Restaurant: Flaming Bull Toronto
Location: 378 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M1S 1X2
Price Range: $$$
Flaming Bull is a franchise that originated from Taiwan and they just recently opened a location in Toronto, with its focus on fine-dining Asian cuisine. Upon entering the restaurant, the overall interior design is incredibly chic and modern – the restaurant actually looked like it belonged to the Yorkville area!
Throughout the dinner, the service was friendly and attentive. Though they would occasionally make small mistakes such as dropping food or spilling stuff while delivering the dishes, I didn’t mind it as the restaurant just opened and the servers just need a bit more training!
My friend and I were presented with a set tasting menu for the dinner, but from what I remember they have a la carte menu as well. Do note that by the time this blog post published, some of the dishes might have changed in term of ingredients or name as the owners were still finalizing the menu before the grand opening.
The first course was a “Shake N Shake” salad with each component of the dish contained inside those glass tubes. The server informed us to pour all the ingredients into the glass jar with lettuce, then close the lid tightly and shake shake!
Unfortunately the salad was incredibly sweet from the raisins and sweet corn, thus making it an odd way to start the meal. At the same time I’m not too keen on the whole DIY kind of thing, especially when I’m coming here to get the food made for me (lol), but I still liked that you could control the amount of dressing in your salad.
The tea was served after the salad, which I found it quite strange. Nonetheless the tea was an excellent way to balance out the sweetness found in the salad.
Because of the red chilli, the soup turned out to be incredibly spicy for myself and the salmon was overcooked as well. I actually brought up the red chilli concern to the co-owner, but he stated that the heat came from the ginger and not the red chilli – I disagree though..
The four secret dressings are: bitter, sweet, sour, salty which represent the taste of life. Good concept and the pork shoulder had a nice ratio of fat to meat, but the meat itself was quite bland. Except for the salty sauce, the rest didn’t pair well with the pork belly at all.
The broth was flavorful and light which complimented the tender and slightly chewy abalone. This was perhaps the best dish of the night and I’m still craving for it until now.
I liked the use of the flask as a cup but that was pretty much it.
My friend’s main course came with AAA prime steak and it was quite a sight to see the host/or server sear the steak in front of our eyes!
The noodle had a chewy and firm texture while the beef shank was incredibly tender. However I thought the soup was quite bland and spicy, it didn’t have any depth of flavor at all.
The concept of this dish was exactly the same as Aka Teppan which happened to be in the same area as well. However instead of letting the customer mix the ingredients, the server did it for us. While curry had a nice kick to it, I thought the chicken was dry and bland.
It would have been better if they used the actual steamed bao buns than a piece of toast.. I mean, I could have made this at home with more toppings. Luckily the beef stir fry was juicy and flavorful, otherwise this would have been a bland dish as no sauce was accompanied.
Though the overall soup was not too sweet and the flowers didn’t have that overbearing floral scents – I’m quite conflicted with this dessert. It was too simple and they should have paired the dessert with other ingredients to add more flavor, taste and texture to the sweet soup. However due to its simplicity, it worked well with the tasting menu as the previous dishes was quite heavy. But as a dessert on its own, the flavor was not there.
This smooth and decadent panna cotta was pretty much irresistible. I liked that they kept the panna cotta itself almost non-sweetened, which paired well with the sweet mango sauce.
Although the dishes at Flaming Bull had beautiful presentations and unique concept, at the end of the day, its the food that matters and the dishes fell short in terms of flavors. I was also quite confused with the flow of the courses and I’m not sure if the order of the dishes on the tasting menu remain the same like how we received it. It would have been better if the first two “appetizers” weren’t too sweet or spicy, they should be light to refresh the palate! Finally I’m quite concern about the pricing and location of this restaurant. Flaming Bull is located in the Annex and there are a handful of affordable restaurants nearby for UoT students – so I really hope their pricing is somewhat affordable for the residents in the area.
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Flaming Bull Toronto, I am not obliged to publish a review on the business. All opinions/thoughts are my own. For more information about my review policy, please click here.