The food: Prix fixe lunch at Lee
Lured by news of a new $28 prix fixe lunch being offered at Lee, a downtown Toronto boite that’s part of Susur Lee’s restaurant empire, E and I made a weekday reservation (totally unnecessary, the large room was near empty) and went on down.
E opted for the prix fixe lunch and chose the Singaporean Style Slaw to start, the Caramelized Black Cod with citrus butter sauce and potato croquette as his main, and the Molten Chocolate Cake to finish.
The slaw (see pic above), a signature dish of Susur Lee’s, is a beautiful, richly textured combination of raw vegetables, edible flower petals and peanuts topped with a cloud of crunchy, deep-fried slivered taro root, the whole lot dressed in a light, tangy dressing. It looked and tasted superior to the version of it I ate at Lee several years ago, though as pretty as it was, the deluxe edition served at Lee’s restaurant in New York, Shang, appears to be prettier.
(Or it was when Gael Greene ate it, anyway.)
E’s cod and potato croquette was also delicate and finely flavoured, but for a main course, the portion was a little small.
I somewhat contrarily ordered the Lee burger & spiced French fries ($16), which came with avocado, homemade pickles, miso mustard (and for $2 more, blue cheese), and was regular-sized.
The blue cheese was nicely mellow and creamy, but I found the meat overspiced and overcooked, I would have preferred Boston lettuce to iceberg, and while the dusting of sesame seeds and ground spices (cumin and coriander?) on the fries made them taste different, different did not equal great.
Every element of the molten chocolate cake dessert, however, was lovely: the chocolate hazelnut crumble on the plate added crunch, the dice of caramelized jackfruit within the premium melted chocolate interior was a sweet surprise, and I, who do not much care for ice cream, only wished for more of the vanilla bean homemade variety that came with.