Friday, September 16, 2011


A few months ago, my friend and I went to Brassaii (@brassaii) for dinner to celebrate my birthday. I've never been to Brassaii before and to tell you the truth I never knew exactly where it was, as in, I knew it was on King West but I couldn't for the life of me remember seeing their sign, ever. Finally found out why when we went; Brassaii is tucked really far into an alley way - we actually walked into a pub beside Brassaii, thinking it was well, Brassaii.

I always hear about Brassaii's patio and sure enough, it was the first thing I noticed, you can't miss it. With all that space, I understand why they can afford to have a nice patio out front. The area is huge!

Although I wanted to sit on the patio it was getting chilly so we went inside. I guess that's one bad thing about patios being in an alley; there's only so many hours in a day when the sun actually shines through. Another bad thing is just the fact that I always feel cold =( 

Brassaii is very spacious with an open kitchen and three long rows of seating. I liked how the windows on the other side lets in all the sunlight. There was a lot of different textures in the room: brick walls, concrete pillars, wooden floors, fabric drapes, exposed metal ducts, leather seats, shiny smooth tables, etc. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing...just an observation.

The view from my friend's seat.

Polish Thoroughbred (1.5oz + Champagne) ($16) - Belvedeere Vodka, pink grapefruit juice, honey-ginger syrup, Angostura bitters, topped with champagne, orange twist (Complex orange citrus aroma, balanced body with hints of ginger spice, with a sparkling fruit finish). 

My friend liked the drink. I took a sip and it was nice but I wouldn't pay $16 for it.

Bread with hummus & tomato with pesto - Nothing much to comment here. Average.

Amuse-bouche: Ahi tuna with assorted vegetables - This was a great start to our meal. The fresh veggies and the ahi tuna, cut into a perfect circle, was delicious. I wish all miniature food was this tasty (kinda like the two-bite brownie but 10x better)! Oh and I love the spoon.


Ostrich carpaccio + truffled white bean and mushroom salad + mustard aioli ($17) - Maybe my palette isn't refined enough but I wouldn't have known this was ostrich. Nevertheless, the carpaccio was sliced really thin, even thinner than paper it seemed.. I thought the mustard aioli, with a bit of spiciness, and the light mushroom salad went really well with the carpaccio. This was my favourite course that night.


Grilled filet of beef tenderloin + black truffle potato gnocchi + foie gras ($34) - My friend asked for medium-rare and it came out almost well-done. My friend didn't want to send it back as I would have to wait for him but I insisted that he had to! His entr矇e wasn't cheap and there was no way I was going to let him eat a well done steak that he won't enjoy. The second steak came out perfectly and my friend said he liked the gnocchi and foie gras as well.

Grilled swordfish + lobster mash + sweet corn and tomato salsa + corn emulsion ($28) - The swordfish itself was cooked well and wasn't not dry at all. It was nicely grilled with all the moisture still retained inside. I couldn't say I liked any of the other stuff on the plate: boiled carrot and broccoli was boring, I couldn't really taste the lobster in the mash, the corn and tomato salsa was just as boring as the boiled broccoli and carrot...

...and corn foam?  Not crazy about that.

Amuse-bouche: Grapefruit and basil souffl矇 palette refresher - I enjoyed this because I could really taste the basil in this little ball of grapefruit slush. It was refreshingly cold. I was ready for dessert after this =)


Banana Bunch Trio - Banana sticky toffee pudding + maple butter banana tart + banana lime ice cream ($10) - I was greedy and wanted a bit of everything so I ordered this Banana Bunch Trio. Got a "Happy Birthday" written on the plate as well as a candle stuck in a raspberry =D My favourite was the pudding (the ooey-gooey stuff always gets me). The tart was average and I wasn't feeling the banana + lime ice cream combination.

What stood out for me the most at Brassaii that night were the amuse-bouches and the appetizer. The food was decent and nicely executed but not great as nothing was memorable there. With those prices, I cannot see myself returning to Brassaii for a 3-course meal but for a drink on their patio? Sure thing.

Brassaii- Cafe- Restaurant- Lounge on Urbanspoon


Amy said...

Haha reading about your experience here reminded me of my dinner at Frank's Kitchen. The amuse-bouche was great, but the actual entrees were nothing special. A bit disappointed since Brassaii has been on my list for a while, but I might go there for brunch one day ;)

Andrew said...

that steak looks GOOD!

kikisbff said...

I still haven't posted my visit yet, just so lazy these days =P
the most memorable thing of the night was oveheard the waiter asking the next table how would she like her pork cooked? and she was taken aboack and ask how is it usually cooked?.... LOL, I would have the reaction if I was ask that cause I nerver get ask how cook my pork should be.... Hummm ?!?

Jess said...

I came here a couple times a while ago, when it was a different chef, I believe. Was never too impressed with the food. Just a nice place to grab a drink, really. Based on your review, I don't need to be rushing back anytime soon either.

Teena in Toronto said...

I've walked by this place a million time but have never stopped in.

foodieyu said...

Yeah but I wouldn't pay $34 for it..especially at Brassaii

foodieyu said...

Hey yeah, maybe their brunch is good! Let me know k? =D

foodieyu said...

Oh I feel ya...some posts are just harder to write than others....especially the mediocre ones. What?! That is weeeeird. I wonder what the server said? =D

foodieyu said...

You're not missing much~

foodieyu said...

I heard the they changed chef as well! Either way, seems like nothing has changed, the food is still decent but nothing special, huh?

Graham said...

I really hate a lot of these "modern" cooking techniques like using foams. I remember going to colborne lane who did all sorts of stuff like that and I felt sick after eating there.

foodieyu said...

Me too. Especially foam, pretty outdated I must say.

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