Address: 1 Richmond St. W. Toronto, ON, M5H 3W4
Phone: (647) 748-1444
Richmond Station located in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District is a gathering place for all. The restaurant run or co-own by Ryan Donovan and Top Chef Winner Carl Heinrich is at a convenient location, right next to the subway station on Yonge Street, very accessible. It was recently voted as one of the top ten restaurants in Toronto, for the year of 2015.
The restaurant has a sophisticated decor. It was simple, bright and airy. Quite casual and welcoming for everyone. There is also at tasting area where you are seated in front of the kitchen like an open concept, at the back of the restaurant after walking a small flight of stairs. If you want to sit there, remember to specifically request when you make reservations.
A chalkboard hangs right of the entrance shows the day specials.
Lamb Neck Croquettes ($13) with heirloom tomatoes, tzatziki, fried chickpeas, red onion, and dill is a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern influence appetizer. The lamb tasted gamey and was very soft to the bite. The texture was similar to pulled pork, almost disintegrates and easily pliable. Tzatziki sauce was not as creamy nor dairy as I expected. It tasted more like hummus in my opinion, probably from the chickpeas. But overall, the main character, the lamb bites was very distinct while all the other ingredients were supporting casts, not overpowering or shadowing the lamb. In my opinion, this appetizer was memorable and controlled well, especially with dill herb to bring out the gamey flavours of the lamb meat.
Smoked Trout Hushpuppies ($11) was finished with curried ketchup, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro. Portions were good and very shareable, in a clean manner. The fried trout had a very crunchy shell and soft warm insides. It tasted spicy from the curried ketchup sauce and jalapenos. You do not taste the tomato based sauce in general. The cilantro actually enhanced the strong sauce flavours, making the overall sensation more pleasurable. I must compliment on how little oil there is on the breading or crust, feeling light. This appetizer was amazing and just kept me yearning for more food.
Crispy Polenta Fries ($8) topped with red pepper rouille, parmesan, and basil was the most creative dish of the evening. In fact, it was my favourite appetizer, out of all that was ordered. Good job chefs! The fries mimicked the texture of potato fries, except crunchier and fresher. The flavours were rich and sweet with the red peppers added into the polenta mixture, adding dimension to the experience. The sauce was similar to the thousand island salad dressing and the parmesan cheese was lightly sprinkled, did not overthrow the natural flavours of the polenta. The creativity drove my acceptance and liking for the dish.
Beef Bulgogi Tartare ($9) was mixed with hoisin, sesame, crispy ginger and scallion curls. The inspiration was definitely a fusion between English and Asian cuisines. But the appetizer was not as exciting as imagined. I thought it was going to be a plate of tartare instead of small portions on a chip. The beef was extremely fresh and soft. The flavours were standard, nothing exciting or fun. It reminds me of soy sauce marinated beef.
Grilled Swordfish ($27) was topped with grilled asparagus, crispy potatoes, hollandaise, and spicy tomato salsa. I rarely see swordfish on a menu, and my curiosity took over my senses. Swordfish has a rough texture, like shark meat. It was one big slab of fresh swordfish steak, grilled to perfection. Grilling technique added a crunchy layer to the exterior, and the release of the fat or oils made the course very pleasurable and soft to the bite. The hollandaise and spicy tomato salsa added dimension or interest to the fillet. It was rich and creamy in flavour with a subtle faint spicy kick. The vegetable decor or side was sweet and crunchy, very refreshing. This dish is an awesome example how the sauce, vegetable sides dressed up the main swordfish.
Pan Seared Digby Scallops ($26) was served with tomato beet puree, roasted sweet potato, pickled beets, orange salsa, almond dukkah and fennel salad. The scallops were seared to perfection, forming a crusty surface, while maintaining its juicy and soft interior. The scallops were big and extremely fresh, that it was sweet in flavour. This entree was creative by combining different elements into one; sweet and sour in one dish. It was well maintained or controlled nicely, not overshadowing one another. The flavours were distinct and exhilarating.
Richmond Station is a restaurant that combines the scientific elements of food together into a form of art, as if the chefs experimented the natural aromas and flavours of the ingredients to see what mixture will produce the best results. All the dishes cooked here were thrilling, exciting and fascinating. The appetizers were uplifting, while the entrees were gastronomically fascinating and inspiring. It brings in good mood and enjoyment to be able to try something so satisfying. I really appreciate the great service and good food. In general, amazing experience.