Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Markaz Cafe & Natural Sushi

Firstly, I apologize for the first few photo's, they came out rather blurry due to the low lighting of the restaurant.

However more importantly, on to the food. So this past weekend the opportunity had arisen to visit a few restaurants. First on the list was Markaz Cafe (www.markazcafe.com), located in Toronto's entertainment district. This seeming fusion of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine / shisha house whilst not my typical haunt (boasts a 100% alcohol free environment) does happen to offer some very tasty cuisine. Me and Christina split and appetizer and had ourselves a couple of mains.

First up was the Moroccan Comfort, according to the website its slices of pumpkin, but I could swear I remember the menu saying it was butternut squash. So it was slices of some yellowish vegetable sauteed in lemon, ginger and coriander, served with some coriander mint chutney. Whilst not being a usual fan of squash (or pumpkin for that matter) this was quite tasty, ever so slightly crunchy, tender flesh, and a delicate balance of flavours. It's no surprise its the chefs specialty.

Secondly was a complimentary salad, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, served in what I can only assume is a house vinaigrette, served in a edible flat bread bowl. Another tasty dish, the subtly flavoured vinaigrette went nicely with the very fresh vegetables. The tasty spiced flat bread bowl was a nice touch too.

For my main I had the Sheekh Kebab (foolishly mispronounced shish kebab), which consisted of 2 pieces of beef kebab, covered in more mint coriander chutney, served on top a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and pickled banana peppers, which was yet served on top of naan bread. The kebab and chutney were very tasty. The salad of iceberg lettuce was nothing to marvel at, and the naan bread was all too plain. However when eaten all together it was quite nice.

Christina had the chicken shawarma. She praised it was one of, if not the best shes ever had.

The following day we ended up in the Yonge and Bloor area and went for sushi. We decided just to stop into the first random place we hadn't previously been too. It happened to be Natural Sushi on Yonge st, in between Bloor and Wellesley. It was a nice quaint and unassuming environment, with classical music on the air to boot.

My stomach wasn't in the best condition, so I decided to keep it light and just get an order of spicy tuna rolls. I was impressed, they were very large rolls with thin layer of rice and lots of filling. It was hard to eat it all in one bite. They were very tasty.

Christina had a Sashimi platter of red snapper, tuna, salmon, and squid. Whilst skeptical at first glance, she conceded that it was quite good, remarking 'its better then it looks'. I thought it looked just fine however, although admittedly, the cuts of fish didn't look like most places (not always a bad thing however).

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