FOXLEY: First four-star, want it all over again

416-534 8520    |    $5.00 - $22.00 sharing plates

 

If you’re a foodie in Toronto, it’s kind of embarrassing not to have dined at Foxley. All your foodie friends have told you it’s awesome, you’ve heard chefs say it’s awesome, it’s been there for years, but for some reason you STILL haven’t gone. I was just like you, but now I’m not. Consider this your final kind poke to get off your ass and go. 


Photo Credit: blogTO

Food

The menu is 40 sharing plates long, one page, no sections (see the menu link above for a picture). You could call the style ‘Asian-inspired’ or ‘Asian fusion’, but those both have such negative connotations in the dining community. For all intents and purposes, it’s delicious, eclectic, and happens to have a lot of Asian ingredients. 

We started with the ceviche (above) that everyone highly recommends - including Chef Chris McDonald of Cava, @CavaChef. Thinly sliced sea bream lies beneath a topping of yuzu, shiso leaves and crispy shallots. The dish gets its freshness from shiso and clean fish, crispy and salty from the shallots, and a prominent tartness from the yuzu. Wanted a few more servings.

Next we grabbed the spicy crispy shrimp with jalapeno and garlic relish. Seems simple, but when you execute juicy shrimp perfectly, and create a bright, garlicky relish with a kick, you have to marvel at this. We were craving shrimp before we walked in and this made it worse (in the best way possible).

Keeping with the seafood theme, we selected the blue crab salad with avocado. The two flavours just work so well together. The crab comes heaped on top of a large avocado that you then hollow out as you eat. Give me three.

Next up, I had to get meaty. The spicy sticky chicken wings live up to their name. Ask for some extra napkins if you intent to tackle these. Good thing they’re saucy because these tender chicken wings are slathered with an uncommon heat and tang. It’s still bold, but really pleasant. Like everything we ate, I wanted more than one order.

We concluded the meat portion of our meal with the famous side ribs with caramelized shallot glaze. These are the perfect ribs. The meat isn’t literally falling off the bone, but it doesn’t take much for the fibers to slowly unravel and part. The sweet and savoury shallot glaze is great too.

We closed our meal with a fresh mango salad, filled with slices of tender grilled calamari and charred shrimp that were quite tender despite their small, overcooked appearance. This was a palate cleanser of sorts to close the meal.

Service and Ambience

Foxley is a pleasant hole in the wall. Nothing decor-wise really stands out, but the high ceilings, big windows and exposed brick wall give you everything you need to enjoy the space on a basic level. It’s pretty small too, so you’ll need to get here early from Thursday onwards if you want a seat.


Photo Credit: Plato Putas

Our service was pleasant, nothing particularly stood out to us. The kitchen got the food out at a good clip and we were able to get our bill pretty quickly.

The Reco?

This is the first four-star review I’ve ever given out (I believe this is review #52). It’s not the ‘perfect restaurant’. I’ve eaten more ambitious food, in nicer settings, with more personable service; however, this was the first time that I badly wanted to re-order EVERY dish I tasted without exception. I think that says enough. Enjoy!

Other reviews:
  Food Junkie Chronicles   |     Where Jess Ate

 Posted by: Jacob, Visited Mar 27, 2012

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