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Sen5es


KMPickard
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I haven't eaten there very often but they have excellent soups. If you are going there for lunch, be sure to get there early as it's a quite a small place. Most of the floorspace is taken up by the glass cases and product shelves. There's only a few small tables and some bar stools by the window.

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A friend and I will be dining at Sen5es next week. Are there any not-to-miss dishes?

Thanks,

K.

There's a dining room upstairs. They offer a lunch degustation with wine pairings that very good and not expensive. If you choose to go elsewhere - How about Jamie Kennedy and the ROM or Pangaea - both are a little over a block away.

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I visited Sen5es in July. Over the course of 3 days I tried to taste as many items as possible from the pastry cases - all of them were excellent. I had no idea they had a dining room or even an upstairs. How does one gain access to this fabled space?

My pick for must-have dessert? The stilton cheesecake. Brilliant. They also do a very nice Saint-Honore.

If Sen5es is overly crowded, or you would like more plush suroundings while enjoying the same pastry chef's work, you might try Diva at the Met in the Metropolitan hotel about a half a block away. I had a lovely Sunday brunch there.

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Thanks NightScotsman - I guess I wasn't specific enough. It's the Toronto Sen5es we'll be eating at.  But as a matter of fact, we'll be staying at the Metropolitan in TO and plan to have a meal at Lai Wah Heen too.

Ooops - sorry about that. Didn't know there was more than the one in Vancouver. Is this a chain? If so, do they all have the same executive pastry chef, or do they each have their own chef and therefore unique product lines?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, we had our meal at Sen5es last Thursday and a very fine meal it was.

The room is on the second floor with large windows facing onto Bloor street. Simple understated decor in creams, greys and blacks enlivened by some colourful abstract paintings. Sophisticated but not frigid.

Nor was the staff frigid. They were, well, very Danny Meyerish. A warm welcome with eye contact and a genuine smile. Nice.

We decided to order from the menu and accompanied our choices with an Alsation riesling - Zinck, I think.

My app was seared scallops on a bed of citrus with galangal. I was served three perfect scallops, with a crisp brown crust and still slightly rare in the centre. They were cooked as well as any I've ever been served in a restaurant. Under them were a variety of citrus sections topped with a scattering of crispy shallot rings The saucing was very Thai with hot pepper and galangal. A very pleasing dish overall.

My friend had a broth of squab. This was served over squab confit and had sliced green scallions in it. I didn't get to taste this but he was most satisfied saying the broth was very concentrated in flavour and had an unexpected peppery finish.

I next had loin of lamb served with ratatouille, sweet potatoes and black lentil jus. The lamb was a very generous portion- juicy, tender and lots of flavour. The black lentil jus packed a real punch. I'm not sure of the seasonings but I'd love to be able to duplicate this. The ratatouille was surprisingly light and fresh. To me, the sweet potatoes seemed a bit superfluous on the plate - not that I left any behind.

My friend had lightly smoked black cod on a bed of vegetables. Again, he was very happy with his meal.

We shared a dessert of a chocolate caramel tart with black tea ice cream and sabayon. The tart was suitably decadent and I particularly liked the runny caramel which was not overly sweet. Only the black tea ice cream disappointed, being neither particularly creamy nor tea-y. The stilton tart was not on offer or I wouldn't have been able to resist that.

Overall this is a restaurant that doesn't seem afraid to use strong flavours. Both my dishes elicited wow's and I can't ask for more than that.

Next time it will be the tasting menu.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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