Monday, December 16, 2013

SPiN Toronto: Not Your Average Ping Pong Hall

SPiN Toronto (Twitter: @SPiN_Toronto, Facebook: SPiN Toronto) is a massive 12,000 sq ft ping pong social club located at 461 King Street West. SPiN Toronto is one of five outposts belonging to the SPiN Galatic group (you can currently find SPiN in New York, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Toronto and Dubai). SPiN Galatic's mission is to spread the love of ping pong across the "Galaxy" with entertainment venues where people can hang out with friends and play ping-pong while sipping on cocktails and munching on snacks. 

Fun Fact: Did you know that Susan Sarandon is one of four owners of SPiN Galatic? The Academy Award-winning actress is a self-described "ping pong propagandist" and has been giving ping pong tables to friends and to inner-city schools ever since she helped open SPiN New York in 2009.

SPiN Toronto boasts 2 fully licensed bars, 12 ping-pong tables, cocktail menu, full food menu, a lounge and a private party room. It is open 7 days a week from noon till 1 am from Sundays to Wednesdays, and till 2 am on Thursdays to Saturdays. 

Fun Fact: Did you know I went to SPiN Toronto for a blind date once? Lets just say playing ping pong was the best part of the date haha.

Please don't feel intimated when you're at SPiNyou don't have to be a pro to go (trust me I suck at ping pong but I love it there; then again maybe because I'm Asian it's in my blood to love ping pong). Anyway if you're a hard-core ping pong player then by all means get yourself a SPiN membership but otherwise, anybody can drop in for casual socializing and play or even take part in SPiN Toronto's nightly events. It's all in good fun.

If you absolutely refuse to give ping pong a chance *insert sad face* you can always pig out on food and drinks there. I was invited to taste chef Jon Lovett's (@iamjonlovett) new menu a few weeks ago at SPiN where we had a variety of shared plates and finger foods. 

We started off with a few cocktails. SPiN has a modest list of cocktails, beers and wines, as well as three different kinds of punch bowls (minimum 4 people, 9 ounces of booze in each).

BFF - Ciroc peach + elderberry + bubbles ($12.40)
Gin Blossom - Tanqueray + St Germain + Lemon ($12.40)

Oysters (3 for $8, 6 for $15)
Hot Sauce ‘Caviar’ + Lemon + Fresh Horseradish

Devilled Eggs (6 for $9) 
Free Run Hen’s Eggs + Beet Root + Chives

Meats ($12)
House Charcuterie + Flatbreads + Pickled Things + Mustards

Veggies ($12)
Vegetable Terrine + Flatbreads + Pickled Things + Salads

Fried Pickles ($8)
Compressed Cucumbers + Dill + SPiN Sauce

Pretzels (9 for $9)
Original Recipe + ‘Everything’ Spice + Warm Cheese

Cured Trout ($12)
Whiskey Cured Steelhead Trout + Endive + Radish + Granny Smith

Drumsticks (3 for $12)
King Capon Chicken + Chili BBQ + Pickled Slaw

Lamb Chops (3 for $18)
Forsythe Lamb + Perth Bacon + Caramelized Carrot + Nutella ‘Snow’

Chicken & Waffl es (½ Chicken for $19)
Roasted King Capon Chicken + ‘Stuffing’ Waffles + Pumpkin + Cranberry

Crab Cake ($12)
Atlantic Rock Crab Salad + Asian Pickles + Hellman’s

Banana Pudding ($8)
Banana Mousse + Candied Rice Puffs + Pistachio

Winter Shortcake ($8)
Fruit Preserves + Buttermilk Biscuit + Cream

Milk & Cookies (3 for $8)
Chocolate Chip Cookies + Bourbon-Milk Punch

Daily Sundae ($8)
Homemade Seasonal Ice Cream + Tasty Treats

With locally sourced ingredients, homemade sauces, breads and ice creams, chef Lovett's winter menu at SPiN is not what you would expect from a ping ping club. Lovett has pulled out all the stops - elevating SPiN food offerings with house charcuterie, cheeses and oysters along with his own interesting and sophisticated touches throughout the menu. Oysters topped with hot sauce 'caviar', devilled eggs adorned with beet root and chives, whiskey cured trout, lamb chops wrapped in bacon with a side of Nutella 'snow', a crab cake burger served in a squid-ink bun and the list goes on...this is definitely not your average "burger with a side of fries" type of menu, folks!  My favourites at the tasting were the pickles, pretzels, King Capon chicken drumsticks and the chicken & waffles. As for desserts the standouts were the spiked (!) milk & cookies and the s'mores sundae.

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

SPiN Galactic - Ping Pong Social Club on Urbanspoon