Once recommended to me as a top restaurant in London, Tamarine is an upscale Vietnamese place that easily lives up to its reputation.
The atmosphere sets the tone for the meal: an elegant display of unique lighting fixtures and paper lanterns, which help make the restaurant warm and welcoming.
Staff were extremely friendly, pacing each dish perfectly and frequently checking to ensure the meal was to my liking.
The cocktails are all in-house specials that complement each and every one of the menu options.
While looking at the drink menu the owner came over and talked to me. He knew my name (presumably from when I called earlier to confirm the reservation) and asked where I was from and how I had heard about the restaurant.
In addition to offering a warm welcome, he suggested getting the Mekong Martini to drink– a sweet and sour cocktail with a strong taste of lychee, lime and mango.
Canh Chua Soup:
Tamarind soup base, chicken, plenty of vegetables including baby okra, pineapple, two large pieces of tomato, cabbage, slivers of celery and plenty of sprouts; garnished with basil & chili.
A fresh, spicy soup with plenty of vegetables. You are given the option to remove the chili, which otherwise gives the soup an extra spicy kick.
Chicken Pad Viet:
Vietnamese rice noodles, chicken, baby bok-choy, celery, green onions, sprouts and fresh chives; garnished with crispy shallots and served with chili-lime soya sauce.
The light soya sauce adds a sweet undertone that brings out the best of every ingredient. Chicken isn’t as much a pronounced feature as it is a well-portioned complement to the rest of the dish, which offers a nice medley of flavours.
This is a fantastic dish in all of taste, portion and aroma.
Black Eyed Pea Che:
A petite sticky rice dessert that offers a light, fluffy and creamy blend of perfection in a coconut milk reduction. The dish is accented by black eyed peas that bring a nice contrast.
Each bite is a heavenly bliss.
If you’ve never had sticky rice before, this is absolutely the place to try it.
As a Torontonian I admittedly had a combination of high expectations and low hopes, but Tamarine shone through and really impressed me. I highly recommend giving this place a try!
118 Dundas St.