Symposium Cafe

We have now enjoyed a few meals at Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge, Georgetown location. A moderate size place, the atmosphere is nice, good food and good service.  The moderate size makes it possible to easily carry a conversation.  There’s a few TV screens around the bar showing sports.  There’s a nice showcase displaying the desserts.  In addition to men’s and women’s washrooms by the entrance they also have a restroom off the dining area for disabled and family use.  We thought this is great as we have an elderly family member who can no longer see and has difficulties walking far.  

Last evening for dinner was another nice experience. After a warm welcome at the door we were led to our table.  The host as well as our waitress covered the specials with us. After a few minutes I decided to try the Pork Tenderloin off their Canada Day Specials menu.  It was served with potatoes and vegetables topped with a raspberry based sauce.  The pork tenderloin was nicely grilled and tender.  Over all a very nice meal.  


Deniz tried the Turkey Bacon Club with a side Ceasar salad.  She had hoped the meat was actual turkey slices but appeared to be deli cuts.  That would be her only disappointment but said everything was good otherwise. 


Overall we have enjoyed our meals here and recommend Symposium Cafe.  Always a warm welcome at the door.  The servers are friendly.  But what impressed the most was the host coming by our table mid way through our dinner to make sure everything was fine.  His demeanor was very polite and warm as well.  Not just a quick “everything ok?”.  On our last visit the host and another gentleman came by our table.  This is in addition to our server coming by periodically as well.  We felt it was nice to see them put extra attention towards ensuring their customers were enjoying their experience there. We also felt it was not too much either.  It did not feel they were constantly interrupting us.  But in a day where customer service is sliding in general, this was nice. Hopefully they are consistent like this across their other locations.  

Paramount Queensway

We picked up food for take out at Paramount, Queensway location. Sadly this was not a good experience from the service to quality of food.  We waited about 30mins for our food because they forgot to make one of our items.  They also packed the wrong sauce.  Instead of packing garlic sauce with our shish tawouk, we got tahini sauce instead.  This obviously didn’t cut it.  A piece of my chicken was also undercooked. Unfortunately, with take out couldn’t bring it to the attention of anyone.  

Now, we have eaten at Paramount Fine Foods many times but have found the only location that is pretty good and pretty consistent is the one near Eglinton and Dixie along Crestlawn Drive in Mississauga.   We have never experienced any issues there but have always found something wrong at other locations in the GTA area.

One important thing to note is our server did apologize and gave us a small box of baclava for the long wait.  We did appreciate that.  But I hope this and other locations can improve their quality and consistency. 

Yutaka 

Yutaka Japanese Cuisine is a great restaurant located in Toronto.  We enjoyed different sushi meals that were all excellent.  A good quality meal at a decent price.  


We shared a dynamite roll which was excellent!  Topped with tempura bits and a drizzle of spicy sauce, the dynamite roll had great flavour with a nice touch of crunch. 


I enjoyed the Chef’s Sushi Dinner. Served with miso soup and salad, the dinner includes ten pieces of special selection sushi and six pieces of small rolls with maguro (tuna) inside.  The rice could have used a bit more sushi vinegar and if handled a bit did fall apart easily.  However, sushi is to be handled gently so when done properly there was no issue.  I used a piece of ginger to dip into the shoyu (soy sauce) and flavour the fish. The only time the rice fell apart was when I tried flipping a piece upside down to dip into the shoyu directly (to not get any shoyu on the rice).  Since that did not work well I resumed the original method.  


Deniz enjoyed selecting maguro (tuna) and sake (salmon) sushi a la cart, along with a salad. 


Over-all, we highly recommend Yukata.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.  Great sushi at a reasonable price.  As mentioned earlier, the rice could have been a bit better but the cuts and selection of fish used were of very good quality.  Very nice atmosphere inside with modern Japanese music playing.  A very nice ambiance for a great dining experience.  

Jamie Oliver’s Italian

Tried Jamie Oliver’s Italian at Yorkdale.  We made a reservation using OpenTable website.  According to the site there was no availability between 5pm and 8pm.  Not sure if there was really that many bookings or if they don’t take any during this time.  We were however able to make a 5pm reservation.  Upon arriving the place was only about 25% full. Our hostess initially wanted to seat us by the patio door which would have been less than ideal with the traffic going in and out.  Seeing that there were lots of seats we requested another seat where we would not be in the middle of traffic. 

Once seated we were greeted by our beverage hostess who took care of our beverage requirements. Not long after we were greeted by our main server.  We ordered the crab, avocado focaccia as an appetizer.  This was not bad but was much smaller than anticipated.  Just one slice of focaccia.  Taste wasn’t bad but was not as exciting as it sounded.  

For main course, Deniz ordered the steak and fries.  I ordered the grilled porkchop. Both dishes were very good.  Steak was a thin cut but nicely marinated and tender. The porkchop nicely done as well, moist and complimented with beats, green onion and fennel.  We both enjoyed our meal very much. 

For dessert we had an orange blossom polenta cake.  Served with whipped creme, orange and pomegranate.  Was a refreshing dessert. 

However, the over-all cost was higher than we felt it should be.  An appetizer (very small one), two main courses, one dessert, one beer, one non-alcoholic drink and sparkling water came to about $100 before taxes and tip.  Also, many other restaurants give bread as part of the dining experience (I.e. Rocco’s Plum Tomato), but Jamie charges $5.95 for a small loaf sliced with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Over-all we enjoyed the meal. Everything came pretty quick,the food was quite good and the service was generally good.  Just not sure it’s worth the high price.  

Miyabi

This is a great Japanese restaurant in Richmond Hill where we celebrated my birthday last night.  Below is my sushi dinner I enjoyed with Kikusui Junmai Ginjo premium sake.  The perfect meal in my opinion. The rice was done perfectly and the fish stayed on the pieces and did not fall off.  Great taste and over-all very nicely prepared.