We were invited at the beginning of August to sample Weslodge’s new menu. Through their electrifying yellow doors on King West, their modern, high-end saloon theme is evident with the room filled with antlers and brass accents.
We started the evening off at the bar with a quick mixology class by Isaac Viner. First, he presented us with a sultry cocktail, the “Hanky Panky”. Originally, it was an iconic cocktail originated in 1900s by Ada Coleman. Thanks to Sir Charles Hawtrey, who wanted a drink with a punch in it, he exclaimed “By Jove! That is the real hanky panky!” While this drink is a variation on the sweet martini, which includes Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin with Guerra Reserve Sweet Vermouth; the secret ingredient of Fernet Branca transformed it into a whole new drink. This was a great dinner to start the meal.
Executive Chef Ben Heaton developed their new menu that is ruggedly refined, exploring North American fare with an international twist. It was exciting to see the play on tastes, especially the intricate, refreshing starters, such as the Wagyu Tartare, which tasted like a polished delicious Big Mac. Next, the Ahi Tuna Tartare was filled with avocado, celery, yuzu hot sauce and served with crisp black sesame crackers, differentiating it from other Ahi Tuna Tartare around the city. Lastly, I could not forget the Foie Gras & Waffle. The foie gras seared perfectly to have a crispy outer shell, combined with the Canadian flavours of maple syrup, blueberry, truffle and crème fraîche.
For the second and third courses, we sampled the charcoal grilled flat breads and their famous Southern Fried Chicken. The chicken was fried to a tender crisp, with its meat still juicy and succulent, topped with a spicy kick.
For our fourth course, we ended the entrée with the Tomahawk, an impressively massive steak. The steak was cooked in their Josper oven, medium rare red end-to-end. I get disappointed when the steak becomes overcooked, which Weslodge did not disappoint us with. I recommend the Mac & Cheese for the side, filled with pimento cheese, cheddar, and topped with a jalapeno and bread crumbs.
Lastly, we finished the meal off with Knickerbocker Glory, a sundae layered with whiskey apples, brandy caramel and brown butter ice-cream. For those who remember the reference of this dessert in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, you won’t be disappointed like Dudley due to lack of ice-cream on top, as the sundae was overflowing to the brim.
480 King St W
Photos by Nick Lee