Entering a mysterious ambiance right in the heart of downtown – On King Street West of Spadina, Spice Route is a rare find which offers a captivating yet impressive dining experience. This was an excursion I made with some good company once my official first week back at UofT came to its conclusion (and a great way to conclude it!)
My company and I were greeted by a large, rustic wooden door leading into a design that was relaxing and indulging, as their website describes. We were greeted by a lovely usher who led us to a great table overlooking the sheer bliss space.
It appeared that Spice Route was catered for corporate events – as many business men and women were present at the bar area enjoying some drinks, as well as some group platters when we arrived for our reservation. It was great to be able to get a table where we could just enjoy each other’s company, as well as the restaurant atmosphere without interference from the occasion going on there.
The waiter who was responsible for our table was extremely pleasant, and came by often to make sure that we were treated like the utmost priority. He came swiftly with some starters and politely explained the different things that he brought to the table. There were offerings of sweet bread with a spicy mayo, soy sauce and some chili sauce as well (and, familiar readers to Foodie Utopia know that I didn’t use any of these!). However I did nibble on the sweet bread prior to our orders coming out which was nice, warm and appropriate for such cold weather we were experiencing that night.
Drinks For the Night:
My company and I started the evening with some of Spice Route’s signature cocktails – for myself, I ordered the Spice Route’s Mash Up, while my friend ordered the Tropical Coconut. My drink consisted of Ciroc Raspberry with Lemon, along with some fresh raspberries to add to presentation and taste. This was such a refreshing beverage, and the alcohol really hit the spot after finishing the first official week of the second semester at UofT! On the other hand, my friend’s drink had Ciroc Coconut mixed with coconut juice and a lime – on his account (and my own sip), it was definitely tropical, and the coconut flavor really saturated the beverage experience. If you aren’t a fan of coconut this probably isn’t the drink for you – but coconut lovers like myself and my company can escape the Canadian feel in the moments of sipping on this drink.
The Main Courses:
Shortly after receiving our drinks and exchanging some banter at the table, the trusty waiter came by with our food – first serving the Pad Thai (displayed at the bottom) and then the Surf n’ Turf (which is pictured above). I was quite surprised at the quantity that was given to us – in fact the reason that we ordered two separate dishes was because I was under the impression that the portion size would be too small. My company and I ended up dividing the food equally between each other – but that was fine since now the both of us could take in the full food experience!
The Pad Thai was place on the table – seasoned with peanuts, bean sprouts, cooked shrimp, parsley and the pad thai noodles (unfortunately we were so eager to start eating that I had to take a picture of the dish midway into dividing the portions…). Prior to this order, we were warned that the Pad Thai would be on the sour side, as the chef was preparing the noodles with tamarind. It was actually one of the most sour noodles I have ever had – and surprisingly the sweetness of the shrimp or the tastes from the vegetables and peanuts could not simply overcome it. My company and I struggled to finish it not only due to its quantity, but also because of this overwhelming sour taste. This was reiterating the fact that “more” definitely doesn’t equate to “better”!
On the other part of the table, we had the Surf N’ Turf – upon my request. I was initially enticed by this menu option because it had 2 Kobe Beef and 2 Tuna Sashimi in Mini Burgers- alongside with some deep fried sweet potato fries. Kobe Beef was what caught my eye and reminded me of the time I had traveled to Japan and fell in love with the tenderness and juiciness of their signature Kobe Beef – and so with that, my selection for the night was settled. Unfortunately, I was destined for disappointment. The “Kobe Beef” was really not Kobe at all – it was just plain, old beef. In addition, the mini burger buns were too hard to actually cut with a fork and knife, and even grabbing them by hand called for a huge mess. My company and I had to use our forks just to eat the beef and tuna sashimi in the inside of the burger, which practically killed the whole dining experience for this dish. However, on the positive side, the sweet potato fries were prepared to perfection, and no complaints could be made about it.
Spice Route, overall, was worth a good visit to learn that it is more catered for corporate functions and for enjoying drinks rather than for dining. The ambiance of the restaurant was extremely pleasurable, however the food unfortunately wasn’t so much. I was really glad however, to try it out with good company, and experience someplace new that I could record here on Foodie Utopia. This one is for the books (or should I say, for the blog!).
For more information on Spice Route, take a gander at their website: http://www.spiceroute.ca/
Plating – ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
Ambiance – ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
Taste – ♡ ♡
Service – ♡ ♡ ♡