10.19.2009

SpiceSafar

Boutique-Bakery-Cafe Lounge is what the sign outside this muted location states.
When I found the place - it was sleek and non descript from the outside with a small sign over the door- you walk in and it's sexy, cool and loungy. It's very dark and intimate with ambient beats playing in the background and find a little corner for you and your friends to chill out in.

This is the brainchild of one passionate man - Wilhelm Liebenberg - who is well travelled, an entrepreneur and a visionary and has already trademarked Spicesafar across the world. With locations established in Montreal, he has recently opened 2 in Toronto - one at King and Brant and one in the heart of the entertainment district on Adelaide, he plans on infusing the culture of Spicesafar everywhere. He has recruited greats including Miguel Aranda - the chief mixologist from NYC and his pastery chef from the 4 Seasons.
The menu for all their tapas were under $10 - so we indulged in a few including the cheese plate, a chacuterie plate, elk sliders and we tried the lamb tagine and toasted bread with almond paste.
Cheese is always a huge winner with me and the chacuterie plate was a bit messy on the presentation side - it looked as though it was just casually thrown together but the cured meats were good. The sliders were delicious and the lamb tagine was flavourful and hearty and the almond paste for the bread was to die for! We also tried their dessert platter- if you just come in to eat dessert - you will be satisfied- we had a matcha green tea cake that was inspired by a dessert from the decadent restaurant French Laundry, to a delicious chocolate marshmallow creme puff, to a caramelized fig tart, to a chocolate and raspberry sponge cake and then the shot classes of mini kiwi pannacota- we were in absolute heaven! The desserts were soo amazing!!

Aside from the eats- there is a drink experience that is certainly unique about this place. All drinks are presented on a plank with a shot of sparkling water to cleanse your palette, something tangy and something sweet. I ordered an infused sidecar as my cocktail and it came with a small bowl of grapefruit mousse, a square of sweet coconut sticky rice and the shot glass of sparkling water. The menu for the cocktails included lavenders and other spices infused into the drinks. And they also present their coffee and teas this way!
Spicesafar also makes their own absinthe and we had the privilege of watching the preparation from the swiveling of different concoctions to the fire show - fascinating and then we had the absinthe shot and I swear it cleared up any sinus I had - wow it was fiery!
There is free wifi and a bakery with home made delicacies for the day as well and Wilhelm has mentioned that he is carefully selecting elements for his retail boutique which will boast all unique items from around the world.
So this nouveau concept has it's challenges as it's been slow on promotion and doesn't want to really push itself relying on word of mouth marketing but the brains behind the brand seems to be passionate and where there's passion - there's always a promising result.
*** Stars

Spicesafar - 2 locations:
270 Adelaide Street west (at John) and 510 King St. W (at Brant)
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6 comments:

  1. Chris aka ex-summer internOctober 20, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    I have walked past both locations and have been quite interested on what lives beyond those crafty doors. Sounds like a very interesting concept. Great review Jac!

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  2. I am new to the city and have been looking through food blogs. I must say yours is the least descriptive and I am guessing that you have little to zero food knowledge.. adding an extra "o" to "soo amazing" does not help me capture your experience at this place. figure it out, or try a new avenue in ur life.

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  3. Casual's the way to goOctober 22, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    Dear Anonymous - I hope I never bump into you...maybe you should return to whatever city you came from as I don't think your condescending aura will do any good for us here. Please keep your pretentious 'foodie' attitude for Zagat.

    I think this casual approach to venue introduction is refreshing and I will def make the effort to visit Spice Safar because of this very "descriptive" review.

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  4. Amazing....i'm going to take someone special there soon. It's so refreshing to see a review that is genuinely passionate - and real. Keep it up!!!!

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  5. Anonymous #1 -

    I've got something you can dine on in my pants. Sorry for not being very descriptive...but rest assured is "soo" big.

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