Toula, Toronto’s Other 360 Restaurant

Over the past few days I have been attending an industry-related conference at the Westin Harbour Castle, located right at Bay & Queens Quay.

On the first night, I was lucky enough to be invited to a reception at Toula. The restaurant, which is located on the top floor of the hotel, has been known as Toronto’s ‘other’ revolving restaurant. For many years, much like the restaurant atop the CN Tower, Toula slowly revolved which allowed for patrons to have a beautiful 360-degree view of Toronto and its waterfront. Sadly, the restaurant no longer revolves. As it turns out, the restaurant underwent renovations a few years ago which involved a new floor and the end of the revolving floor.

Aside from the lack of rotation, the view from Toula is absolutely breathtaking and the food was fantastic. Attending for a special event with a large group meant that we were ordering off of a fixed menu; I ordered a green salad and pasta, with ice cream for dessert. The food was so favourable, I had absolutely no complaints; a definite change from my last blog post. Following the event, I checked out the regular menu online and it looked even better than what I was offered.

Although the menu is a bit pricier than the majority of Toronto hot-spots, I would definitely recommend this restaurant to other twenty-somethings. Probably not a casual Monday-night venue, but definitely a very good option for any type of special celebration such as a birthday, anniversary or engagement.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap many photos from this event; I didn’t want to be that young professional constantly on her phone taking pictures. I did manage to snap a quick picture of my dessert; as you can tell, it was delicious!

Delicious dessert at Toula!

Delicious dessert at Toula!

For more about Toula, visit:  http://www.toularestaurant.com

Catching up with the Queen’s Mum

As I am sure many other twenty-somethings would agree, one of the most popular ways to socialize and catch up with old friends is to meet up for some good food at one of Toronto’s many restaurants.

I recently met up with three friends who I became very close with during my four years at McMaster University. It was Asha’s turn to pick and she suggested we get together at Queen Mother Cafe. As the name implies, this restaurant is located on Queen St, just steps west of University Ave (and Osgoode Station). I was slightly shocked that I had never visited or even heard of this restaurant before given the countless times I have walked past it over the last ten plus years; it really goes to show just how saturated (yet ever-changing) the restaurant industry is in this city we call home.

I was the last to arrive and felt like I was in a maze to find my friends who were on the other end of the restaurant. The set-up for Queen Mother is strange; because there are stairs to a lower level right in the middle of the restaurant, it is one big U-shape that you need to navigate around. None the less, I eventually found my friends who had a table by the window.

The restaurant was packed and I’m surprised that we didn’t have to wait for a table. However, the servers felt the pinch of the busy restaurant and our service was quite slow. It took a considerable amount of time for our first drink order, have the drinks delivered, order food, receive our food and finally pay our bills.

Although service was slow, the menu made up for it. I started with a vegetable lentil soup and then split two salads with Asha; she ordered the kale, roasted tomato and green lentil, while I ordered the quinoa salad. Mixing the two salads into one was probably one of the best decisions I made all evening; the fusion was absolutely phenomenal. Asha chose not to mix hers and commented that they were equally as delicious solo. Portions ended up being considerably larger than I expected and if I had known this, I probably would have skipped the soup; although I’m glad I got to try it. Everything on the menu seemed to be fairly reasonably priced. My meal was under $20 which is usually rare when ordering more than one item. Check out how yummy it all looks:

Vegetable Lentil Soup

Vegetable Lentil Soup

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Kale, Roasted Tomato and Green Lentil Salad

Kale, Roasted Tomato and Green Lentil Salad

In terms of atmosphere, this was a great place to catch up. Although the restaurant was very busy during our visit, the noise level was bearable and I could easily hear what the rest of my table was saying. When all was said and done, I was happy that Asha introduced me to this spot; I will definitely be back.

Have you been to Queen Mother Cafe, what did you think? What other restaurants around the city would you like me visit?

For more information on Queen Mother, visit: http://www.queenmothercafe.ca