Pleasant atmosphere, but meals a mixed bag
On a bustling corner on King Street East is the Chef’s House restaurant, run by George Brown College (GBC) as a space where chef school students can learn. This innovative, student-focused restaurant also offers the public a relaxed, urban-dining experience.
The Chef’s House has recently undergone significant expansion and is now a space that can host special events. There is also a new simulation lab on the second floor, a wine tasting lab on the third floor and a food innovation and research studio on the fourth floor.
For Levi Rivers, a student learning at the Chef’s House, the hands-on experience is what he likes the most. He says the best thing about it is “the fact that students get to actually show the public what we’ve learned so far.”
By Tina Todaro
The Chef’s House has a prix fixe menu with two courses for $20, three courses for $25 and a daily special with a glass of their featured wine for $18. We took advantage of the two courses, which included an appetizer, main course and dessert.
I chose to try the braised baby octopus, olives, chickpeas and ciabatta as my appetizer. Though the calamari was chewy and didn’t take long to eat, I felt like there was no flavour and that the dish was very bland.
For the main course, I chose the peppercorn salmon atop a light vegetable salad with sweet peppers—red and yellow, mini eggs cut in half, cherry tomatoes, chunks of potato, onions and leafy greens. My initial thought was that the salmon, of course, would be warm, which it was, and that it would be served with hot vegetables. While the salmon tasted great, I was not too happy with the cold vegetables.
Overall my experience at the Chef’s House was a good one as the service was great and the students and staff were happy to help.
By Aliona Kuts
Being a vegetarian myself, I was stuck with basically one option for an appetizer and nothing for the main course. Even the daily soup had a chorizo sausage in it.
The desserts, even though the names were appealing, were not specified as dairy or gluten free, so going for an appetizer and a dessert was not an option either.
I am not a hardcore vegetarian and might occasionally enjoy a bite of an unusual or unique meat dish. In this situation, however, this was not the case. Having chosen a vegetable slaw to start off and a chicken for the entrée, I must admit both dishes were quite tasty.
The slaw was fresh and crispy and had just the right amount of spices to satisfy my palate. The chicken, unfortunately, was not that great. To my taste, it was too fat and oily; I would definitely opt for a healthier option. The vegetables and the purée in their turn were delicious.
It is worth mentioning the server was always there, refilling our glasses and changing the plates quickly. I would say that I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere, especially the open kitchen—that drove me as a former cook crazy—and would love to come back but for a more varied menu.