Restaurant: Richmond Station
Location: 1 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 3W4
Price Range: $$$
If you guys don’t know already, cooking show is one of my guilty pleasure and my favorite have to be Top Chef Canada. It’s quite fascinating for me to understand the mind of a professional chef and how they handle the ingredients in a kitchen. One of my favorite chef from the show is Carl Heinrich, season 2 winner and co-owner of Richmond Station, and you guys might remember how I encountered him at Taste of Toronto and basically froze lol..
Richmond Station first opened in 2012, and to be honest despite being Chef Carl’s biggest fan, I was a poor college student back then so the food here was way over my budget. However now I’m working and have the money to spend (sort of… LOL), and when T invited me for dinner here at 9PM (?!), I sprinted out of my door as fast as possible.
The restaurant is divided into 2 sections: a high ceiling room that’s more like of a bar when you walk in and the back was more intimate with the open kitchen as the focus. Although I arrived at 9PM, there were still a crowd and though it can get noisy at time, it was never unbearable.
Unfortunately chef Carl wasn’t in for the night, or maybe he left early so I couldn’t ask for a picture :(. If you can, I recommend the chef table or get a seat at the back as you will get to oversee the chefs preparing your food. There weren’t too many selections on the main menu, but definitely check out their daily menu! It just screams fresh and seasonal ingredients! What else can you ask for?
Ok you guys better enjoy these high quality pictures from T, because for the posts after it will be my low-quality iPhone pics :(.
Since there were 4 of us and we weren’t sure of the portion, we decided to get two appetizers and two entrees to share :). For starter we got the polenta fries and despite the small portion, this is a must order!! The fries were crunchy on the outside, soft inside with just a slightly melted shredded cheese on top. Polenta itself can be bland, but these were salted just right with a delicious and tangy tomato sauce!
I can’t quite remember the exact price for this dish as it was on their chalkboard special menu, and when I was about to take a picture the server wiped the board…….. cry. With that said, we asked the server to describe the ingredients in the dish and T kindly recorded it for me LOL.
The tuna tartare was placed on top of a black pepper crisp, topped with crema, mint and pickled chilies. I didn’t enjoy this dish as I felt the pickled chilies were so spicy that it prevented me from tasting the fresh tuna. The crema nor mint didn’t help to ease the spiciness either, overall a very disappointing dish.
Another dish on the daily menu that I forgot to take a picture of lol. When the main courses arrived, we were in awe as the portion was humongous! I think because it was near the closing time, the chef went all out and put more food than usual to not waste any haha.
The duo of pork consisted of panko crusted then deep fried pork head cheese and roasted pork loin; topped with pine nut, yogurt and all of this deliciousness sat on top of a tomato chickpeas ragu and roasted sweet potato. For those who don’t know, head cheese is essentially a sausage or bologna made out of boiled pig head. I have had parts of the pork head in the past, however this was my first time to have the ENTIRE pork head. To be honest it had a standard pork flavors and texture, so don’t be afraid! Also, these were panko crusted and deep fried, and as I always say, deep fry makes everything taste better! The pork loin was juicy, the ragu was hearty and amazing, however I found the sweet potato was a bit undercooked. Though the yogurt sauce might sound strange, the tanginess really helped to cut down the dish as it was quite heavy.
Another must oder at Richmond Station! The perogies were soft and the seared crust added some texture and eliminated the stickiness. They were filled with cheddar and sweet potato, a bit on the heavy side but the accompanying beet puree and and tangy sour cream lightened up the meal. The caramelized onions, fennels and sauteed swiss chard paired well and helped to balance the dish. With that said, I didn’t quite get the flavor of the cinnamon cap mushroom :(.
While the dessert menu sounded intriguing, everyone was stuffed at this point and it was getting really late as well. I heard their desserts are very innovative and delicious, so I need to plot for another visit soon hehe.
We were given some housemade chocolate when we got our bill. A bit too dark for me but nonetheless still delicious.
Overall it was a phenomenal meal at Richmond Station, and by far this is easily one of my favorite restaurant in Toronto! The restaurant have more of a casual and laid back feel, and despite arriving near the closing time, the servers never rushed us to finish the meal. Our server was super attentive and knowledgeable about the dishes. I admit this place is pricey, but it’s worth the splurge for the fantastic quality of food and services.