Gourmet ve­gan tast­ing menu blows us Awai

Village Post - - Food - By Caro­line Ak­sich and Karolyne El­la­cott

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.

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