I had the pleasure to be invited to the pre-launch event of a brand new Japanese fusion sandwich shop called Teara Lab in Toronto yesterday. Teara Lab is Toronto’s first Japanese fusion fast casual sandwich shop and features sandwiches that are made with a variety of Japanese-style meats like teppanyaki teriyaki chicken burger, red wine braised beef, tonkatsu pork, with wasabi mayo and seaweed. It is a great place for you and a friend to dine in for lunch or dinner to try Japanese traditional dishes between two slices of fluffy bread or plain white bread with drinks!
The event was a fairly intimate one with several food bloggers and influencers from the Toronto community invited to the pre-launch event to sample the food and drinks. It began at 6 p.m. and the place was decorated with freshly inflated balloons and high spirits.
It was great to see the Sweven Media team again. They are honestly one of my favourite PR companies since they take the time to know each blogger through the events and have developed a good relationship with them. Teara Lab is presented by the owner of the very popular KAKA All-You-Can-Eat restaurant (which is located uptown and always requires a reservation in order for you to get a table, especially the weekends). Sweven Media did a great job to help Teara Lab this time around to host the pre-launch event.
As soon as we got there, we were welcome to order a drink from their drink menu. There was a variety of Fruit Teas, Slush, Creama, and Milk Teas to choose from. Yvonne of Sweven Media recommended either the Creama or the Milk Tea to start and then to try the Fruit Tea later with the sandwiches. This was a great recommendation and I tried the Green Tea Creama.
I had actually never had a Creama before and I really enjoyed this! Yvonne taught me that there were three ways to drink this. Since there is cream on the top of the drink, you can either drink the cream first before the tea at the bottom (that’s the first way), or drink the tea first before the tea (second way), or mix the whole drink up together and then drink it together (third way). I tried a combination of the three ways by drinking the cream and tea parts individually first and then once my drink was about halfway full, I mixed it together to drink.
Mmm, I really enjoyed the cream part! It was very creamy, dense, and a slightly salty and really brought out the contrast of the green tea in the bottom. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the Green Tea Creama! I’m actually excited to look for this in other places to try now too!
In between getting the drinks and mingling with all of the other bloggers and influencers, there were some samples of the sandwiches set on top of the counter which were provided for us to photograph. There were some intense photography food sessions going on as usual at these foodie events!
By 6:30 p.m., Yvonne and another representative of the restaurant gave a short speech, welcomed us formally to Teara Lab, and then we were invited to order the sandwiches to try. I shared my sandwich with two other food lovers so that I could maximize my experience trying out the Japanese fusion sandwiches at Teara Lab! I was excited!
It did take some time for the sandwiches and sides to be made for us. There were a lot of orders at once and it was the kitchen’s first time to serve so many people at once probably. Since Teara Lab is a fast casual restaurant, you make your order at the counter and then you can take a seat inside their dining area to eat. I like their subtle white walls and their marble-styled tables. It was chic!
I really enjoyed the Teppanyaki Teriyaki Chicken Burger. It was piled high with tomato, shredded lettuce, and a big juicy chicken patty. This was so delicious! The wasabi mayo really gave the burger a delicious kick.
I absolutely loved their yam fries! I am not usually a huge fan of sweet fries like sweet potato fries as I prefer fries to be salty, but these yam fries were seasoned perfectly, fried nicely, and tasted so good! I couldn’t just eat one!
The Soy Glazed Pork Belly Sandwich was a favourite among many. The pork belly was very substantially portioned and tasty within the sandwich. There was also avocado, kimchi, seaweed, and some pickled lettuce in the sandwich that tied up all the flavours.
The Red Wine Braised Beef Sandwich was a large portion and definitely would fill up one person very quickly! The red wine braised beef was done very well and a huge chunk of meat for a sandwich. I’m so glad we shared this because it was a lot for one person. The beef quality itself was very good and I enjoyed this sandwich. There were some mushrooms, tomatoes, fried onions, and shredded lettuce in this sandwich.
After this, I tried the Passion Fruit Green Tea as I had wanted to try the Fruit Tea as advised by Yvonne with the sandwiches. There were some passion fruit seeds in the bottom of the cup and it was a very refreshing drink. The green tea was strong in this one as I noticed that the caffeine in the tea kept me up a little bit that night. Compared to the Green Tea Creama, if you are looking for a fruity and refreshing drink, you’d want to try this Passion Fruit Green Tea. But if you are looking for something creamy, get the Green Tea Creama!
Last but not least, four of us wanted to try one more sandwich before we left and we were invited to do so. The team was so generous; it was awesome! We tried the Tonkatsu Pork Sandwich. This one contained a slice of freshly fried tonkatsu pork, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce between two slices of white bread. We were so full by this point but this Tonkatsu Pork Sandwich was a more simple one than the others. It was still good but a little dry. More wasabi sauce would have made this sandwich so tasty. 🙂
Again, I have to thank Sweven Media for inviting me to the pre-launch event of Teara Lab. They are walking distance to the University of Toronto St. George campus so I imagine that this will become a very popular spot for students and those working in the area for a quick lunch or dinner. One sandwich will definitely fill you up so if you are looking for something lighter, you can even share the sandwich between you and a friend!
Teara Lab officially opens next Friday on May 27, 2016 at 181 College Street in Toronto (it’s about 5 minutes walking to Queen’s Park Subway Station). It replaced the prior Burrito Planet that used to be there.
After you have tried their sandwiches and drinks, come back and leave me a comment about your thoughts! 🙂
FTC Disclaimer: Although Sweven Media invited me to a complimentary tasting to showcase Teara Lab, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.