Friday 7 February 2014

Lee :: Winterlicious 2014

Winterlicious Menu

Ginger Twist Tea

The tea didn't really have much ginger flavour to it and was quite diluted. Tasted like hot water with a minty aftertaste. I wouldn't recommend ordering this tea. 

Singaporean-Style Slaw ($20)
option to add salmon sashimi (+$8) or tuna sashimi (+$10) *contains nuts and serves 2

Loved this slaw! The presentation is quite appealing. The slaw arrives as pictured (above) and the server then dissembles and mixes it for you. Since the restaurant was quite loud I was only able to catch the following ingredients: japanese plum dressing, green onions, taro roots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sesame seed, roasted peanuts, fried shallots, rice vermicelli (and more). It was very refreshing, crunchy, and extremely tasty. It is essentially pho reincarnated into a crunchy salad. 

Cheese Burger Spring Roll
smoked chili mayo, pickled vegetable & lettuce wrap

Of all the dishes we had, aside from the slaw, the pickled vegetable and lettuce wrap was my favourite part of the meal! It was extremely tasty and well marinated. Absolutely delicious. The spring roll portion was also good, but nothing spectacular. 

Caramelized Black Cod ($29)
Cantonese preserves, miso mustard, dim sum turnip cake

For me, black cod in restaurants is always delicious. The Caramelized Black Cod was no exception. It was delicious but not outstanding (in comparison to the other black cod dishes I've had in the past). The dim sum turnip cake was an interesting combination to add with the cod. I never would have placed the two together. The turnip cake was also good, but personally, I would prefer to have each individually - one a dim sum and one a dinner. The portion of the black cod was also on the smaller side.

Bangkok Curry Beef
vermicelli rice noodle cake

The curry was quite tasty - very fragrant and flavourful. The curry had strong notes of coconut milk, which I quite enjoyed. The beef was tender. A good dish generally, but if I wanted curry, I would prefer to go to Khao San Road or Sabai Sabai. Those two locations offer much better curry for a lower price.

Jerk Spicy Pork Ribs
Scotch bonnet sauce, ginger & mango

I was expecting this dish to be extremely spicy, but surprisingly it wasn't at all! The meat was wonderfully marinated and covered in deliciously sweet sauce. The steamed bun was a great compliment with the dish to either soak up the sauces or to eat with the meat.

Dessert Trio
coriander infused chocolate mousse, lemon curd, local peach & apricot sorbet, and crispy rice & french wafer

I was disappointed by dessert! All the entrees were delicious, but the dessert trio did not hold up the standard that the entrees' set. I didn't really care for the coriander infused chocolate mousse (though it was interesting conversation topic that coriander was an ingredient) and the lemon curd tasted like mango pudding. I did really love the peach and apricot sorbet and the crispy rice. I wish that those two together were served as a dessert option in a larger portion.

Banana Fritter
in caramel peanut sauce

The caramel peanut sauce was a little to heavy for me - though it was more like nutella with peanuts in it. The banana fritter (a defried banana) was yummy.

Set Menu for $45 + taxes & gratuity.
Tea, slaw, and cod was not included in Winterlicious menu and was ordered a la carte.

Restaurant Sign
There isn't a visible "Lee" sign, so if driving to the restaurant for the first time at night, the door is indicated by a neon red "RESTAURANT" sign.

Overall my experience at Lee was good. Perhaps due to the Winterlicious rush, the service was extremely slow. I booked reservations online for 8:15pm via OpenTable. I arrived at 8:00pm and was seated 8:45pm. Food wasn't served until 9:30pm and the tea took 30 minutes to arrive. Dinner ended at 10:45pm. It was difficult to get a waiters attention throughout dinner service. Additionally, the hostesses seemed quite distraught carrying jackets around the restaurant, downstairs, and into the kitchen (???). I understand with the space constraints at Lee that the coat check service was necessary, but having witnessed the unorganized storage of the jackets, I'm glad I held on to mine. The atmosphere is also quite busy and loud, so if you are to bring a date here, you might have to talk loudly to get your message across. If I were to return, I would most definitely try Lee during its regular season opposed to Winterlicious. Overall, the dishes were quite flavourful and super tasty. If this is Chef Sursur Lee's food style - I anticipate my first visit to his other restaurant, Bent.

PS: On a completely unrelated note - the atmosphere and the wait staff was somewhat reminiscent to my televised guilty pleasure - Vanderpump Rules. It's a trendy place to go and eat and the staff were pretty attractive? Hahaha - just something random.

601 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1M5
Lee on Urbanspoon

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