Lee is a French-Asian culinary experience! Lee is opened by the famed chef, Sursur Lee, who was a winner on the Top Chef: Masters television show and has since then opened up two restaurants in Toronto alone. He is known for offering fusion cooking and his most popular dish is the Singapore Slaw.
With that said, three friends and I headed to Lee to try this place out! Two of us had walked past it after a Flirty Girl Fitness class and complimented on how chic and classy the restaurant looked from the outside and decided that we would check this restaurant out in the near future. I am so happy that we had the chance to dine here. It was definitely a wonderful, delicious, but a bit pricey evening! I would recommend coming here at least once to see what it’s all about. :)
Without further ado, let’s get on to how the night went!
We were greeted by the hostess who offered to take our coats for a complimentary coat check. The professional and well-mannered server gave us a brief introduction to the restaurant and told us that all dishes were served to share. Throughout the night, he and the food runner gave us thorough descriptions of all the plates of food that arrived on our table. The service was impeccable. We ended up ordering five main dishes and three desserts to share between the four of us.
Without question, we ordered the Singaporean Slaw to share. It arrived in a magnificent tall mountain of “slaw” and then was disassembled and mixed together by the server (you can watch Chef Lee do this in action before your eyes here). This dish is made from 18 ingredients! (From green onions, taro roots, cucumbers, tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, tarragon, basil, fried shallots, rice vermicelli, and more, it was very colourful and made crunching sounds as it was beat and mixed together. It’s hard to believe a dish could be made from so many ingredients. What wasn’t hard to believe was how amazing it tasted. All the different textures of the vegetables blended together to taste refreshing, crunchy, and unique. We all enjoyed it immensely. No wonder this is Lee’s signature dish!
Next up, we had the cold dish Black Pepper Charred Tuna Sashimi & Spicy Tartare. It was arranged beautifully on the plate. A lot of work would have been put into this for major presentation points! I liked the spicy tartare; it was flavourful and fresh. The charred tuna sashimi was also very fresh and topped with fresh veggies. I couldn’t get couldn’t of the spicy tartare though. :)
Our second dish of seafood was the Spice Crusted Diver Scallop. I’m not a huge fan of scallops in restaurants as I find that once they’re cooked well, they all pretty much taste the same, but I was pleased to find that they seasoned the scallop very well at Lee. There was a square-shaped piece of crispy bacon of top of each scallop that was arranged arranged very delicately on the plate. Each piece of scallop was large and I used my fork and knife to carefully slice through the hot scallop. I really liked how the semi-spicy flavour was strong throughout the scallop. It was very well done. I also liked how it was a unique dish since there was a sliver of grapefruit accompanying each scallop. Unless you’re an absolute huge fan of scallops, I’m not so sure I would order this again though.
I absolutely loved this next dish: Top Chef Green Curry Chicken. It was Lee’s winning dish of Top Chef! The first thing I noticed was the huge slice of oven dried pineapple that sat atop the long plate. Everything so far was perfectly put together and this dish was no exception. I liked how since it was more of a tapas-style of eating, each dish served so far definitely was perfectly shareable among us four; there was a piece of chicken for each of us! The green curry wasn’t overpowering or very spicy at all, but the chicken was extremely tender and SO good! It’s hard to really find chicken that is cooked with so much flavour, but this dish nailed it. The multi-grain rice cake that bookended the plate was also crispy and yummy.
Mmm! Rack of Lamb Thailandaise was a dish recommended to me by a friend who had visited Lee. I am also so glad that we ordered this dish because it was truly out of this world. Again, there are not a lot of places that prepare rack of lamb perfectly and tenderly. Lee was able to deliver a scrumptiously tender and flavourful rack of lamb. I really, really enjoyed it and couldn’t get enough! I licked the bone clean. I couldn’t believe how tender the lamb was. The tomato lentil-cumin stew and coconut carrot cardamom chutney provided such a great sauce to the lamb. The banana fritter also placed a great punch of Thai flavour to the dish. I highly recommend this dish!
We arrived at the dessert portion of the meal all too quickly as I had room in my belly for more mains, as did Val, but the other half of our table commented that they were very satisfied already. With three desserts on the horizon, I was very excited to sink my teeth into them.
The Pear Tart was great! The pastry of the tart was crunchy and flaky and contained sweet and soft pears. The lemon sour ice cream and almond cream were a great addition to the tart.
We chose the dessert special of the night: Chocolate Banana Cake. This is probably one of the best banana cakes I’ve ever had! It was so rich in banana essence and the chocolate sauce that enveloped the small mound of cake was rich and served as a great sweet ending. The great part of this dessert was also the molten marshmallow that reminded me of soft smores. It was a great choice!
Lastly, a Chinese tradition is to consume “tong yuens” (translating as “soup rounds”) as a way to signify cohesion and the bringing together of friends and family during traditional festivals and holidays. This was a dessert that my friend also recommended. Instead of the usual filling of red bean or black sesame, the inside of these squishy rice dumplings was filled with chocolate nougat (truly a French and Asian fusion!). Everyone around the table loved it. In terms of the actual dessert though, I’ve had plenty of tong yuens in my lifetime at dinner parties with my relatives so this dessert wasn’t out of this world for me. However, I did enjoy the chocolate nougat contained in the smooth rice dumpling. I was a huge fan of the cute little spoon that it sat on as well as the “basket plate” that it was served in. Truly, this restaurant racks up full points on the presentation side!
The bill that arrived for our amazing meal was a shock to me. We spent close to $60 per person! I don’t remember the last time I spent that much on a dinner out with friends so I was a little concerned about that. However, I did enjoy the dishes that we ordered very much, and I suppose it was worth the experience to get to dine at such a famous chef’s restaurant. I would highly recommend the Singaporean Slaw, Curry Chicken, Rack Of Lamb, and the Tong Yuen dessert.