January 28, 2018: I had the pleasure to be invited by the new management at Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Markham (at the intersection of Kennedy Road and Major MacKenzie Drive East) for a meal to try out their newest menu offerings and dishes. I had dined at previous Symposium Cafes at other locations and was looking forward to trying out the dishes at this Markham location.
When Priscilla and I arrived at the Markham location, we were greeted by one of the managers who was able to cater our visit to make it a pleasant and satisfying one. Samuel was very knowledgeable about both their popular and new menu items and created a list of dishes on the spot to allow us to try. I was very grateful to be able to try so many items that day! Our server was also very friendly, accommodating, and always attentive during our visit. 🙂
The first starter to arrive was the Steak Bites: Tender pan seared morsels of petit beef fillet marinated in Asian inspired flavours accented with julienne spring onions and served with Korean BBQ dipping sauce.
I loved these Steak Bites! I think it’s such a genius idea to have steak prepared and then cut into bite-sized pieces to enjoy as a starter. Each steak bite was very tender and well-marinated. I loved the spring onions that gave the bites a bounce of flavour. The Korean BBQ dipping sauce was also an option that gave a sweet tangy taste to the steak bites. Even without the sauce though, the steak bites were really good on their own!
The French Onion Soup: A classic. Topped with croutons and melted mozzarella cheese.
I liked this French Onion Soup! It was a very hearty and light-tasting soup. I thought it was going to be heavy since it had cheese and croutons, but it was a very warm and comforting soup. The flavours of the soup were very satisfying as well. 🙂
The next item from the salad category was the Bean and Quinoa Salad: Crispy baby greens topped with quinoa and mixed beans. Garnished with cucumbers, shredded carrots, red onions, tomatoes, and a pepperoncini. Served with a balsamic vinaigrette.
I was impressed with the portion size of this Bean and Quinoa Salad! It was more than enough to share between two people and full of fresh ingredients! This salad is perfect for meat-eaters and vegetarians or vegans since the beans and quinoa served as great protein sources. It was a good salad to round out our first round of food on the table. 🙂
The Warm Spinach Dip (Signature Spinach Dip topped with feta and cheddar cheese. Served warm with toasted pita bread) was also a popular item on the menu.
I absolutely loved this dish! I’m a huge fan of cheesy spinach dips and this one hit the spot. (I’m also always on the lookout for such good dips and I think I found one here at Symposium Cafe!) I was impressed with this spinach dip because not only was the dip itself creamy and cheesy with lots of feta and cheddar cheese (gooey and easy to spread), but the toasted pita bread was the right size and soft for my taste. I definitely would order this again on my next visit because it was so good!
Next up, we tried a burger, sandwich, and entrée from their menu.
The Symposium Burger was a classic burger for sure and one that I really enjoyed eating! The classic Symposium 8 oz was served on a toasted Kaiser roll and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions. It usually is served with the house salad but Samuel smartly gave us a serving of their fries with a pesto dipping sauce instead to allow us to try them (since we had already tried the other salad).
I liked the burger patty and how it was very juicy, moist, and flavourful. There was added cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and bacon to it as well which tied in all the robust flavours of the beef patty even more. It was a very solid and delicious burger! 😀 I also liked the toasted Kaiser roll that was soft and fluffy.
The California Chicken Sandwich was actually more like a chicken burger to me than a ‘sandwich’. It contained fire grilled chicken breast layered with Sriracha mayo, guacamole, black beans, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion rings, and pickles. This California Chicken Sandwich was served with a side of sweet potato fries for us with a sriracha dipping sauce.
This California Chicken Sandwich was very generous with ingredients! The guacamole was especially a good addition to the sandwich.
I really liked the sweet potato fries! They were skinny and crispy and full of sweet potato taste! The two dipping sauces were also very good. The regular fries were thicker in cut.
We were recommended the New York Striploin to try from the entrée category. The New York Striploin was an AAA Canadian 10 oz centre cut, and grilled medium rare (as I requested). It was served with Yukon Gold potatoes and seasonable vegetables.
This was a lengthy size of steak that had beautiful grill marks on it. I liked the juicy vegetables and lightly salted Yukon Gold potatoes that came with the steak. I actually thought that the Steak Bites from earlier were more tender and tasty, but this striploin was still solid in quality.
Last but not least, we tried their desserts! Samuel recommended the East Meets West for us. I had never tried the waffle desserts at Symposium Cafe before (I had had their cakes on all previous visits).
The East Meets West: The classic favourite. Two separate pleasures on one plate. French vanilla ice cream and strawberries topped with strawberry purée meet Venetian chocolate ice cream, bananas, and chocolate syrup. A mouth watering combination topped with whipped cream.
It was a beautifully plated waffle dessert! It was colourful with the red of the strawberries, the yellow of the banana, and the white and darks of the ice cream. I couldn’t get enough of this and had to take multiple photos to get all of the angles. 😀
I liked the waffle! It was soft and not mushy when paired with the ice cream. I especially liked the Venetian chocolate ice cream that tasted so good. The banana was sliced beautifully in thin slices as was the strawberries. The fruits were very fresh! I couldn’t believe that after all of the food that we had, we were still able to finish this dessert completely.
Thank you so much to the management and staff at Symposium Cafe Markham for making our visit such a delicious and pleasant one. The service was exceptional and the food was fresh, delicious, and very satisfying! I’m excited to come back to Symposium Cafe in the future and have their Warm Spinach Dip among other dishes! 🙂
FTC Disclaimer: Although Symposium Cafe Markham reached out and invited me to a complimentary tasting to review and promote their restaurant, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the restaurant.