Strike Three, You're Out!

January 8, 2008

Spring Rolls
Address: 40 Dundas St. West (at Yonge), Toronto
Phone: (416) 585-2929

Early last week, Andrew and I decided to make up for our lack of New Year celebration by going for a quick meal at Spring Rolls on Dundas which just happen to be right below my dentist's office (where I was headed earlier in the day). We got there in time for an early dinner so the regular crowd hadn't arrived just yet. We were seated promptly and given our menus. This being my third time at this establishment, I had a general idea of what was offered and despite rave reviews from a couple of friends who had fell in love with this restaurant, I was still skeptical. It hadn't impressed me very much the first couple of times, so I didn't have very high expectations.

FOOD: 1.5/5.0

Spring Rolls ($3.95) | Sitting high on my list of favourite appetizers, I normally enjoy having one or two before a meal. Since the restaurant was named after this dish, I figured they'd do a good job on it. These spring rolls were stuffed with ground chicken, taro, shiitake mushrooms and mixed veggies. Presented on a bed of limp shredded cabbage with a string or two of shredded red cabbage, this dish faired way below my expectations. Andrew and I shared the two spring rolls (cut into two pieces each) and I only managed to finish one piece. The other half of my share was whisked away, back to the kitchen where I presume it was promptly tossed into the trash.

Pho Saigon ($6.95) | Being deathly allergic to peanuts and unable to eat spicy foods, I tend to walk the straight, boring road when eating at Asian restaurants. Ordering what I normally do at Viet restaurants, I anticipated a flavourful bowl of soft, thin noodles and various cow parts (hah, sorry). Instead, I got a bowlful of hard noodles that, despite letting it soak in the soup a little more, remained plastic-y and thoroughly unenjoyable. Andrew thought I was exaggerating (as he often does) but when he tried out the noodles as well, he found them to be unbearably hard as well. What a disappointment.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken ($9.95) | Andrew decided to be a little more adventurous with his choice of food but when his dish arrived, it became quite apparent that what he ordered wasn't what he had in mind. It was much to spicy for him so he drank both our glasses of water and then ordered some milk on top of that. Surprisingly, he didn't sweat but he also didn't finish the plate.

Golden Temple ($5.50) | A cocktail of who knows what ingredients, it wasn't what I had expected. The description in the drinks menu did not include any coconut but I distinctly tasted some. This Golden Temple was apparently robbed of any decent flavour (and alcohol content) because it quite bland and towards the middle of the drink, I felt like I was drinking coloured liquid. Likely, the robbers were pirates because they left their sword pierced through the fruits that decorated this drink.

AMBIANCE: 3.0/5.0

A reasonably well decorated restaurant, perhaps this is where they spent all their money instead of hiring some kind of food quality controller. The Thai slash modern theme is quite apparent and the use of red and gold accents scattered throughout are quite nice. The only unfortunate thing about the design of this restaurant is the constant cold draft that hits you as people enter and exit through the doors that open to the street. Otherwise, little details that most people wouldn't notice (like the murky waters that fill their water fountain) can be excused.

SERVICE: 2.5/5.0

The service wasn't exceptional. The waiter forgot to bring us our water a few times even though there were so many of them wandering throughout the restaurant it was clear that he wasn't that busy. The food took a little while to arrive and so did the bill.

Also, if you're planning to drive and happen to park underground, make sure you do it after 6pm because only then will they validate your parking ticket. Otherwise, you may end up paying a ridiculous price, like us.

Overall, the food only served to fill our stomaches, and not in the comfortable, satisfied way either. After this third try, I likely will never return to this restaurant, at least not willingly. Andrew and I couldn't think of a time when we had a meal worse than this one. If this New Year celebration was any indication of what the year ahead will be like, it's going to be rough and tough. But hopefully it's not and things will lighten up later on.

1 comment:

Jasy said...

Sadly, for what used to be my favourite restaurant-- spring rolls' quality continues to descend everytime I go there too... I used to make it a MUST to eat there every time I went to toronto. But now I'd rather not.

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