Toca … black cod and trippy unicorns

When I visited: March 2018

Location: Toronto (within the Ritz-Carlton Hotel)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not rated in the Guide

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Fairly intimate

Course of the meal: Black cod

If I could change one thing: More truffle taste


Toca is a good choice if you want high-quality Italian food within a nice hotel. One quirky but cool point is their stunt plates (see fine dining hallmarks) which included some very pretty paintings (for instance, of a parrot, or of a celebrity’s face) as well as some really weird trippy unicorns (in my place). The service was also really friendly throughout.

We sampled some white Chardonnay from Niagara (creamy, delicious, and pretty good value) and started with the kale salad with citrus fruits and nuts, and the truffle on 5-minute egg and cheese (which tasted more of the cheese flavour than black truffle in a continuation of this unwelcome trend of truffle courses not really tasting of truffle).

The mains were a lamb fillet with Brussels sprouts and celeriac, and the black cod with salsa verde, which was deliciously tender. For dessert, we tried the Barolo soaked ladyfingers tiramisu with edible gold leaf pieces on chocolate shards, and also had some green and mint teas.

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