November 18, 2012

Richmond Station

Being a huge Top Chef fan, I obviously had to try out winner Chef Carl Heinrich's new restaurant. Marben was one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto so needless to say, I was super stoked to eat at Richmond Station. However, my experience here was inevitably compared to my dinner at runner-up Trevor's Bird's restaurant, Fable, in Vancouver. Notably, both restaurants embrace a farm-to-table dining concept.
We started with fresh bread, served with some soya oil and balsamic vinegar that was absolutely awesome. My mom kept bugging to me ask for more bread because she loved dip so much.
Being a polenta-lover, I also ordered polenta fries ($8) with bomba mayonnaise and marinara to share. The outside was superbly crispy with a soft, creamy interior. One complaint I had was that the bomba mayonnaise was smeared onto the serving board, hardly enough for me to properly taste. I really wished there was more for dipping. While the marinara was nice, I didn't think it was the best complement for the fries. I wanted a dip with more tang. My mom wasn't the biggest fan of these, citing that she preferred potato fries. However, she did enjoy dipping them in the soya oil + balsamic vinegar mixture that was meant for the bread.
For our mains, we both chose something from the daily special menu. My mom opted for duo of beef ($26) - striploin and braised shortribs with truffled celery purée, arugula, pickled shallots. The first thing we dug into was the arugula salad, and it was fantastic. The greens were bright and acidic, I wanted a whole plate of it!

The striploin was cooked to a beautiful medium rare, and my mom enjoyed it a lot. The braised short ribs were melt-in-your-mouth tender. On a side note, we did have to pack most of the shortrib to go in order to save room for dessert. While the protein was well-executed, what stood out the most for me was the truffled celery purée. Luckily for me, the celery was quite mellow (I happen to hate celery), and the purée was flavourful and lusciously creamy.  
While studying the menu, my mom and I reminisced over how much we loved the duck dish at Fable. With that in mind, I couldn't resist trying the duck confit here ($25) with roasted cauliflower, lentils and sunchokes. We both loved the crispy skin and the duck leg was delicious. This might not have been the most innovative dish, but it was a well-executed classic. 
Aside from the duck, the other components on the dish were also tasty, particularly the roasted sunchoke and cauliflower purée. I'm thrilled to see that more and more restaurants are incorporating sunchokes in their menu, as they are absolutely delicious.
I was a little disappointed that the much raved about bread pudding wasn't on the special menu of the day. So instead, we chose another daily special- apple tarte tatin ($9) with walnuts and almond ice cream. What I loved about the dessert was that it was so homey, yet elegant at the same time.
I have to say that this dessert was probably the best part of the entire meal! The tarte tatin was to-die-for, accompanied by the most delicious almond ice cream. The best way to enjoy this is to combine a little bit of everything - the pastry, tangy apple, gooey caramel, and almond cream- into one heavenly bite! I guarantee you will not be disappointed!
Our bill was accompanied by a small cube of salted caramel, a lovely gesture to end off the amazing night. On the whole, my mom and I both enjoyed our dinner very much, though we agreed that perhaps we liked Fable just a little bit more (that duck is still on my mind!). The food here isn't as innovative, but nevertheless, the commitment to delicious food and excellent service is quite evident. 
Richmond Station on Urbanspoon


  1. The duo of beef and dessert looks amazing. I have yet to try a Top Chef contestant restaurant!

  2. NO BREAD PUDDING?! That's a bummer =( It was a daily special so perhaps that's why. We didn't get salted caramels at the end either... we got these... (don't know what they're called =S) small muffins that were bite-size and didn't have much flavor. Meh.
    Overall I agree... not very original food, but very well executed and delicious =)

    1. yah i was very disappointed about the bread pudding cause I heard so many people rave about it! But the apple tarte tatin was very very good too!

  3. It's likely that it was celery root puree hence the mild celery flavour



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