Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keriwa Restaurant, Toronto

Both organic unsalted butter and seasoned pork fat were presented with very tasty, house made bread made with red fife flour.

The presentation of very fresh oysters.

Braised bison pemmican was presented with crunchy, red fife, fry bread (fry bread is a common staple among Canadian Native people), tart summer pickle salad and sweet Saskatoon berries. The pulled bison meat was drenched in a reduced Saskatoon berry sauce. This very flavourful combination was nicely enhanced by the tart summer pickle salad.

A wonderful celeriac and apple puree soup with black chanterelles and kale was topped with sprinkled cinnamon.

An intensely rich, highly concentrated, extraordinarily flavourful roasted tomato soup, without a hint of any bitterness or extraneous acidity, was mixed with house made, crispy, smoked bacon, pumpkin seeds and lovage. This soup was a crafted masterpiece and easily one of the best tomato soups I have tasted anywhere.

Perfectly prepared, very tender and juicy confit of pork belly was presented with braised cabbage and fennel, apple butter and pickled raspberries. These wonderful flavours were greatly enhanced by the bright, sharp taste of the pickled raspberries.

Pheasant grilled over a sugar maple wood fire with sunchoke puree, sweet corn kernels, kale, chanterelles all accompanied by a kale and plum galette. The pheasant was perfectly cooked medium rare and thus a fowl that is often prone to dryness in the hands of less accomplished chefs, was juicy with perfect texture. The gallete was a wonderful addition with it's crunchy, tasty crust and flavourful plum, chanterelle and kale filling.

Wild mushroom tart with sorrel, pine mushrooms, pureed apple, arugula and sorrel. This was the only failure of the night. From the menu description, we had high expectations of this dish. However, we were quite disappointed by the bland flavour and a crust of less than pleasing texture.

Dehydrated, crystallized maple syrup sprinkled on spiced apple pie with vanilla ice cream. This pie had a sensational crust and the filling a perfect apple texture with a highly concentrated apple flavour, spiced with cinnamon, all highlighted by a marvelously rich vanilla ice cream. This may be the best piece of apple pie available in Toronto!

We finished the meal with an interesting buckwheat plum cake that was redolent of sweet plum flavour and accompanied by candied almonds with spiced creme anglais.

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