Bosk @ Shangri-La

Address: 188 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3

Phone: (647) 788-8294

Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/dining/restaurants/bosk/

Summerlicious is an annual fine dining event in the City of Toronto.  You choose from a list of restaurants who enrolled themselves in the event for either a prix fixe lunch or dinner.  Prices vary from $25-45 at each restaurant and decisions are made based on the menus you see online.  You can pretty much google “summerlicious” for the information.

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This year for our girls night out, we decided to try Bosk because we have heard good reviews and do not want to keep re-trying O&B restaurants.  New experiences are always desired!  We went for the dinner option ($45 per person) and the menu looked decent.

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The interior decor of the restaurant was really nice and bright.  A lot of Chinese or Asian elements were used.  Lacquered vases were encased at every corner.  Every wall has intricately wood crafted panels installed.  The panels were movable, which were used as a separator or door for the different dining halls or rooms.  Lines from the walls were the main element used in design, transforming the restaurant into a long and tall space, very relaxing.  The panels also catches light reflections, offering many shadows, and brightens the space too.

Service was great.  Our server was extremely helpful with explaining the menu and giving recommendations.  The most important element was the welcoming bright smile, like he enjoyed the job, appreciated your presence and was thankful for your business.  He was always so responsive with our water and did follow-ups after each course.

We ordered a lot of repeats, so we did not try the whole menu.

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For appetizer, the Sweet Corn Soup with paprika, poached egg, fried quinoa and lardon was ordered.  The soup was really creamy and smooth.  The crunchy quinoa added texture to the soup but not flavour.  Meanwhile the paprika provided a heated sensation to the palate.  I enjoyed the soup hot because it started my digestion process.  Some restaurants like to make chilled soups to match the summer season.  When the air conditioning is cranked to the max, chilled soups really gives you goosebumps.wpid-p7130897.jpg

A second appetizer ordered was the Marinated Tomato Salad with charred bread, goat milk, ricotta, basil and olive.  The presentation of the course was not appealing.  It looked like a bunch of randomized ingredients put together, which I also felt when I was eating it.  The charred bread got really moist with the milk, oil and vinaigrette.  I understand it was suppose to soak up the ingredients but soggy bread just did not feel appetizing.  The ricotta was fresh and melt in your mouth texture.  Tomatoes were fresh and sweet.  The flavours were kind of all over the place and random.  Overall, the salad was not too spectacular but really healthy.

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A vegetarian main course Forest Mushroom Agnolotti with stuffed sweet pea, roasted mushroom and Parmesan cream was ordered.  Angolotti is a bigger version of ravioli.  Pasta shells were al dente.  The melted cheese made the course extremely creamy and savory.  Parmesan cheese is salty to begin with.  I admired how the chef did not sprinkle more salt on top, therefore salt levels were just right for me.  The filling was well paired, but in general, nothing could go wrong with mushroom and peas.  Overall, delicious entree.

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The second main course tried was the Pacific Halibut with couscous, tomato fondue,  fennel and eggplant.  Again, very randomized ingredients put together.  The red tomato puree is a photographic focal point to observe, and the rest of the dish looks muted.  Flavours were in the same analogy.  The tomato paste was flavourful in its famous sweet and sour zing.  Meanwhile, the couscous, eggplant and fennel were quite bland, despite fennel was a strong aromatic but not enough to pair with the dish.  Couscous when cooked was soft and soggy, reminded me of oatmeal.  Eggplant was extremely soft and quite nonexistent.  The halibut was pan seared nicely, very moist and flaky with a crunchy crust.  The pairings were oddly put together because they did not compliment one another.

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To conclude the meal, the Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant topped with blackberry whipped ganache, caramel ice cream and chocolate crunch was ordered.  The dessert was not sweet, it had enough sugar to make us desire for it more.  The mint leaves garnish made the dessert more refreshing.  Overall, the dessert was lacking originality and was quite standard.  Nothing could go wrong with caramel and chocolate.wpid-p7130900.jpg

The other dessert was the Poached Niagara Peach with darjeeling cream, bourbon syrup and brown butter crumble was devoured.  I thought this was the best part of the whole meal.  The dessert portion was large and tasted extremely good.  Darjeeling cream was a filtered tea cream which the chef made as a mousse layer.  It was so rich and smooth that I was quite addicted to it and wanted more.  The crunchy crumble gave the dessert a parfait texture but significantly smaller in size than the cereal bits.  The peach slice was a hidden treasure which you had to keep digging to find.  It was crunchy and sweet, definitely not canned peach because the texture and sugar levels were different if compared closely.  I enjoyed the overall presentation, texture and flavour of the dessert.  They were well paired!  Wish I could have another one~

The portions were small for its price, but it was a nice atmosphere and had great service, which made up for it, even though the food was not spectacular.  I might return to try its regular menu because there is more variety and more practiced on.

Ratings 

Food 3.25/5

Service 4/5

Ambiance 4/5

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