Gourmet vegan tasting menu blows us Awai
Awai (2277 Bloor St. W.) is still vegan, the menu now boasts prices. (Diners, as it turns out, like to be told what to pay.)
Almost two years on, chef Nathan Isberg has left, and Awai has morphed into an unorthodox collective offering its staff profitsharing and benefits. Armed with our $100 allowance, we have two choices. Either we bend the rules and blow the budget, with two $55 five-course tasting menus, or dive into the $85 eight-course option. We opt for the latter. An order of “one eight-course tasting menu to share” is met by mild confusion and a smile. But when the first course arrives — baba ghanouj–smeared coco bread topped with acorn squash, caper berries and young kale — we decide a mistake was made. We check: Yes, this giant flatbread is for one.
The parade of plates continues. Next up? Gazpacho swirled with cantaloupe and coconut and grape slivers. Course three is a dance of tomatillos and heirloom tomatoes with a shake of furikake.