Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Raw Catering Launch

Raw Catering Launch

Date: January 23, 2018
Location: Lavelle
627 King St. West
Phone: 647.921.4300
Email: Sarah@Rawcatering.ca
Website:  https://www.rawcatering.ca/
Lavelle:  http://chezlavelle.com/

My friend Sari introduced me to her friend Sarah who is the owner of a new Catering Company called Raw Catering, specializing in Oysters and Caviar events and she invited me to the launch of this new venture.

On a raining weeknight in Toronto I ventured over to King Street and I have to say the trek trying to get on a streetcar there was the only thing that wasn't excellent.  But that's a whole other story.

Anyway, this was the first event I attended in 2018 and I have to say it was a really nice way to begin the 2018 event season.  The launch was held at Lavelle a really fancy King Street lounge restaurant that has had a pretty fancy reputation so I was curious to check it out.  They have a rooftop pool deck which unfortunately since it's January we weren't able to hang out at but hopefully you will get a chance to check it out soon.

I wasn't an Oyster lover until the past couple of years when I have had the opportunity to taste some of the best oysters and I realize that my preference is East Coast oysters because they are sweeter and less briny.  I was happy to find out that the Oysters served at Raw Catering's launch were New Brunswick oysters.  They were tiny and sweet and creamy and they were serving them at a table with all kinds of condiments to top them off including caviar.  I don't know what kind of caviar it was but it was so good.  Not too salty, just a perfect combo with the oyster.

What really stood out at this launch were the Hosts who served up the oysters at the table and there were roaming hosts that had special belts loaded with cans of oysters and condiments.  While you waited for your oysters to be freshly shucked you could have a lovely conversation with the very friendly and fun hosts.  

Lavelle was a great place to launch Raw Catering's new venture because it's got the most spectacular view of Toronto that includes a clear view of the CN Tower and it's a very comfortable space to hang out and chill with friends.

There was even a fun photo booth set up with some fun props.  Those are always great to get people to interact and have fun.

 Along with the oysters we sampled some other amazing cocktail bites of food including the delicious beef tartare and quinoa bite above and the Goat cheese tart and buttery mini lobster rolls below.

 I don't know if the other food was from Lavelle or if Raw Catering is able to provide it with they Oyster and Caviar pairings but all of it was amazing.

If you are planning an event and want to add elegance and fun then this is a great option.  The oysters and caviar and the hosts create a very special ambiance to any party.

I wish I had an event that I could hire them for because it was so much fun and delicious too.

I hope you get an opportunity to experience this new catering company because if you are an oyster lover this is for you.

*Disclaimer - the food was complimentary but the opinions and photos are my own.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Assembly Chefs Hall - The permanent popup is here.

The future of dining is here!

January 25, 2018
Assembly Chef's Hall -Grand Opening
111 Richmond St. W.
Website:  Eat Assembly

I died and went to my food heaven in Toronto this week.  I attended the Grand Opening of the NEW Assembly Chefs Hall and saw my dream of a permanent place that was like all the best pop up events in Toronto all in one fantastic space. 

Assembly is located at the Richmond-Adelaide Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto nestled in the ground floor of the Google building on Richmond St. W.

Boasting 18,000 square feet, 17 vendors, a sprawling beer hall, coffee bar and over 3,000 square feet of outdoor patio space.This is not your typical food court with generic low quality fast food. This should be the future of food courts or food halls.
Led by executive chefs, baristas and culinary directors alike, the line-up includes second locations and new concepts from some of the city’s best. Toronto will enjoy spin-offs from the teams behind Bulldog Coffee, Cherry Street BBQ, DaiLo, Hibiscus, Khao San Road, Los Colibris & El Caballito, Love Chix, Nutbar, Ramen Isshin, Bar Reyna, Short & Sweet Bakeshop, The Good Son and Tokyo Smoke. Additionally, current and former chefs of The Chase & Colette, Raca CafĂ© & Ufficio, Little Anthony's and Shoushin. 

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts over the past couple of years you will know that I have checked out most of the best food festivals, pop-ups and charity events in Toronto and there is always 1 or 2 things that bug me about them.   Mostly the locations and trek to them or things like washroom facilities and seating.  Well this new Food Hall solves all those issues.  It's as if I designed this place myself or someone has been reading my blog because I have been talking about these things for a long time.   Assembly Food Hall is located on Richmond St. W.  about an 8 minute walk from Osgoode Station and it's close to Hotels, office buildings and even City Hall.   It's also on the next block to where I used to work and at the time I used to go to the food court in that same building on the level below Assembly.  
My timing is always off.  Hopefully I will work closer to the Hall again soon though.

The space has a great flow on various levels with different seating areas and even a Stand Up Sushi restaurant that promises to deliver lunch in 30 minutes.

Most of the chef's in the Hall are experienced in providing small flavour packed bites of food at festivals, pop ups and charity events all over Toronto besides their bricks and mortar locations.  This gives them a permanent home to be able to provide the same small scale quick food without having to carry a whole restaurant.  With the minimum wage increase and the high cost of rents and taxes in Toronto this makes the most sense for a group of some of the best restaurants and I would say a lot of these people are probably friends too, so it makes sense for them to team up and provide a community as well as a viable restaurant business option.

The food is fantastic, I think I tried something from almost every vendor.  Some of my favourites included the Pork belly from Dailo,  the Gnocchi from Boemo, the ribs from Cherry St. BBQ, the chicken from Love Chix, the lamb in phyllo from Bar Reyna and let's talk about the Sushi from the stand up bar Tachi and the Chirashi from Shari so fresh is just melts in your mouth.  Also notable was the real deal taste of Italy Napolitano pizza from the Good Son.  One of the cities favourite Thai dishes from Khao San Road is their Khao Soi noodles.  

But really, most of it was amazing and really there was something for everyone even the Vegan's in your life will be happy.  It's a great place to have lunch with your coworkers or meet up with your friends because you can choose whatever you like and get whatever you want to drink too with 2 bars and a coffee stands that will take care of your beverage needs.

There will also be music in the space so no more boring background noise and the awful food court seating and lighting.  This place is modern and sleek and cozy at the same time.  Kudos to the designers of this place.  It's simple but there are touches of artistic creativity in the different stalls and the wall murals and there is even a selfie stop.  They really thought out this whole concept and I have a feeling that the wealth of experience from the group of Chefs contributed to it's design.

I can't say much about the prices because not all of the prices are listed on the menus on their website but even though it's probably higher than your usual food court prices it's closer to eating in a great service restaurant and the quality of the food is far superior to a food court.

I will be back.

*Disclaimer - The food was complimentary but the opinions and photos are my own.