Friday 21 March 2014

The Carbon Bar :: Carson's Birthday Dinner

Hot Water

Cheese Croquettes ($9)
apple-chipotle sauce

The croquettes were really good, but for $9 I wish they provided more! They definitely were not worth $2+ a pop but still yummy. The apple-chipotle sauce was an interesting compliment as it was quite sweet and tangy - extremely opposite the oily, fried, and cheesy nature of the croquettes. Personally, I wouldn't order it again as I don't think it's worth the price.

Hamachi ($14)
hamachi tartare, clementine pear, coriander, kambucha vinegar

Just like the Cheese Croquettes, the Hamachi is also a tasty entree. However, it was disappointing that there was at most 4-5 small pieces of hamachi (which are visible in the above photo). Other than that, the clementine pear, vinegar, and coriander was a great combination to have with the hamachi tartare. I would definitely order this dish again if it had more Hamachi (since the name of the entree states it as it's star ingredient!) as $14 for 5 small pieces of hamachi isn't really worth it.

Pit Master Platter ($27/person)
pork ribs, beef brisket, cornmeal fried chicken, pickles

This was absolutely delicious. Note the above portion is for two people so depending on how much you order the portion will not be the same as pictured. It was nice that the waitress pointed out what order we should each of the proteins based on how quickly they can get cold at (start with brisket, ribs, and finish with chicken). Out of all three my favourite was the brisket, chicken, and ribs. The brisket was soft and tender. The provided sauce went well with it and enhanced the flavour. The batter for the fried chicken was also deliciously seasoned and the chicken was mouthwateringly moist. One of my friends did comment that Popeye's fried chicken was better though. Personally, I liked The Carbon Bar's chicken better as it wasn't as oily though I understand where my friend was coming from. The pork ribs were also very tasty but were quite reminiscent of Swiss Chalet's pork ribs in terms of taste and texture.

Pulled Pork Ssäm ($22)
pit fired pulled pork, bibb lettuce, pickled cabbage, corn nuts, coriander

The Pulled Pork Ssäm was delicious and a great choice in terms of savoury flavours and being filling. The corn nuts provided a crunchy texture and the coriander (and the Bibb lettuce wrap) provided a refreshing change that both complimented the pulled pork well. Also, my friends made a lot of comments on how 'perfectly round' the Bibb lettuce was! 

Banana Toffee Cream Pie ($16)

I was a little skeptical to order this pie at first since but I am super glad my party decided to opt for it! The pie crust was perfectly proportioned with the cream. The banana toffee centre was delicious and not overly sweet. I would definitely order this again. It is meant for 2 people.

Overall, I found The Carbon Bar quite pricey, though sharing and splitting the bill with friends can make up for it. All the food is flavourful and delicious, but nothing stood out as unique. Portions fall on the smaller side. It's a brisk walk from the Eaton's Centre. In my opinion, a single entree isn't going to fill most people up and some will be leaving here hungry. If you are a fan of large portions I would not recommend The Carbon Bar. The environment is upbeat and quite open. Service staff are friendly, but I found it difficult to find my waiter when we required service (ie: more water, ordering more food) and other waiters seemed to ignore my beckoning since they weren't assigned my table. It's not near my 'neck of the woods', and I will probably not make a trip to The Carbon Bar specifically to eat there, but if I happened to be in the area or was invited to a dinner there I wouldn't be opposed to going (but mentally prepare myself for a little larger bill).

The Carbon Bar
99 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M5C 1S1
The Carbon Bar on Urbanspoon

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