Restaurant: Teara Lab
Location: 181 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1P7
Price Range: $$
Located at 181 College Street across from University of Toronto, on May 27th our city is about to get a Japanese fusion sandwiches thanks to Teara Lab – presented by Kaka All You Can Eat. If you guys don’t know already, Kaka is probably one of the most famous AYCE in Markham which always require reservation weeks in advance. I personally have tried Kaka AYCE before (lost all the pictures though) and really enjoyed it.
Sweven Media actually held a menu testing event at Teara Lab previously and I was invited to try as well. However for this post, I will not review that event as some items have changed since then. Also, do note that I didn’t capture all of the sandwiches that day. There were a roast chicken burger and a curry Japanese pork sandwich that I didn’t get to try. In addition to the sandwiches, Teara Lab also offer drinks – not your ordinary pop & juices – such as milk tea and creama. You will get an option to order side dishes (fries/poutine/asian slaw) as well.
During the initial menu tasting phase, the braised beef was a clear favorite among food bloggers in term of flavors but it was extremely messy to eat. I’m happy to say that Teara Lab took our feedbacks that night and improved this sandwich!
The portion was quite substantial and the braised beef was tender and well seasoned. The buns were nicely toasted and they were no longer soggy (a different type of bread was used previously and there was too much sauce from the beef). I liked how you are getting different textures from the fried onions and mushrooms as well. All in all, a pretty damn good sandwich!
In general I prefer my tonkatsu to have that crispy panko texture and unfortunately this did not deliver. I also found the pork to be a bit dry, perhaps more wasabi sauce would help! I found the both the fries + yam fries on the side were not greasy nor too salty though, quite tasty!
I had a small bite of this burger and the chicken was juicy and perfectly seasoned with a slight kick of the wasabi mayo – delicious!
Who can say no to pork belly? The meat had a melted in your mouth texture and I found the lean-to-fat ratio was really good as well. The creaminess from the avocado actually worked well with the spicy and sour kimchi. All combined, it’s a delightful, glorious sandwich of spicy, pungent and fresh flavors with multiple textures to boot.
After a long process of perfecting the menu, I’m happy to say that the sandwiches at Teara Lab are definitely ready for Torontonians! My only concern about the shop is probably the prices. As it’s located across from UoT, the sandwiches should be affordable for students because you know, most of us are pretty much on OSAP (lol). Though I understand the quality of the ingredients here are up there, a sandwich + drink/side can cost a student almost $20, so do take note of that.
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Teara Lab, 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.