Ah, Summerlicious. A culinary celebration that is both loved and loathed by many, it’s the time of the summer where I can finally get out and try new places that may not always be in my usual budget range or that have been on my list to try and haven’t been crossed off yet.
While I can understand why many in the restaurant industry have come to despise the event, as a diner I really love it. Maybe it’s overrated now and it’s become more about restaurants getting in as many reservations in as possible, but I still see it as a way to try new places I’ve yet to visit and taste some of the amazing cuisine available in this great city!
All that said, this summer I was able to visit two restaurants: Jump & Momofuku’s Noodle Bar. Both were places I’d been meaning to try for some time (especially Momofuku) and each had a fantastic looking menu I was excited to try.
I visited Jump last Wednesday ahead of Beyonce & Jay-Z’s On The Run Tour show with my sister Lauren. We agreed we wanted to go somewhere nicer for dinner pre-concert that was close to the Rogers Centre, so I booked our reservation and off we went! I’ve never met an Oliver & Bonacini joint I didn’t like, so I knew we were in for some good eats.
Dinner was $35 and of their menu, I had the Heritage Salmon Tartare to start, Ash’s Braised Wellington County Beef Cheek Vindaloo for my main and the Hewitt’s Dairy Buttermilk Panna Cotta for dessert. I also had a Southern Sangria to drink and oh-my-god was it ever good. You could have parked me on a patio in the sun with a pitcher of that and I’d have been set…
Overall, the dishes were amazing. The salmon tartare was light and tasty, the beef cheek was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the panna cotta was the perfect ending to it all – sweet, light and fresh. We had a really great server too! I’ll definitely be back to check out Jump further, as their regular menu looks awesome and totally worth a longer visit.
On Friday, I had made a reservation for two of my besties and me to have a girls day and dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar. We’ve been saying for at least a year now that we all wanted to go together, so I booked us in and crossed my fingers we could all make it – thankfully it all worked out! After catching a screening of Life Itself at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (and crying all of our makeup off), we walked over to the restaurant for dinner and got seated and served right away. I will say service here was definitely in Summerlicious mode (read: rushed) and it would have been nice to sit a bit longer, but the food was crazy good and definitely left me wanting more!
We each got a different starter so we all sampled a bit of the Napa Cabbage Kimchi, Marinated Cucumber and Inari. Each was really good in their own right – the kimchi packed a ton of flavour, the cucumber was super light and refreshing and the inari was just straight up tasty goodness. I had the Southern Fried Chicken as my main and it did not disappoint! I’m usually either very hit or miss with fried chicken and found this stuff to be just perfect – not too greasy or overcooked.
Finally, we finished off with dessert and each got a truffle – two birthday cakes and one strawberry lemon cake truffle. This was definitely the highlight – whoa that’s some good stuff. We promptly ran up to Milk bar after dinner and stocked up on the birthday cake truffles, and I grabbed some cookies and a piece of Crack Pie just to be safe. Had to bring something home for Brad!
With just a few days left of this season’s reservations (Summerlicious ends July 20), it’s unlikely I’ll squeeze another meal in but I’m taking notes for Winterlicious. All in all it was a success!
Did you get a chance to go anywhere? What did you try?