Address: 777 Dundas St. W. Toronto ON
When I visited: August. 25th, 2014
Yes, #Luckee me, I got another cooking cooking lesson by Toronto’s culinary giant Chef Susur Lee. In July, an intimate group of food bloggers and I learned how to make delicious dumplings topped with black truffles at Luckee (Read about the #dimsum101 workshop here).
At Susur Lee’s restaurant Bent, a restaurant named after Susur’s wife Brenda Bent (who also designed the beautiful interior), our group got to try out Bent’s 5 course vegetarian tasting menu. On top of the feast, we were part of a #veggielicious101 workshop where we got a hands on lesson on how to make a perfect meringue dessert where we got to pipe, bake and eat our creations.
Bent has a bright and welcoming interior and a beautiful patio. The back wall of the restaurant has a unique display of vintage toys, mainly dolls, that Brenda Bent has collected over the past 25 years. It adds a personal touch to the restaurant and looks like a multicoloured wall from afar. Utilizing “fresh ingredients” is an important theme at Bent with displays of fish and vegetables at the bar. The restaurant has a dedicated garden at the back of the restaurant where Chef Lee cultivates and uses the plants and herbs in his kitchen. That’s what I call “garden-to-table”, amazing!
What we ate:
We got to try the VEGGIELICIOUS 5 course vegetarian tasting menu which is available at Bent from Sept.9th to 20th, 2014 for $45/person.
I loved every dish that I ate at Bent. Yes, I’m a meat lover but I enjoy tasty vegetarian dishes. No bland vegetarian/vegan food is served at the restaurant. The dishes were filling and every bite was popping with flavour! Please note that the portion sizes we sampled at the event was made for our group size.
Course 1: Dip 3 ways with hummus of romano beans with salted chilis, sherry vinegar, roasted olive with sumach and lemon preserve, spicy mustard seed tomato stew with walnut and curry leaf, Caribbean eggplant babaganoush with cilanto, all served with baked garlic lavash. All rich in flavour! I was addicted to the dips and kept going back for more.
Course 2: Tingly chilled soba with shredded local vegetable and yuba cake, confit of shiitake, shiso leaf, nori crisps with a Taiwanese vinaigrette. Susur is the king of wicked slaws and this one won me over!
Course 3: Chickpea tempura tofu with pickled brassica and fish mint, shishito peppers, Korean sweet chili sauce and braised burdock root. Chef Lee introduced me to fish mint which I want to get my hands on. I like the thin crispy batter with the sweet and spicy sauce. Yum!
Course 4: Wild mushroom quinoa risotto with roasted cauliflower, romano parmigiano emulsion and tempeh crouton (available without cheese). This was creamy and filling!
Course 5 (dessert): French meringue with golden licorice with lemon curd, wild blueberry, peaches, passionfruit syrup and raspberry coulis. This was a gorgeous and light, a nice ending to a substantial meal.
Not part of the 5 course tasting menu but we also got to taste the delicious crispy dumplings and lobster tacos (available on the menu).
AND finally, we got to taste Chef Lee’s signature Singaporean slaw (coming to Bent!!). The tower of 19 delicious ingredients with a Japanese plum dressing!
What we drank:
Bartender Manuel made us a beautiful and refreshing Karate Kid II cocktail with sake, jasmine tea infused gin, vanilla syrup and yuzu juice.
As a Caesar fanatic, I was so happy that Manuel made us Chef Lee’s “Asian Caesar” (RECIPE to the Asian Caesar here).
We got the recipe, tips and hands on experience on making wicked meringue.
I was proud of how mine turned out and will try making it at home one day!
Check out my Instagram version of the photo which has Instagram handles of some of the bloggers.
Thank you Kelsea, Chef Susur Lee, Kai Bent-Lee and Manuel for an amazing event!
* The food and drinks were complimentary but the opinions in the post are entirely my own.
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