed capon chicken, Chayote, sweet onion mash and Adobo flavoured jus
For the main course, it wasn’t a tough decision as most of us ordered the striploin, except one person who ordered the Shrimp. I wasn’t that person. My Angus striploin was very nice. Tender. Good portion. Cooked just right. Didn’t try the other dish, but it looked very Asian.
1. Chocolate-Hazelnut Panna Cotta – silken custard cream, hints of dark coco and hazelnut alongside Armagnac poached fig
2. New York Cheesecake – vanilla & sour cream cheesecake with warm milk chocolate, candied apple mash and candied cashews
3. Plantain Rolls – crisp plantain spring rolls served with white chocolate ice cream and 6-spice caramel sauce
Most of us either ordered the panna cotta or the plantain rolls. Personally, I loved my plantain rolls since I don’t usually get to eat plantain, and the white chocolate ice-cream was very nice and light. The panna cotta’s texture was also interesting. I could taste the chocolate + hazelnut flavour but it wasn’t very rich. Didn’t try the cheesecake. I wonder where esle I can get good panna cotta.
We also ordered two bottles of red wine – One I believe is Zinfandel, and the other one is the Flow private label. The Zinfandel was good and the private label was not bad either (unlike the one HL had at Cheesecake Factory).
Overall, the service and food there was very good. It was a good experience. The fact that Richard Andino, who’s the Executive Chef and Partner of the restaurant, has a Filipino background, definitely had an impact on the way he design these dishes. That night, it costed about $60 per person.
FYI: Flow Restaurant + Lounge
133 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1C4