Sunday, 17 March 2013

Chantecler

Location: 1320 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6K 1L4, Canada
My coworker raved about the lettuce wraps at Chantecler and I couldn't resist making the trek out to Parkdale to try it.
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Spicy Popcorn Chicken with popcorn and morita pepper
Considering my inability to eat spicy food, I found this popcorn chicken wasn't spicy at all contrary to its name. It was okay, I found that there was mostly skin and fat rather than actual chicken underneath those popcorn covered balls.

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Calamari in caramelized peanut and tamarind sauce
I thought this was nice: it was lightly fried and it had a sweet and interesting take on traditionally grilled or crispy fried calamari. You can definitely see the Asian influences in the cooking here.

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Beef Tartare with peanut, wasabi, fish sauce and nori
I found that there was way too much wasabi in the beef tartare mix - it was so strong that it cleared my sinuses. I liked the touch the egg added because it made the mix a little creamier, but overall I wasn't a fan.

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The nori (seaweed) part of the beef tartare

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Pork Special Wrap with dried oyster, roast seaweed and puffed wild rice
The wrap was really nice! You could really taste the dried oyster and it added a nice fragrant taste to the pork and lettuce wrap.

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Fish wrap with wild Pacific cod and Japanese tartar sauce
I think the Japanese tartar sauce was a mayonnaise and I found it a pretty refreshing, light and summery wrap with the fish and thinly sliced radishes

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Duck Neck Special
It had a strong tea leaf flavour.

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Lettuce meal with braised beef and slow cooked pork shoulder with lettuce, steam rice, house pickles and sauces (Portion of 2 shown above)
The meat was seasoned well and pretty tasty by itself. The meal came with unlimited lettuce and chips and of this lettuce mix there was romaine, cabbage leaves and iceberg lettuce. Quite an interesting variety...it was a change up from the traditional iceberg lettuce leaves that Asian restaurants typically use for lettuce wraps.

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Sriracha sauce and mayonnaise, korean bean paste sauce and cauliflower, pickled carrots, jalapenos and house-made kimchi
I wasn't really a fan of the sauces and pickles on the side. I'm used to eating oyster sauce or hoisin sauce and I found I couldn't really appreciate the sauce selection here.

Overall: The service was attentive - they had an open kitchen concept and it was a pretty small area of the restaurant, so I totally understood that food might take a little longer to come out. The wraps are pretty interesting, but I kept comparing the wraps to the lettuce wraps that come with Peking Duck and I think I like those more than these ones (and they're less pricey). I'm not sure if the lettuce wraps were put on the menu to compete with Grand Electric's tacos, but in my opinion, I think the tacos would win that battle.

Chantecler on Urbanspoon

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