Last night Homer and I went out to Leslieville’s newest addition to the restaurant scene The Eastender. Avery suggested I write about it on the blog, that suggestion, in addition to the fact that I had a heck of a time finding out any info about this place leads us to this post. Perhaps they can ask my friend Avery to design a website for them?
On to the food:
We started with the pork belly sliders and an order of the pork and truffle dumplings. The sliders were a unique take because the buns were made with steamed buns instead of the usual brioche. It made them taste like those bbq pork buns you get at the Chinese bakeries – this is not a bad thing. The dumplings were very lightly pan-fried with a tasty filling.
For our mains – Homer had the trout with the forbidden black rice and I had the quail with gnocchi and mushroom sauce. Both were very good – the gnocchi was different that I was expecting, it was large and sort of like a potato pillow instead of the usual small form. No complaints though.
The entire starter and main menu is, for lack of a better word, Asian fusion. The price point is consistent with other restaurants in the neighbourhood, but they do have a good deal on their house wine (we had the white – it was great, went very well with the pork starters) at $27 per bottle. For those interested they do BYOW with a $20 corkage.
The dessert menu was small and didn’t feel as inventive as the rest of the menu. We went with our waiter’s suggestion of the key lime parfait with toasted marshmallow. It was a small dish of ice cream with a shortbread and marshmallow on top. It was a nice light finish to the meal.
A quick final point – we got there somewhat early (7:30pm), there were a few tables of people but it was certainly not packed. This gave us a chance to chat to the woman acting as hostess (who I assume was one, if not the, owner), mainly because her table was right behind ours.
She was very nice, but seemed to be unsure how successful they would be, saying that their ace in the hole was their chef (she didn’t mention his name). She mentioned the “sophistication” of Leslieville customers, that they knew about food and asked lots of questions about the menu. I would tend to agree that this area is lousy with”foodies” but wanted to tell her that if her food stayed consistent, in quality and price point she basically has a license to print money.
As the restaurant filled up (by the time we left it was jumping – including a really large party across from us) the service got a bit slower, that I will admit. But they acknowledged this fact (were apologetic about it), and hell they just opened on Tuesday! If they up their staff numbers I am sure this will not be a problem going forward.
A great addition to the neighbourhood.