Looking around the room at Kōst, with it’s glamourous downtown vibe and people to match, it has become clear that Sunday Brunch is the new Saturday Night.
Things are so much more easygoing in the clear light of day. No need to rush, no one will say “we need the table in 60 minutes.” Executive Chef Ben Heaton has prepared a lively and refreshing menu befitting the top of the fashionable Bisha Hotel.
With its three window walls facing south, every table has a view of Lake Ontario, the city skyline and the icy fog enveloping the CN Tower. It lends an air of calm coziness to this large comfortable room.
The menu is simple and concise. Now here’s the hard part: how can we chose? For us, it is not brunch without eggs. Eggs Benedict is a simple dish, yet so much can go wrong. Today is our lucky day. Two perfectly poached eggs perch on smoked trout, but it is the crema hollandaise, the coup de gras of any eggs Benedict, that makes or breaks this dish. I have it on the side. One taste, and I just eat this warm and silky, light lemony sauce with a spoon. Someone in the kitchen knows how to make Hollandaise. Carefully centered on a toasted bolillo bun, it is then accompanied by the crunchiest potatoes I could hope for, with a ladling of Pico de gallo, as perky as it’s green color.
A star among the dishes here is the Baked Eggs. Zesty and vibrant, these two beauties are lavished in a bright tomato-y Vera Cruz sauce with green chorizo, a splash of lime and some tortilla to scoop up all the goodness. This is the spirit of Baja that encapsulates the pulse of the kitchen.
The green chorizo can also be ordered as a side. Curious we do just that. Served as more of a burger, it too has that smoky spice reminiscent of the Baja Peninsula. It is green from the blending of herbs and pico de gallo.
Burgers are too tempting, so we throw caution to the wind and indulge in a Kōst Classic Burger that has the texture of a quality ground steak, while the Ahi Tuna Steak Sandwich with pickled red onion, Baja slaw, meyer lemon mayo and avocado is as bold in flavour as it is in colour, and yet, like all the items, does not leave us with a heavy feeling.
Any civilian would be totally satisfied, but when one serves in the army of professional eaters, a second dish is mandatory. Intrigued by Coconut Pancakes with a light Agave syrup; pineapple, kiwi and passion fruit salsa; toasted coconut and whipped coconut cream, we are convinced the cook at the open kitchen loves us. He has prepared these three saucer-size pancakes that are the epitome of light fluffiness, (perhaps it has to do with the coconut) and, well, we ate the whole thing. And, when the server really cares, it becomes part of our enjoyable experience. Our waiter recommends pairing the pancakes with a Sauvignon Blanc. Do we dare? A week has passed, and the essence of these pancakes lingers.
Dessert? Why, yes. Sweet corn ice cream is an unusual but welcome pairing for our espresso. Offer me Tres Leche Cake and temptation is too difficult to resist. Popular in Latin America since the 1900s, this sponge cake soaks up three milks: condensed, evaporated and cream, like, well, a sponge, leaving it moist but not mushy. They gild the lily with toasted almond ice cream, almond crumble, whipped white chocolate ganache and dulce de leche. Close your eyes, and savour the love.
~ Kōst, Bisha Hotel, 44th Floor, 80 Blue Jays Way, 437-800-5938 ~
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.