Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 1442 Dundas Street West
Type of Meal: Brunch
The Guild is surprisingly spacious with the open concept layout giving patrons a peek of what’s happening in the kitchen. The décor screams Canadian with the exposed brick, log pillars and wooden tables. Although the restaurant is somewhat narrow with its rectangular space, strategically placed mirrors really open the place up.
The atmosphere is laid back (no fancy linens) without feeling with a diner or university hang-out. The little touches certainly help, such as the cute mini milk jug that comes with your coffee ($2). But, it’s also their spin on taking traditional brunch dishes and adding a touch of decadence to it.
My favourite brunch dish is the tried and true benedict. The Guild makes it even better by putting it on a blini, much better than a crumbly biscuit and topping it with butter poached lobster, caviar and asparagus ($16). The best part is the eggs, cooked “sous-vide”, where they are put into a bag and then cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time. The result is an evenly cooked egg – you can cut into the egg without the yolk spilling out. Yet, it remains a soft creamy pudding consistency.
A generous amount of lobster tops the benedict and is perfectly cooked; juicy and flavourful from being slow poached in butter. The blini, essentially a dense pancake, has a great crust and is very flavourful – most likely because it was cooked in clarified butter. Luckily, with all the rich ingredients, the Guild tones down the hollandaise with lemon juice to give the dish some freshness.
The Guild’s take on bacon and eggs ($12) includes thick cuts of home-smoked bacon dipped in maple syrup, two sous-vide eggs placed in Yorkshire pudding, a square of goat cheese yam gratin and handful of salad.
The eggs in the savoury Yorkshire pudding is heavenly; perfectly cooked gooey yolks mixed with a crispy salty Yorkshire crust. Someone should seriously consider serving these at cocktail parties, it would work well. Perhaps it was due to my bacon being relatively lean, but it was a bit of a miss. I enjoyed the sweet maple crust and it being crispy. But, since it was a thick cut, it became tough and akin to eating jerky. Thinner strips would likely be better to get the best of both worlds.
Although it was a Sunday morning, the Guild’s staff was bubbly, happy and seemed excited to be there. Our waitress was friendly and helpful at describing their famed dishes – one of which is French toast stuffed with foie gras (yes you heard right). Best of all, they take reservations! So, no worrying about having to wait in line when you’re hungry and just want to eat.
Overall mark - 8 out of 10
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Gastro World's Grading System
- Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
- 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
- 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
- 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
- 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
- 10 - absolute perfection!