the world isn't round… it's a platter
First time travelling out of Montréal after spending 2 years here in Canada. Starting my Toronto foodie adventure off with a Bang!, Richmond Station was my first pit stop. This place is situated right opposite The Bay, with ‘Richmond Station’ written on the glass window followed by a cute train logo (NO signboard). Having made a reservation a week ahead, we were seated promptly right at the counter facing the open kitchen where we could see Chef Carl Heinrich (Top Chef Canada Season 2′s champ) and his crew in action right in front of our eyes. The place was packed although it was a weekday evening.
To share, we had the Polenta Fries plated on a wooden board. The fries were placed on streaks of spicy mayonnaise, garnished with cilantro and comes with marinara sauce for dipping. My first bite was rather bland BUT when I had my second bite, took my time to chew it with my mouth closed, I could taste the delicate corn flavor. The special thing about this dish is the flavors don’t come all at once in a ‘whoosh!’ but rather it creeps into the mouth slowly. A simple yet satisfying dish.
For appetizer, we had the Roasted Beet. This dish was just ‘Wow!’. Pickled beets in maple vinaigrette nestled on smooth and creamy goat cheese topped with arugula and a few roasted crunchy beet slices. What I liked about this dish is that the goat cheese is not too overpowering. I’ve tried places that serve goat cheese whose flavor is just too strong for my liking. Bits of hazelnut add a unique nutty crunch to this dish.
While waiting for our mains, we were served homemade bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was a little hard and dry.
One of our mains was Richmond’s most talked about Station Burger. Tender and juicy beef patty layered with melted aged cheddar and clamped between soft and fluffy buns, accompanied by a creamy dipping sauce for the generous portion of rosemary fries and pickled radish salad on the side. This was definitely the highlight of our dinner. I sunk my teeth into the burger while juice dripped from the sides of my mouth and the rest was history. Fries served here are unlike those boring normal fries you get elsewhere. There was a distinct corn taste to them. A slight off point is the salt on the fries was not well distributed, some parts saltier than others. The pickled radish salad helped cleanse the oil from the fries. (Beet chutney mentioned in the menu wasn’t served)
Our second main was the 1/4 Chicken, an item on the special menu of the day. Grilled breast and confit leg accompanied by asparagus, topped with thin slices of cheese (couldn’t recall what cheese was used) rested on eggplant caponata. I liked the confit leg, which was cripsy on the exterior, more than the grilled breast, which was a little dry. If I had the choice, I would try the other main option on the special menu of the day – deep fried soft shell crab (it looked REALLY GOOD).
We ended our meal with the Mint Chocolate Ice Cream (also an item on the special menu of the day). A scoop of mint ice cream with cherry and chocolate mousse meringue which melted in your mouth. There were also chunks of jelly which added a fun and playful character to this dessert. I would say that the dessert was okay, nothing spectacular.
Overall, Richmond Station is definitely worth your visit for its burger ($20 for burger of such quality? Totally WORTH IT). Throughout our meal, our waitress constantly checked up on us and we also had a chance to chat with Chef Carl himself. Great place for a casual night out with your date or with a group of friends. (Reservations recommended)