Monday, September 16, 2013

Origin North

Origin North
2901 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON M2N 5Z7

Date Visited: September 16, 2013

Last night, I dined out with my fellow foodies at the newly opened Origin North at Bayview Village. 

We started the night by ordering some drinks:

We ordered a few Somersby Ciders ($8) - a great, smooth drinking cider with low acid.  First time I saw them served in custom glasses. I love the thumb hold on the glass!

The Scotsman ($11) (left) - Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, ginger, cucumber, lemon.  French 107 ($13) (right) - St. Germain, prosecco, lemon. 

Our first tapas course was Devilled Eggs ($7) - smoked bacon, herbs, souffletine. I loved the whipped consistency of the egg yolks - rich, smooth, and airy. The bacon was crispy and the souffletine (crunchy, tiny cereal balls) was a nice touch. 

Next up was the Spicy Spanish Fries ($12) - chorizo, manchego. This was a great tasting appetizer.  You can never go wrong with aioli and fries. Add Spanish influences - chorizo (pork sausage) and manchego (a cheese produced from sheep milk) and you're got yourself a decadent hodgepodge of flavours. 

The next dish was Smoked Pork Lettuce Wraps ($12 for 2 wraps) - daikon, carrot, crispy noodle, peanut. The wraps were too sour for my liking. I imagine the sourness present in the wrap was to cut the fattiness of the pork but it didn't balance well. 

Next up was the Thai Curried Shrimp ($17) - with Naan bread. The curry was rich and full-bodied. The hot and soft  naan bread was perfect in sopping up all the flavour. The shrimp had a great firm texture - cooked perfectly. 

Next up was the Bangkok Beef Salad ($16) - Peanut, mint, mango, glass noodles, nam jim dressing. This salad had a light and refreshing taste to it. The beef was cooked medium rare. A feast for the eyes as well as the palate. 

The waitress told us that the Chinois Duck ($17) - Flour tortilla, cucumber, hoisin, sriracha, & sour cream was a play on a Peking duck. I wish she didn't. The wrap offered many of the right elements - hoisin and cucumber for example but I was expecting crispy skin and I was disappointed. The wrap was still solid, offering delicious duck confit. It was just not meeting my expectations. Also, the wraps that traditionally accompany a Peking duck are also usually very thin to showcase the duck, unlike the flour tortillas offered here.

Miso Black Cod ($33) - bok choy & ginger sauce. I've had many miso black cod in my lifetime and so I was hesitant to get all gung ho about this one but I had to try it. I thought the fish was very succulent and cooked well but I would have enjoyed it more if it was seared more. The fish also came on a very watery plate and it was diluting the flavours of the fish. The "sauce" was also very sour making the bok choy unpleasant to eat. Thumbs down. 

Dessert was Walnut Doughnut ($9) - caramel & soft serve. When it came to our table, the server poured heavy cream on the doughnut... Intriguing. First impressions: delicious!  The outer crust was full of cinnamon flavour and crunchy. The inside?  Warm and fluffy!  It was amazing!!!  Couldn't stop eating this one!

Chocolate Crunch Bar ($10) - Huckleberry sorbet. Every bite of this bar was decadent. The sorbet was light and refreshing. 

Thoughts on Origin?  Many Asian influences on the menu. Some hits and misses. I would dine again... But nothing really stood out on the menu for me to recommend it a "must dine" destination. Perhaps I should try the nitro ice cream next time?

Origin North on Urbanspoon

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