The premise of the column is simple; work with restaurants of all kinds in this amazing city to explore what they have to offer and what makes them unique. In a city like Toronto, the choices are sometimes daunting and the food reviews and critics can be snotty and too complicated for their own good. So why not keep this easy?
Drinks. Appetizer. Main Course. Dessert. All along with a bit of information about what makes them my choice for Daniel’s Dish and why you should try them right away!
Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, 669 Queen Street West. (647) 346-2377
It feels as though it’s been forever since I had the chance to sit down to write a Daniel’s Dish. I guess I, like most of you can understand, simply got caught up the craziness of life. Well rest assured, I am working to book many more around the city of Toronto & across Canada in the next coming months for you all! #DanielsDish is back and in full force, so please stay tuned for some hot spots that you won’t want to miss.
One of my new favourite places in the city of Toronto is definitely Lamesa Filipino Kitchen located in the west end of the city. I must be honest and tell you that I’ve never eaten authentic Filipino cuisine, nor I have taken the time to appreciate the culture. With a classic Queen Street feel of a long and narrow dinning room, the moulding on the wall and dark fans remind me of an Island Resort without all the cheesiness and animators running around. The bar, located along the left is the tropical flower of the space. Decorated with foliage and neon lighting in the night, it really does feel like you’ve gone on vacation when you step into this whole new world and I loved it.
During my visit, I was able to learn about the culinary inspirations behind Filipino Food. With Malaysian, Spanish, Chinese and American influences, I was in for a treat and so are you. The balance of flavours and spice are perfectly paired with the presence of acidity and vinegar driven sauces. Overall, balance and sweetness are dominant in every dish I enjoyed and for those of you looking for a food experience like no other, I highly recommend this latest #Toronto hot spot.
A staff that is fun & fresh alongside a beautiful menu in a prime location makes this the latest Daniel’s Dish. A passion that is truly moving can be felt when Chef Rudy Boquila told us that “I’ve been cooking for 20 years. This is the culmination.” Trust me when I say that this same passion is felt in each and every dish that you will enjoy on your next visit. Now, let me tell you why!
The menus themselves are simple and I couldn’t have been happier. My cocktail of choice is The Lolo Cool J which is comprised of bourbon, candied ginger and a syrup infused with pineapple & cinnamon. Sweet & tart with one heck of kick, this cocktail is beautiful to look at and to sip. Just be careful because it goes down like juice but has a slightly different affect as every good cocktail should.
Although I am slightly ashamed to admit how much I ate on my recent #PassThePata media tasting, I had every reason with the options available on the sharing style menu. If I had to pick my absolute favourite to start your night with, it would have to be The Crispy Pata. Served in a bit size portion on my visit, the regular size is perfect for sharing. Pork lovers rejoice! Deep fried pork (which is quite present in Filipino cuisine I came to learn, which is just fine by me!) served with home made sauces that range from a salty soy based sauce to a spicy vinegar. This is absolutely mouth watering and an absolute must as far as I am concerned.
You’ll notice that my decadent choices might not seems overly healthy, but they most certainly are worth the indulgence. In my mind, food is meant to be savoured and can change your soul after one bite. Food is romance, food is beauty and food is meant to be bad for you every now and again. That being said, for dinner I would recommend their infamous Fried Chicken Adobo. For those of you who haven’t tried adobo before, it is the immersion of the meat in an acidic marinade that both preserves and flavours the meat before it is cooked. In this version, the chicken inherently picks up the flavours of soy, garlic purée and spice. Crispy, salty, nutty and acidic flavours truly play with the palette and leave you wanting more once you’ve indulged in this dish.
What dish better represents dessert at Lamesa? Hands down my favourite sweet dish would have to be The French Toast Turon. Egg dipped bread stuffed with sweet plantains and jack fruit wrapped in a crispy spring roll. Add some coconut whipped cream and you have a beautiful balanced dessert that is sweet and slightly tart. Jack fruit, for those of you who don’t know, is a tropical fruit that’s flavour is comparable to papaya and guava combined with just a hint of tartness. It plays beautifully off the plantains and really makes this dish my choice for that sweet tooth craving you will have after several salty delights. Find the balance with my recommendations and let me know what your favourite combinations are!
Secret You Should Know:
Chef Rudy Boquila is a man of all trades with a passion that is infectious. A #DoTheDaniel fun fact that no one else knows is that before Lamesa, Rudy’s music took him on adventures with concert catering with Live Nation and he event went on tour with AC/DC, U2, and Lenny Kravitz. That’s right, the incredibly talented chef is basically a rock star and he brings that energy to his restaurant creations. What to know more about Lamesa? Click here.
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