Toronto based chef extraordinaire Susur Lee hosted a fun and delicious event to kick off his new menu: Veggielicious! This five course menu features flavourful vegan and vegetarian dishes at BENT Restaurant.
Susur is a very friendly and approachable chef willing to show others his tricks of the trade. Before preparing and creating some dishes, he took us to a semi-private garden- a few seconds from BENT- where all the vegetables and herbs are grown fresh for his dishes.
When we returned, we were treated to tasty hor d’oeuvres and fresh noodles salads mixed by Susur himself. He insisted we try his infamous Slaw, a refreshing noodle salad available at Lee as a treat.
My favourite dish was called Tingly Chilled Soba which is a flavourful noodle salad containing crunchy nori crisps and chunks of shitake mushrooms.
The new menu starts off with a few hearty and healthy dips. Dips include Hummus of Romano (beans with salted chillis and sherry vinegar and my favourite), Spicy Mustard (seed tomato tomato stew with walnut curry lead) and Carribean Eggplant Babaganough with Cilanto. All were enjoyed with delicious Garlic Lavash, a tasty flat bread.
Not being a fan of tofu I wasn’t too sure about the Chickpea Tempura Tofu, but Chef Susur prepared the tofu so well with fish mint, braised burdock root and Korean chilli sauce with hot chilli peppers that I couldn’t resist!
Wild Mushroom Quinoa is a dish that can be made vegan or vegetarian. A warm Italian style dish, it served well as a creamy comfort style dish with cauliflower, Romano Parmigiano cheese topped with local Ontario green beans.
Flavourful cocktails were made to accent the dishes. Asian Cesar is a tangy spicy cocktail rich in colour and taste. The drink included Clamato juice, soya sauce and fresh ginger juice
Lastly for dessert, Susur taught us how to make French Meringue, the last dish on the menu which includes golden licorice. a fluffy dessert in the process of being made from egg whites and sugar. This time consuming process took nearly the whole afternoon!
Our finished products were decorated with lemon curd, wild blueberry, peaches, passion fruit syrup and raspberry coulis. Yum!