When Grace Cho, the chef and co-owner at Té, reached out to me about visiting her restaurant for a complimentary tasting in order to get my feedback and review on Zomato I was excited and looking forward to the meal!
Té is an Asian fusion restaurant on the Ossington Strip of downtown Toronto. Their menu is an Asian twist on North American bar foods and their cocktails are tea inspired; this includes bubble tea cocktails. A lot of their food derivers from Korean and Taiwanese influences. As I love Korean and Taiwanese food, I was extremely curious to see how the food items on the menu would play out.
Daphne and I arrived just after 6:30 p.m. on a balmy autumn night at Té at 70 Ossington Ave. We were actually the only ones in here for a bit until some other patrons arrived for drinks at the bar.
We were received warmly by the server, and then Grace herself as well as the other co-owner of Té. The ordering of dishes was simple enough for this tasting dinner: we could choose anything we wanted off of the menu to try! 😀
Of course, I asked the server for her recommendations of must-try items. To be honest, when I looked at the menu, I was overwhelmed (in a good way) with all of the unique fusion food items! There was a gigantic list of various tapa-style dishes — so that you could order a lot to share with one or more people — and also a main course list that also contained food items that were just as unique as the tapa ones. I felt like I couldn’t choose just a few but instead wanted to order and eat the entire menu! LOL. I was really impressed with the selection and variety (and creativity) of the dishes!
We settled on several tapas to share, one main course, and their unique tea-inspired cocktails of course. The server was extremely accommodating, friendly, attentive, and catered to us the entire night. We felt the warm hospitality and greatly appreciated it! 🙂
For my tea-inspired cocktail, I ordered the Mango Black Té which our server commented that it was one of the top picks as it contained the mini tapioca pearls. It also contained scotch whiskey, assam tea, mango syrup, teapot bitters, and dried mango.
It was definitely a unique drink that tasted of alcohol and tea! There was the slight mango taste and I really liked the mini tapioca pearls. They were so tiny but chewy and bouncy. What I appreciated the most about this cocktail was that it wasn’t watered down at all and it was rich in flavour — something that I find a lot of cocktails lack and thus why I don’t always order drinks during dinner.
Daphne ordered the Southern Sweet Té which had bourbon, English breakfast and lemon tea blend, and bitters. It was definitely more bitter-tasting than mine and in a smaller glass.
Before long, our food arrived! The first to arrive was the Salsa Set. This had two small bowls of fresh kimchi-spiked tomato salsa and guacamole with tortilla chips. The guacamole was substantial and contained ample mashed avocado in it. The kimchi-spiked tomato salsa was what made the Salsa Set so unique. It was very tasty!
However, there were so many more tasty things to come. The next one was the Kimchi Deviled Eggs. These, in addition to the Salsa Set, were recommended to us. The Kimchi Deviled Eggs were hard-boiled eggs redressed in a kimchi paste, sesame and yolk mash, and topped with finely chopped bacon. Even just reading that description made my foodie senses tingle. I’ve never heard of deviled eggs served this way! And what do you know, these were delicious! The hard-boiled eggs were done just right; smooth and tender. The kimchi paste wasn’t very strong in spiciness and I loved the finely chopped bacon on the top which gave it a very crunchy texture. I loved this tapa!
The Toasted Kimchi Ravioli was a bonus from the kitchen from Grace to us to try. These were panko crusted jumbo ravioli squares filled with a kimchi-spiked ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan blend, and finished with a drizzle of honeyed wasabi pesto sauce. These were very unique and I thought that they tasted more of the ricotta and mozzarella cheese than kimchi. However, reading its description again, it doesn’t really say there is kimchi actually inside the ravioli squares. It is simply kimchi-spiked! These were still quite good though. (Eat them while they are hot so it retains its shape before deflating.)
The Braised Pork Crostini was a surprise favourite for the both of us. It contained chopped Taiwanese slow-cooked pork belly on toasted French baguette slices. There were four of these on the platter and it was best to eat it when it was served. The slow-cooked pork belly was so well seasoned and tender that it tasted like eating pate to me at one point — I loved it. It was perfect and I didn’t know that braised pork on crostini would taste so good! 🙂
The Bulgogi Sliders came in four as well. These were thin slices of soy-marinated beef sirloin piled high on toasted mini sesame buns, each topped with a runny quail egg and wasabi mayo. These were adorable to eat and served open-faced. This left the preference to put in some spicy Korean sauce if you so desired (as I did later on using sauce from the Pizza Tteokbokki). I actually didn’t taste the wasabi mayo in these sliders very much, and I found the sliders a little bland. However, upon adding some sauce to complement the beef, it was quite good!
The Pizza Tteokbokki was served in a black pan and contained soft, Asian-style steamed rice dough balls sauteed with garlic, onion, and bell peppers smothered in a sweet chili tomato sauce and oven-baked with mozzarella. This was incredible and tasted like authentic Korean ttoekbokki! The rice dough balls were perfectly tender and chewy; not hard at all which is difficult to achieve sometimes. The mozzarella was incredibly cheesy and perfect with this Korean style “pizza”! (I used the sauce from this pizza on the Bulgogi Sliders and it really enhanced the taste.)
Mmm, most of you who know my tastes in food know that I absolutely love fried chicken, especially popcorn chicken or Japanese or Taiwanese fried chicken. Thus, when I saw that they had Dark Spiced Taiwanese Chicken, I absolutely had to try it. It comes in a two-piece or four-piece order. For us, since we were trying so many other tapas, the two-piece order was perfect. There was a thigh and a leg part that were served and it was marinated in traditional Taiwanese spices, battered and fried, and finished with pepper-salt seasoning.
I loved the crunchiness of the skin and it was definitely a dark spiced fried chicken; it was more intensely flavoured than most. I liked it also because the meat underneath the fried skin was tender and moist — so important for any fried chicken.
Lastly — can you believe we had the pleasure to try so many dishes? — we received the main course of the night, our Bulgogi Mac & Cheese. It was a garlic parmesan panko crusted mac & cheese topped with sweet soy-marinated beef. It was definitely a bigger portion than the tapas and very filling. Daphne really enjoyed the marinate of the beef. I liked how the macaroni used in this mac & cheese dish wasn’t the regular U-shaped simple macaroni but these ones were the swirly type. Details matter! 🙂 I didn’t think it was too cheesy either but well-balanced with the bulgogi beef.
Finally, we ended our amazing tasting dinner with two desserts. I ordered the Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake while Daphne ordered the Té Affogato.
The Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake was baked in-house and topped with lots of whipped cream. I thought that the matcha taste was not very evident in the cheesecake. However, it was definitely very cheesecake-like. By that, I mean the cake was very smooth and dense.
I haven’t ordered many affogatos in my lifetime (perhaps that will change soon now that I realize it) so this Té Affogato was a new dessert to me. It was a single scoop of French vanilla ice cream served with a shot of assam tea. After pouring the tea in, it was a very rich-tasting dessert. There was definitely a lot of tea in it!
Alas, our plentiful tasting dinner had come to an end. We were very grateful for the amazing and generous food, warm hospitality, and great dinner overall. Since we had a lot of food left over, the server was kind enough to help me pack it all home to enjoy later. I appreciated her thoughtfuless in separating each dish from each other in small paper containers for me. I loved it!
Thank you again, Grace, and all of the staff at Té. It was a memorable and highly positive tasting. I think more people should know about Té and their unique offerings. I think the only qualm is that it is located in Ossington which may make it a tad more difficult to get to for foodies living north or east of the city. Their prices are very reasonable as well. If you are up for trying some definite new dishes and food creations, head to Té to try their items and cocktails out!
(The tea at Té was definitely strong-bodied. It helped me to stay up with no problem to work on a transcript that I had to do that night!) 😛
FTC Disclaimer: Although Té reached out and invited me to a complimentary tasting to review their restaurant, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the restaurant.