Restaurant Review

Le Commensal is o.k.-just o.k. This vegetarian establishment in downtown Toronto has various accolades, most of which are hanging in the window as you walk through the main doors. The set-up reminded me of a cross between a hotel buffet and cafeteria. Various hot and cold and sweet and savoury dishes lie in wait as you make your way around the labyrinth of silver serving vessels.

I was bemoaning the fact that after all the months that I’ve been here I hadn’t yet made it to “Toronto’s Best Vegetarian Restaurant”. Well now I have and I have to admit it wasn’t the mind-blowing life-altering taste sensation I was expecting.

I spent $23 for 2 plates of food (price is determined by weight at a rate of $2.40/100g. approximately), one savoury and one sweet. To get full benefit of the buffet style of dining, I took small spoonfuls of as many different items as I could fit onto the plate. The items were typical fare for those of the herbivore persuasion i.e. tofu, beans, rice and lots of vegetables. The food was palatable and a number of dishes were Middle Eastern and Asian inspired.

Chacun a son gout

Literally ‘each has one’s own taste’ but more popularly stated as ‘to each his own’. Not everyone will have the same experience of Le Commensal as I did. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of my feast:

  • BBQ tofu-the sauce had a nice balance of sweetness and tang but the tofu was chewy-chewy tofu is not to my liking.
  • chocolate ganache cake. This had to have been made with silken tofu and had a distinct ‘beany’ taste and rubbery texture which voided the smoothness and creaminess of a traditionally made chocolate ganache cake.
  • the maple pie is worth a repeat visit. It had the taste and texture of traditional Quebec sugar pie with the distinct flavour of maple syrup. I would like to know what the crust was made of. It represented the buttery flaky taste of pastry well.
  • The sheppards’ pie was a mushy mass of potato and sweet corn. I enjoyed this dish which was basically creamed corn and mashed potato.

Tip: to survive a buffet, only take small spoonfuls of each dish that takes your fancy. This applies to desserts too. This way you can sample a variety of food, get your money’s worth and keep your stomach in tact. After all, it’s all-you-can-eat not eat-all-you-can-until you’re stuffed silly.


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