Borealia is serious about their food and celebrating Canadian culture. You may think that Canadian food is poutine, tourtière and Montreal bagels, (Wow, Quebec really did its part.) but Borealia goes beyond that. Their menu spans food that dates back as far as the 1600s- with a modern spin, of course.
“There is such a thing as Canadian cuisine,” said Chef Morris who owns the restaurant with his partner Evelyn Wu. “It is the amalgamation of many cultural backgrounds and a wealth of recipes and traditions, dating as far back as the 1600s. Early immigrants had to adapt their heritage recipes to incorporate the indigenous ingredients of this new land. They were the spark that led us to imagine what they might taste like today.”
The restaurant name comes from a Latin word meaning “northern” and was one of the names proposed for Canada at the time of Confederation. Neat, huh?
I love the Canadian feel and design of the space. Local artists were commissioned to create original wall murals, tapestries, crafted furnishings and light installations to bring a handmade, artisanal feel.
Isn’t this hand drawn forest pretty?
The menu at Borealia is one of the most unique menus I’ve seen in Toronto! Click here to see the whole menu.
We started with a series of small plates.
House-baked Red Fife Levain Bread ($3),using a naturally leavened four year old sourdough starter, & Cultured Butter. The bread is warm, chewy and perfect.
Crispy Chopsuey Croquettes ($6), are filled with chinese sausage and beef, wrapped in Chinese sticky rice and then breaded. They are then injected with a sweet soy sauce. I loved these and could have eaten all 3!
Devilled Chinese Tea Eggs ($7) are infused with umami and topped with sweet Chinese sausage.
These Caramelized Onion & Potato Pierogies ($13) were my favourite appetizer! Topped with crispy onions and a dollop of sour cream. these were some of the best pierogies that I’ve had.
Now for one of the more unique dishes on the menu….
Braised Whelk ($14)! This is a sea snail served in shell that has been braised in clarified butter and served on a bed of kombu seaweed. It was nice and tender.
The Pan-Roasted Trout ($17) comes from just outside of Collingwood and is served with Iroquois Popcorn Grits. In the middle of the grits is a little pool of the tangy Birch Syrup Vinaigrette. The trout was a little underdone for my liking, but was moist and flavourful.
We were pretty full, but I knew saving room for these was a must.
Louisbourg Hot Chocolate Beignets ($9) are simply amazing. And they’re served in a tea cup! A warm center of chocolate ganache spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove is enveloped in beer batter, fried and dusted liberally with lemon icing sugar. To die for.
Should you go to Borealia? Yes, yes and yes. The menu can look intimidating (as a server confessed to me), but is lots of fun to explore.
Borealia is open for dinner and can be found at 59 Ossington Ave. www.borealiaTO.com