Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blowfish on Bay: Innovative Pan-Asian Cuisine


Opened in Spring 2003, Blowfish Restaurant + Sake Bar with its hot pink lights, elaborate chandeliers and cool grey banquettes, erupted onto the city's hip new dining-lounge scene offering a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisine in Toronto’s stylish King Street West club district. Blowfish’s award wining interior design, mixed with a blend of sushi, French and Pan Asian cuisine, was the ultimate recipe for success, so in 2011 owners Joseph Siahou and Zark Fatah opened a second location — Blowfish on Bay — catering to a predominantly after-work crowd at the corner of Bay and Temperance in the financial district's Bay Adelaide Centre. Designed by Toronto architect Johnson Chou, the sleek and stylish interior has a glamorous and refined look that exemplifies Blowfish’s east-meets-west vibe, with several eye-catching elements such as the impressive ribbed wood installation that divides the space, private cacoon-like gilded booth, chandeliers crafted from crystal-filled Pyrex tubes, and plush banquettes in chocolate tones with elegant custom-made walnut tables.

Blowfish menu

Mirroring this fusion of old with new, classic with modern, Chef Pan's inspired menu features a colourful combination of innovative gourmet sushi, as well as hot and cold plates for sharing, such as the renowned Ebi Shooter, Spicy Tuna Roll with Tempura Rock Shrimp, Wagyu Gyoza, and Red Hot Curry Salmon Sushi, as well as entrées such as Pan Seared Wild Sea Scallops, Roasted Miso-Marinated Black Cod and Hot Stone-Seared Wagyu Striploin, served along award-winning mixologist Nishan Nepulangoda's creative cocktails such as his 'Just Chill' with Aperol, Prosecco, Grapefruit Juice and Orange Bitters, and bright green 'Hagar' with rum, lime juice and mango purée. To food is delicious, the service courteous, and the space striking, however my only word of caution would be avoiding the boisterous after-work crowd that over take the bar in the early evening and if they decide to linger for an 'intimate' dinner for twenty, run for the hills!

Blowfish executive chef Chef G.Q Pan

Award-winning mixologist and head bartender extraordinaire Nishan Nepulangoda

Blowfish on Bay dinner menu

A bottle San Pellegrino to start the evening

'The Hagar' with Rum, lime juice and mango purée

'The Just Chill' with Aperol, Prosecco, Grapefruit Juice and Orange Bitters

A bowl of complimentary warm Edamame sprinkled with salt

The Blowfish Giant Ebi Shooter: tiger prawn, mango, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, daikon sprout, tempura bits, spicy kewpie and tobiko, all wrapped with soy paper

Spicy Tuna with Rock Shrimp: spicy tuna paste, black sesame seed, hot garlic kewpie tossed rock shrimp tempura

Crispy Black Cod Wontons

One-Bite Wagyu Gyoza: pan seared dumpling stuffed with wagyu, black fungus, ginger and preserved spicy vegetable, served with balsamic basil dip

Lotus-Steamed Lobster + Shrimp Dumpling with spicy tobanjan sauce

Ikura Salmon Roe Nigiri Sushi