Monday, June 03, 2013

Bent - Drop what you're doing and eat a Lobster Taco!

Bent - Sake Lemongrass Oyster Shot
I am a social person but one of the things I tend to avoid is dinner in large groups.  D knows this.  Wine flows, people order crazy amounts of meats and meaty parts I won't eat.  You end up talking to 3 of the 20 people there and service is slow and expensive.  Anyhoo, it is unavoidable and we've wanted to try Bent for a while.  Run by the sons of the renown chef Susur Lee, it is a worth the trek down this otherwise dull stretch of Dundas.

My cousin H chose it for her sister's birthday.  To make things easier for us, the hostess suggested that we get the Prix Fixe tasting menu since we were such a large group.  These were the only annoying aspects of our visit here.  1. They required she put down a charged 200$ deposit for the table.  2. They sent her a menu and told her the price, $50, for THAT menu (which she emailed to all the guests) and when we arrived, they claimed that was a sample and if we wanted a 50 menu, they would have to make adjustments.  I tried to explain that that wasn't the point.  The point was, we were given that menu and told it was 50$ and we were all here and expecting that.  In the end, though somewhat apologetic, they were unrelenting and insisted we pay the 65$ to have the menu we were emailed.  SO I'M CLEAR, it wasn't the mere 15$ difference.  We ended up spending as much as the meal on wine.  It was that we made the booking based on the menu and the price given and they did not honour that.

Park that because it was my cousin S's birthday.  Thankfully she was at the other end of the looooong table from H and I while we debated the situation with the maitre d', so she didn't have to worry.

Bent - Braised Spiced Short Ribs - Spectacular
Once we decided to put a pin on that annoyance, we happily waited for the food.  As per my opening statement, the time elapsing between courses was excrutiatingly long.  I had thought the pace was slow at Edulis, though that felt more comfy slow than 'coooommmme onnnnnn!?!?'  This was the pace here.  Though when a course came out, it came out for the full table which was nice.  We all ordered the tasting menu to make things easy which was nice.  We shared the plates back and forth.  I think our end of the table was doing most of the eating though.  We easily had twice much as what seemed to come out on the small plates.  No one was complaining from our end though :^D.

Bent - Duck Wraps
The dinner started with their tasty Oyster Shooter.  Let me be perfectly clear here.  I HATE OYSTERS.  But as this was meant to be a whole experience, I thought I'd give it a go since it wasn't like it was sitting there all slimey on a half shell smelling like the pier.  Marinated in Sake with Lemon Grass, Shallots and Ponzu sauce.  It was bright and fresh tasting.  Now as a non-fan of the Oyster itself, it went down as a single shot for me.  My cousins and hubbo, who are Oyster fanatics like to let it sit and chew a few seconds.  They loved them equally.

Bent - Lobster Taro Tacos
There were a near dozen courses so without writing a short novel, I could not summarize here in my normal stye.  I will say though, you get more than just a bite full of each per course which is great without the feeling of being human fois gras, which is what D calls watching my mother feeding lil T.  That said, even though we were given more than our share due to the modest eaters at the other end of the long table, we still gave our best and left little for the compost.  As my brit friends would say, 'we could Eat for Canada'.  The Short Rib event was particularly spectacular.  I mean, they are incredibly rich and though the plate comes out looking all innocent and modest a mere first sharing portion is alot.  But when two plates came towards D and my cuz A, they ploughed through.  Actually, we were recently back for the Bent-O Seafood special and D regretted not ordering the Short Rib, thinking they'd have removed it from the summer menu.  I guess we'll be going back for a third visit within 6 months :D

Bent - Tempura - CrunchyAwesomeness
Lobster Tacos in Housemade Taro Root Shells - Spectacular! Taro very nutty and Lobster well cooked, not tough, great sauce. I will go back again and again for them.
Deep dark Braised Spiced Short Ribs with Potatoes and Kale - An event, very rich, full of flavour, well cooked.
Homemade Pickles
Chive and Shrimp wontons - Crispy, well seasoned
Pressed Octopus with Capers and Pomegranate - Suprisingly tender and gently dressed.
Watermelon and Tuna Ceviche - Signature. Great balance of Sweet Sour Savoury, Rich, Bright. Loved the 'croutons'.
Yellowtail Hamache - Very fresh
Tofu Tempura with a Coconut Tuile and Tempura Yam  - OMG, I could eat that tuile all night. Tempura was light and not oily.  Yam a tad heavy but still yummo.
Duck Wraps with Slaw in Rice Basket - It comes with Fois Gras! H and D were scraping the little cup the Fois Gras came in.  You spread the wrap with FG and layer on the Duck. The Slaw is a nice cruncy Asian take, much less complex than dad's (aka Lee's) but still yummo, served in a playful, edible Rice basket
Mini Apple Tart for veggies / Procuitto Arugula Tart for carnies
Nori and Tofu - Fresh, light.  Had most of this to myself as it came with the Ribs :^D
This was all accompanied by copious bottles of wine.
Assorted Desserts - This was a weak point.  We really didn't like any of the desserts.  On our second visit though, which I'll write about soon, The desserts were much better.

Bent - Procuitto Arugula Tart

Bent - Desserts Disappointing (this time)
Service: Very slow and reservation with prix fixe offer was a bit of a cluster
Wine list: Great selection
Ambiance: Lively bistro but did not like sitting at the elevated barstool table at the door.
Family friendly: no, not the setting nor menu
Food: Wonderful combinations, fresh and addictive

(647) 352-0092
777 Dundas Street West

Bent on Urbanspoon

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