647-347-2712 | $16-$24 mains
Don’t find myself on Elm St. too much, but friend of mine recommended this pub(lic house) and I remembered reading Toronto Life’s 2009 endorsement as a Top 10 new restaurant. It was cold out, I wanted comfort food.
I would call this a ‘gastropub’, but it’s really more traditional British fare done really well with the occasional tweak or added ingredient. The menu is really difficult in a good way: it’s tough to figure out what to order. We lamented for about 10 minutes or so before making a decision. The beer choices aren’t abundant, but feature some unique choices while the wine menu is quite extensive for a pub.
I decided to test the classic fish & chips. What an amazing call this was. This is the best fish and chips I’ve ever tasted. Beautifully done fish, flaky, moist, great buttery texture. The batter is light, very crunchy, and not greasy. The accompanying tartar sauce is great, and has a distinct presence of caper that worked really well.
It’s served with potentially the best fries I’ve ever eaten. A subtle crisp, lots of smooth potato on the inside, perfectly seasoned, served with a nice homemade tomato ketchup with a marinara-like consistency. Just spot-on.
The other two dishes at the table were the rabbit and potato pie (left) - we were told by the table of regulars next to us that it’s a favourite - and the kedgeree (right).
The pie was delicious, moist, and flavoural, while the Kedgeree was a little more delicate with a mild yellow curry flavour, a nice poached egg to give the rice a risotto feel. Also included english peas, smoked haddock, and almonds to round everything out. Both great choices for lunch. We also watched the regulars beside us thoroughly enjoy a venison cobbler special.
We finished with a scoop of whiskey-gingerbread ice cream (tasty, not killer) and sticky toffee pudding (approaching killer).
Service and Ambience
I found the service to be good for the most part. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable. She described dishes well and could speak to a lot of the menu with a personal perspective. Food all came out of the kitchen at a good pace for a decently busy lunch hour. Took us a while to pay and get the bill which was a bit odd given the place emptied out by the time we were looking to settle up.
Inside looks great in my opinion. Very homey, traditional pub feel in an old Victorian house. Would probably be an awesome place to enjoy a football (soccer) match, especially upstairs with the big screen TV. It all adds to the cuisine and makes more a really authentic experience.
Definitely go. If it’s not the best fish and chips you’ve had in a while, you must tell me where your epic challenger is served. I’m giving this a 3.5 which I usually reserve for more ‘refined’ restaurants, but I enjoyed this too much. Hope you do too.
Posted by: Jacob, Visited Nov 30, 2011