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Friday, April 22, 2011

Brasaii :: No Clever Pun

Brasaii is one of those places on King Street that never really drew me - the long alleyway didn't really let me press my face in the window to rudely peer into the interior (probably why the it was designed that way). However, when a friend pointed that that we were in sore need of hang outs I ditched the desk for a night and headed over.

Verdict: Aight
Meal: Dinner 
Price: $35pp
Location: 461 King St W

So this is actually quite belated - I know that I'm playing catch-up but da-yam. I never wrote about this because, truthfully, I didn't find it particularly memorable and it got lost in the archives. However, as I am set to return this week so I thought it'd be a good case if I am biased later.

The lighting doesn't lend itself well to photography - however I had J with me, who showed me a few things. Honestly, the extent of my camera-expertise starts and ends with the Auto function of my point-and-shoot. Which I still need to replace because it no longer focuses! So...the pictures aren't perfect, but I now know the magic that is ISO-fiddling. Or something. Yah. She also showed me how to use flash in low-light settings - her pictures turned out much better than mine (due to her awesome camera). Fuzziness aside, it's still an improvement to my attempts at Nota Bene and I was happy to learn!

The server was really great - suggestions and enthusiasm galore. The space itself suits the young professional crowd - a well-dressed late 20-something-King St. crowd, open-concept restaurant. I could see this being a good venue for a corporate event. We were a bit out of place with our casual clothes...meh.

Foie Gras ($21)
Pan seared, brioche french toast, sumac berry and squash compote

When spotted on the menu, this tickled decadent memories of Hoof Cafe's Foie Gras on Brioche French Toast (R.I.P.) . The presentation didn't compare. Neither of us were a huge fan...The briochewasn't as airy/fluffy and, I am no foie gras expert (so please, if you have an opinion, share) but it didn't seem as wonderful as the other sources that I've tried (namely Lucien and Black Hoof). Maybe because it was a bit charred on top, which didn't blend well with the rest of the slab? No idea. The compote was tasty - wish there was a bit more given the amount of brioche.

Venison ($35)
Venison chop, venison sausage, mascarpone cream corn, beet foam

The foam was not only fun but surprisingly good. The venison was cooked perfectly medium - nice and pink in the middle. It was as expected - lean so a bit tougher - and I am a fan of gamey flavours. I think that venison would be a good candidate for sous-vide experiments. Either way, this was enjoyed :-)

This is where the service made a bit of a turn... I'm still not sure why, but a gentlemen served us instead. It went from happy and talkative to a tad pretentious. We were taking our time eating our meal and chatting, but it was certainly not busy, and we were dressed quite casually compared to the typical crowd - so those may have been contributing factors. Certainly not a deal breaker, but something that I remember.

Swordfish ($28)
Grille swordfish, lobster mash, sweet corn and tomato salsa, corn emulsion

Not bad - but not memorable. Of course - this post is quite belated so I may have liked it more than I am letting on. I would like to try this foaming-business at home sometime!
This reminds me that I need to go back for swordfish fresh from Barbados at their fish market. Mmm...

Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding ($10)
with roasted banana tart tatin and dulce de leche ice cream

Ah...sticky toffee pudding. The obsession started with Starfish, then escalated when I had something similar but 300% more intense at Nota Bene. This came with a little scoop of dulce de leche ice cream.

Overall, we both agreed that the meal was decent, but not great. Like Jump, the food was well-executed but nothing about it left a lingering memory. I think that these places cater well to the professional crowd, and can be a bit pricey if you're not looking for that type of atmosphere. The food wasn't bad at all - so I'm still looking forward to my second visit.
Brassaii- Cafe- Restaurant- Lounge on Urbanspoon


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