Monday, August 23, 2010

Southern Accent

Southern Accent is a cajun and creole soul restaurant situated in a Victorian town house in Toronto's Mirvish Village (near Bloor and Bathurst). Me and two friends were strolling around the area one night looking for a place for dinner. We were being adventurous, well, more like none of us could make a decision on what or where to eat, so opted for wandering around the neighborhood, which was our last resort. After looking at Southern Accent's menu out front, we decided to give the place a try. 

It was a nice day so we sat out at the covered patio area. From looking at their website though, it seems to me that the inside of the restaurant is where it's "at".  From the pictures on the website, it seems to have a year-round Mardi Gras feel with the hanging beads, the artwork, the lighting, the "Zydeco and Louisiana" music, psychic reading, and their 1940's bar, all very "New Orleans" style. Guess we missed out on because the the patio was nothing to rave about, but you can tell that they try to spice things up with the mini hanging lanterns. However, definitely no "southern feel" out there.

Entrance to the inside of the restaurant from the patio.

We were offered a pre-fixe menu for $25 on the left and the regular menu on the right. Very good pre-fixe deal which is offered daily. My two friends ordered the pre-fixe while I ordered from the regular menu since I wasn't hungry enough for a 3-course meal.

Complimentary bread with garlic butter.

Avacado bruschetta on garlic toasts - one of the appetizer choices from the pre-fixe menu. This was delish. Let me tell you now that this was the best dish that night. 

Steamed Mussels with White Wine, Wild Leeks and Coconut Milk - The taste of this was average, nothing spectacular. The great thing about it though was that there was a lot of sauce for bread dipping =)

Cajun Paella - A rice dish with shrimp, mussels, andouille sausage, chicken, and lobster, seasoned with saffron and Spanish paprika - This hearty rice dish looks very delicious, right? Along with the lengthy list of ingredients, my friend was looking forward to eating it. But to her disappointment, there was hardly any flavor in it at all. I tried it myself and I have to agree. It was very very bland. To spice things up a bit, my friend had to add Tobasco sauce.

St. Peter Street Fresh Fish - My friend forgot what kind of fish this was, but to the same extent as the paella, hardly any flavor from the fish. It was almost like they didn't season it at all (very deceiving from the picture since the fish looks very tasty with the intense red color here). The massive pile of oil on the plate was not appetizing either.

Watermelon Salad - I had this salad as my main course because I wasn't too hungry at the time. I want to know though, is it wrong to expect a dressing to go with a fruit salad? Or is a fruit salad supposed to be served "au naturel"? I'm not sure but this salad was again tasteless without any dressing. I mean I wasn't' expecting heavy dressing of course, but I thought a light fruity vinaigrette would've been nice. Thank goodness the watermelon was very sweet and refreshing with lots of juice, or else this salad would've been horrible.

For dessert, both my friends ordered the N'awlins Break Pudding with Apples, Pecans and Raisins served with Bourbon Sauce - None of us liked this bread pudding. It was doughy, almost custard-like...way too dense for how a bread pudding should be. I'm not sure if bread puddings are supposed that way when made cajun and creole style, if it is, then now I know I don't like cajun and creole style bread pudding. There was also too much bourbon! However, some people may like that...

The general consensus between all three of us is that there is definitely a lack of flavor in all of the dishes. I always thought Cajun creole food is supposed to be very well seasoned, with strong flavors that would wake up the palette - well we didn't experience any of that at all at Southern Accent. I think the paella was the most disappointing dish of all. One good thing about the dinner was that the waiter was super friendly, nice, and funny =D

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