Last week my husband and I had dinner at BOSK at the Shangri-La. I had been to the hotel a few weeks prior for Mother’s Day High Tea, and had an amazing experience. I was sure we were in for a great dinner considering how amazing their tea service was, and we weren’t disappointed. Our meals were not only excellent, but our experience at the hotel and restaurant was very impressive. As always, I will also fill you in on my thought on if BOSK was kid-friendly!
We used valet parking on this trip as there aren’t many close lots near hotel to park at, and when you are wearing sky-high heels, it’s best to park close! Once we walked into the lobby we were greeted by the conceriege who walked us straight to the restaurant. In many of the city’s hotels you end up walking into a vast lobby and are not sure where to go from there unless you are checking in. At the Shangri-La the check in desk is tucked away in the corner, so it’s a different layout then most hotels. I like that the concierge is right at the front door so someone can direct you to exactly where you want to be. Once we were walked over to Bosk we were handed off to someone who found our reservation and seated us immediately. No one missed a beat – everything was so seamless.
Suddenly we were greeted with a champagne cart to start our meal. On ice there were many types of champagne for us to mull over while we were selecting our drink of choice. Although I am a champagne lover and the cart was tempting, in the dining area you couldn’t help but draw your attention to the wine displayed in the room. Their wine list was extensive, and I loved that I had more that just one option for a glass of Riesling (my wine of choice) – I hate it when I have only one option, but here I could chose from a few selection of Rieslings which was nice.
We both decided on wine (although I felt sad to see the beautiful champagne cart roll away) and were not disappointed in our choices.
Our water was poured from a jug with a foot-long curved spout which you couldn’t help but stare at as our server refilled our water glasses. I’ve never seen anything like it before! It was amazing how far she could stand from our table and pour it, which made it seem un-intrusive when she approached the table to do this, but you couldn’t help but stop you conversation as she did to see if she would spill a drop!
We decided on an appetizer to share since we were brought out fresh bread to start. The bread was warm with their in-house maple butter which was to die for. How many bread baskets did we go through? I was too embarrassed to count, but their rosemary herb buns where threatening to ruin my meal by filling me up.
Our appetizer was the Nova Scotia Scallops ($23) with avocado, hon-shimiji mushrooms, crunchy rice, and sesame ginger dressing. Our server knew we were sharing, and without asking had the chef split our appetizer into two plates so we could share. I thought this was an amazing touch – I don’t think a restaurant has ever done that for us. Especially since their presentation was so creative – it was lovely to have our own split appetizer made with the same careful attention to detail.
The scallops were cooked perfectly. They had a nice sear on the top so it was a bit crispy which was perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever had better scallops, and the mushrooms were to die for. The plate had very simple fresh ingredients, and the sesame ginger dressing which was a little sweet and tangy.
Next up a few more baskets of bread (only a few, I swear!) and then our mains were on the table.
I chose the Spring Pea & Mushroom Agnolotti ($30). Can you tell I love mushrooms? It was a stuffed pasta with spring vegetables, topped with fresh parmesan cheese. The pasta really was stuffed so I had to cut each piece in half just to fit it in my mouth. It was sprinkled with fresh peas, and I probably finished the whole pasta dish in embarrassing little time. I was nice enough to share a bite with my husband who was pretty impressed with it as well, but he was not allotted another portion. This entrée was definitely filling!
I was surprised when my husband chose lamb because the last time he had it was for dinner in Europe about 5 years ago! He thought that if he was going to try it again, this would be the place to have it. He had the Duo of Cumbrae Farms Lamb ($38) with tabbouleh, artichoke, carrots, cauliflower, yogurt and aromatic lamb jus. The first bite he let me have was just of the carrots and cauliflower. I am not a vegetable girl – I like them hidden so I can’t taste them, but this dish was the exception. Knowing my distaste for vegetables but offering them first meant my husband knew they were to spectacular too pass up. He was right – they were some pretty tasty veggies! The cauliflower was a little spicy and crispy. The lamb was cooked medium-rare and was very moist and tender. I loved it. I didn’t realize I like lamb until I tried this. Or maybe I only like it here? Uh-oh. I didn’t get more than a couple bites since my husband was being selfish and decided to keep the rest of his meal to himself. Dangerous move on his part.
At this point we were completely stuffed. Maybe all of that amazing bread wasn’t the best idea? Even still we were presented with some complementary truffles and treats at the end of our meal.
We thanked our server and went on our way with the intention of walking off that amazing meal. Where did we end up? Across the lobby to momofuku’s Milk Bar. I’d always wanted to try some of the desserts there, and with it only being a short walk away, we gave it a try. It was on the second floor of the momofuko complex, and it was basically a very busy walk in fridge filled with goodies. We came out with a couple Crack Pie’s, Compost Cookies, and truffles. We took them home with us, well, almost home. We ended up eating them in the car on the way home, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t need to eat anything the next day because I was so full.
Overall our experience was a great one! I always check out if children are welcome to restaurants I eat at, and I hardly had to ask at BOSK because when we sat down two children were dining near us already. Most of the crowd at the restaurant seemed to be there after work (we went on a Tuesday night, so that completely makes sense) but there was a family sitting near us as well, and we were told that on Thursday’s, Friday and Saturday’s the lobby is filled with a younger crowd having drinks. They also have high chairs, and a kids menu with chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and other kid staples.
As I mentioned before, the service was impeccable, and the staff at the Shangri-La really focus on making sure your experience is the best possible. I don’t think I have had better service at a restaurant before. I hope to stay there for the night in the future to see what that experience would be like as well. They are doing a special Father’s Day brunch on Sunday which would probably be amazing, so check it out! I’ve linked to their website below.
The Shangri-La Toronto is located at 188 University Avenue in Toronto, and you can visit their website here.
For reservations call 647-788-8888 ext. 8858
Please note photos 1 & 3 are courtesy of Shangri-La.com