Restaurant: Maman Toronto
Location: 1 First Canadian Place, Food Terrace, Upper Level, Toronto, ON M5X 1C1
Price Range: $$
Bonjour! (The only word I know in French since I failed that class in middle school, seriously). Today I am bringing you to Maman, which is one of my favorite getaway from the cubicle life in the Financial District!
Maman Toronto is located on the mezzanine level of First Canadian Place which can be quite confusing and difficult to find if you don’t work in the area. My suggestion is to look for the all-white BMO tower, keep walking outside along the building until you see a huge open seating area with stairs on the side, and Maman will be on the Food Terrace on the uppermost level. From the outside, the cafe looked simple but definitely stood out from the normal food court shops with their white walls and fresh flowers by the windows.
The cafe have a gorgeous outdoor patio with fresh hydrangeas on every table that was just perfect for warm weather. Just like the patio, the inside gave off a vintage and rustic feel of a Parisian home in Southern France.
Initially Maman was only open during the week day with the occasion of private parties and events on the weekends. I have been here multiple time for my coffee breaks during work, however just recently Maman announced its first weekend brunch in Toronto, and I knew I had to go! Hence this review will be on their brunch service and I will save the bakery/coffee review for another day :).
Psh, for those who care, the staff spoke real French, not the Quebecois-French (please don’t hate me)…. I can confirm since my boss is a true Parisian. Hah.
For their brunch, I really appreciated how Maman don’t have the typical egg benedict that you would see on every brunch’s menu in Toronto. Not that I don’t like egg benedict, it just such a basic dish now that I would only get when there is something else special about it. Please note that you can make a reservation for brunch in Maman by email, which is not something that most restaurants offer yet!
Just look at that cute tea cup! C, or both of us were seriously in love with it haha. The cup was also being sold in the store for $35 as well :).
I have gotten the matcha latte at Maman several times now and I have to say, the drink quality was always consistent! Instead of normal milk, Maman servers the matcha latte with almond milk (yay! For being lactose intolerant!). I liked how the latte wasn’t too sweet and you can taste the strong (almost grassy) taste of matcha, which is how I like it :).
C ordered the smoke salmon and while I didn’t try it, she loved the dish and licked the plate clean :p.
The croque madame, or “maman” came out piping hot and it was a huge portion! Without the egg, the sandwich would still have been really filling and it was worth the $13 price tag. The side salad had a bit too much dressings, but it was refreshing after having a heavy sandwich.
Oh boy, I normally dislike the béchamel sauce as some tends to taste a bit too flour-y or bland, but this was incredibly flavorful and the sauce was not too thin nor thick. The cheese just slightly melted, creamy and buttery. Break the egg yolk and it will runs through your sandwich and mixes with the cheese and béchamel sauce, and it turns into this eating experience that is just beyond words. Give me more, now.
Unfortunately the matcha pancakes fell short in terms of flavor and texture. The matcha flavor didn’t come through and it was almost undetectable.I couldn’t taste the ricotta nor shredded coconut either. The texture of the pancake was too doughy, dense and almost rubbery. I thought the portion was quite small for $14, but it was a good sized portion without making you feeling stuffed. The one positive thing I can think of was that the pancake was not too sweet, even with the syrup and whipped cream.
So long story short, the service was amazing and tentative. There was no busy crowds and seatings were really organized. The ambiance was exactly what I was looking for, quite and relaxing, I didn’t have to yell at C to have a conversation ;). Though the price is quite up there, it’s pretty much on the same price range as other brunch restaurants in Toronto. The food was delicious and generous portions, and I would love to come back on another day to try other items on the brunch menu.