[LAUNCH] Winterlicious was Delicious at the Hyatt's King Street Social
Toronto’s Winterlicious event has once again come and gone, leaving many satisfied foodies in its wake. Much like its warmer weather sister series Summerlicious, Toronto’s two week Winterlicious event sees over 200 of the cities tastiest restaurants drastically drop their prices to serve up gourmet eats to consumers at an affordable price.
This year, I was invited to check out King St. Social, the chic and contemporary restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on King Street. Although I went to check it out at lunchtime, Executive Chef Wesley Boodhram kindly allowed me to sample dishes from both the lunch and dinner menus. Following previous stints as Executive Chef with Disney World & Marriot Hotels, Chef Boodhram has been at the King St. Social for over a year. Under his reign, the King St. Social has been changing up its menu every 4 months and aims to appease their clientele with seasonally appropriate food.
Upon entering the poshly decorated restaurant, I was warmly greeted by Chef Boodhram himself, who explained to me that although their primary demographic consists of business professionals, hotel guests and theatregoers, they are making an effort to attract a younger and more diverse group. I spoke to Chef Boodhram for a few more minutes about the menu before he was off to the kitchen to whip up some magic. During our conversation he mentioned that they do try to cater to a variety of palates and diets, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten free dishes on offer for guests with dietary restrictions. He also happened to mention that his favorite dish on the menu was the lobster poutine (and even though I was seven poutines deep thanks to poutine week, I had to agree with him there).
After Chef Boodhram left us, my dining companion and I were quickly and kindly offered drinks, with the incredibly attentive service continuing throughout the entire meal. The usual routine for Winterlicious is that diners would choose between 3 appetizers, 3 mains and 3 desserts but, as I mentioned before, we were offered a vast spread so we wouldn't have to choose. Take a peak at what Chef Boodram was serving at this year.
Sweet Potato Lentil Soup with Cinnamon Crème Fraiche (right) & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Bisque with Truffle Creme (left)
A soup duo was exactly what I was looking for on that cold February afternoon. The sweet potato lentil was particularly earthy and comforting when topped with that sweet cinnamon creme fraiche. The red pepper soup was equally inviting with it's sinful drizzle of truffle crème.
Grilled Black Tiger Prawns
With bell peppers, grape tomatoes, red onions, micro green salad with a soy ginger reduction
I loved the contrast of the smoky grilled prawns with the crunchy fresh vegetables in the light Asian inspired vinaigrette. Ah, a beautiful taste of summer in the dearth of sunshine.
Baby Arugula & Leafy Green, Roasted Pears, Grape Tomatoes, Slivered Almonds with Orange Chili Vinaigrette
In contrast with the aforementioned bright salad, this one had lots of sweet winter flavours. I particularly loved the warm roasted tender pears with the crunchy slivered almonds. Healthy and comforting all at once.
Butter Poached BC Lobster, Angel Hair Parmesan, Frites with Signature Gravy
Having tasted a total of 7 poutines that week, I was not expecting to crave this dish. But after a single bite of the pillowy soft fries, chunks of juicy lobster meat and sharp tangy parmesan, I completely fell in love. This wasn't even part of the Poutine Week festivities but it was one of the best poutines I have ever had!
Veal Parmesan Sandwich
Roasted Red Pepper, Onions, Tomato Sauce and Melted Calciocavallo Cheese
The crusty and thick bun held in all the juices of the sweet caramelized onions, smoky bell pepper, the bright tomato sauce, the stringy melted cheese and the meaty tender veal. Who wouldn't love this?
Braised Green Lentils , Baby Spinach, Grilled Vegetables, White Bean Hummus
On a Lentil Papadums
The combination of the crispy light papadum with the meaty grilled vegetables and the sweet and sticky balsamic glaze kept my yearning for summer going strong. A really delicious vegetarian option.
Slow Braised Lamb Shank
Pan Fried Gnocchi, Baby Spinach, Green Beans, Red Chili Butter
This lamb was falling-off-the-bone good. Mmmm.. and that perfectly seasoned succulent meat and all it's juice babies was sopped up beautifully by the supple gnocchi. Heaven.
Butter Poached Cod, Cannellini Beans, Grilled Heirloom Carrots, Cognac Cream, Micro Cress
This fish made me wish I had a second stomach. The delicate flaky flesh was buttery, meltingly tender, and complimented those satiny cannelini beans beautifully. Actually, this dish was so good that I had to beg the chef for the recipe! Thankfully, he happily obliged.
Warm Peach Crumble
With Vanilla Bean Cream
A classic comfort food crumble with sweet supple peaches, crunchy crumble topping and a creamy cool vanilla bean ice cream. Hey, what is not to like about that?
Fresh Fruit Salad
With Fragrant Lemon Sorbet
It's always nice to have a light dessert after a particularly hearty meal, and this one was nothing to turn your nose at. The fruit was fresh and flavourful and the tangy lemon sorbet was a real treat.
Hazelnut Chocolate with Mascarpone Cheese Filling
After my trip to Italy, I have been obsessed with cannolis, and these did not disappoint. I loved the creamy, rich mascarpone and hazlenut chocolate filling to juxtapose the wicked crunch of the cookie. I was full beyond belief at this point, but I savoured this little baggie of goodness.
Although Winterlicious has just ended, the King St. Social has a wonderful regular menu that definitely shouldn’t be missed! I highly suggest you giive it a try next time you’re in the area and you won’t be disappointed. For more information, or to make reservations for their epic breakfast buffet, check them out online here.
Photos by Brea Giffin
Disclosure: This meal was complimentary but, as always, all opinions are my own.