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Origin

I get excited, really excited, about trying new restaurants. You all know I do ;) And Origin topped my excitement list. Heads up, this is a raving post. Comfort zone. Scathing…not so much.

I have a long-standing affair with tapas-style restaurants. Reminds me of Spain. A lot of people, however, are on the fence…dishes are too small, expensive, half-satisfied bellies etc.

Pigs.

My take: you get to sample a little from a lot…flit from plate to plate, be experimental & try dishes you’d never think of trying. Life should always be this fun ;)

So, we walked in…and in that first sweep, completely smitten. Dark woods, exposed brick, unique fixtures, stainless steel open-concept kitchen. Main attraction. Inviting. Soirée ambiance. Good energy (like I’m an expert).

[insert resto pic – my shots didn’t do it justice – take my word for now]

We started off with cocktails and immediately, my eyes went to the sake something something. Forgive, it’s been weeks. What I remember are two defining ingredients. Yuzu + ponzu.  Favourite à la moment ingredients. Fresh asian citrus with a sharp tangy bite…love so much that I had to try the sake. It’s like wanting to try your favourite food in any way, shape or form. You just want it. First sip. Interesting combination, clean flavours…

N ruined it when she said it tasted like soap.

Outstanding dishes:

Chinois duck wrap + pickled cucumber + sriracha :

The most lackluster presentation out of all 6 dishes. But oh, the redemption! Tender pieces of duck, smeared with great heat from the Sriracha (yep, rooster sauce), offset & cooled by sour cream, with a slight crunch of thinly sliced cucumbers…took one bite…and completely enamoured. BIG crush. Already planning next encounter.

Salmon tataki +ponzu-soy + dried miso + diakon salad :

Beautiful sashimi-styles, delicate crunch of diakon & the ponzu…this dish so did not disappoint. Not in the least. Reminiscent of Foxley. Our happy place.

Miso-glazed black cod + mushroom + jerusalem artichoke puree  + crispy soba :

Again, we both have a soft spot for black cod. Again, our happy place. And we’re so glad we ordered. Perfectly cooked, light & silky, flaking with the touch of our forks…sitting in a dark pool of serious deliciousness. Not kidding. Try it.

Honourable Mentions:

Shrimp ceviche + lime + tomato + freeze-dried corn + coconut :

Yep, you read that correctly. Freeze-dried corn. The mad scientist in Claudio Aprile making an appearance…down Colborne Lane over to Origin.

N – influenced by helping me achieve mission of trying every ceviche dish in this city – caved, and we ordered. Nice fresh citrus that ceviches call for, but didn’t wow. Lacked… something. Or too much of…something. Unnecessary liquid nitro, hmm?

And instead of shrimp, scallops or arctic char. Probably not up for debate – but hey, you never know ;)

It pains, but forgettable:

Bufala mozzarella + pear + rosemary oil + pinenuts + honey :

Least favourite. And interestingly, it was the most ordered dish.

Couple to our left, couple to our right, couple across the bar… and I wondered: did they all feel the same thing?! Disappointingly devoid of any  flavour. Muted. Beige food is boring.

However. Look at that presentation…not boring at all. You’ll likely order, based on this pic alone.

Dessert: Manchego cheese cake + saffron sorbet + marinated berries :

Waited weeks! May have spent an entire Sat morning reading menus. Food porn, don’t judge.

Patience was rewarded in the form of wee indulgence w. a side of tart… if the sorbet is home-made, kudos. Cheese cake…hmm. If spoons are clanging against plate to break through crust, it’s too hard.

Of course, did that stop us from clanging? Absolutely not…until all that remained, were freeze-dried blueberries.

High time for another Origin dinner! I hear they may have opened up a patio. Who wants the duck wrap?

http://origintoronto.com
107-109 King E.
416.603.8007

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