Friday, September 16, 2011


A few months ago, my friend and I went to Brassaii (@brassaii) for dinner to celebrate my birthday. I've never been to Brassaii before and to tell you the truth I never knew exactly where it was, as in, I knew it was on King West but I couldn't for the life of me remember seeing their sign, ever. Finally found out why when we went; Brassaii is tucked really far into an alley way - we actually walked into a pub beside Brassaii, thinking it was well, Brassaii.

I always hear about Brassaii's patio and sure enough, it was the first thing I noticed, you can't miss it. With all that space, I understand why they can afford to have a nice patio out front. The area is huge!

Although I wanted to sit on the patio it was getting chilly so we went inside. I guess that's one bad thing about patios being in an alley; there's only so many hours in a day when the sun actually shines through. Another bad thing is just the fact that I always feel cold =( 

Brassaii is very spacious with an open kitchen and three long rows of seating. I liked how the windows on the other side lets in all the sunlight. There was a lot of different textures in the room: brick walls, concrete pillars, wooden floors, fabric drapes, exposed metal ducts, leather seats, shiny smooth tables, etc. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing...just an observation.

The view from my friend's seat.

Polish Thoroughbred (1.5oz + Champagne) ($16) - Belvedeere Vodka, pink grapefruit juice, honey-ginger syrup, Angostura bitters, topped with champagne, orange twist (Complex orange citrus aroma, balanced body with hints of ginger spice, with a sparkling fruit finish). 

My friend liked the drink. I took a sip and it was nice but I wouldn't pay $16 for it.

Bread with hummus & tomato with pesto - Nothing much to comment here. Average.

Amuse-bouche: Ahi tuna with assorted vegetables - This was a great start to our meal. The fresh veggies and the ahi tuna, cut into a perfect circle, was delicious. I wish all miniature food was this tasty (kinda like the two-bite brownie but 10x better)! Oh and I love the spoon.


Ostrich carpaccio + truffled white bean and mushroom salad + mustard aioli ($17) - Maybe my palette isn't refined enough but I wouldn't have known this was ostrich. Nevertheless, the carpaccio was sliced really thin, even thinner than paper it seemed.. I thought the mustard aioli, with a bit of spiciness, and the light mushroom salad went really well with the carpaccio. This was my favourite course that night.


Grilled filet of beef tenderloin + black truffle potato gnocchi + foie gras ($34) - My friend asked for medium-rare and it came out almost well-done. My friend didn't want to send it back as I would have to wait for him but I insisted that he had to! His entrée wasn't cheap and there was no way I was going to let him eat a well done steak that he won't enjoy. The second steak came out perfectly and my friend said he liked the gnocchi and foie gras as well.

Grilled swordfish + lobster mash + sweet corn and tomato salsa + corn emulsion ($28) - The swordfish itself was cooked well and wasn't not dry at all. It was nicely grilled with all the moisture still retained inside. I couldn't say I liked any of the other stuff on the plate: boiled carrot and broccoli was boring, I couldn't really taste the lobster in the mash, the corn and tomato salsa was just as boring as the boiled broccoli and carrot...

...and corn foam?  Not crazy about that.

Amuse-bouche: Grapefruit and basil soufflé palette refresher - I enjoyed this because I could really taste the basil in this little ball of grapefruit slush. It was refreshingly cold. I was ready for dessert after this =)


Banana Bunch Trio - Banana sticky toffee pudding + maple butter banana tart + banana lime ice cream ($10) - I was greedy and wanted a bit of everything so I ordered this Banana Bunch Trio. Got a "Happy Birthday" written on the plate as well as a candle stuck in a raspberry =D My favourite was the pudding (the ooey-gooey stuff always gets me). The tart was average and I wasn't feeling the banana + lime ice cream combination.

What stood out for me the most at Brassaii that night were the amuse-bouches and the appetizer. The food was decent and nicely executed but not great as nothing was memorable there. With those prices, I cannot see myself returning to Brassaii for a 3-course meal but for a drink on their patio? Sure thing.

Brassaii- Cafe- Restaurant- Lounge on Urbanspoon

 Brassaii at