FRILU, Thornhill “ - With such lovingly prepared and delectable food…..I will be most upset if they do not get a Michelin star on the 13th September!!!

Accompanied by an ex-chowhound acquaintance with friendship spanning over 2 decades. After our last ‘chow-meet’ in Tokyo over 4 years ago. Tonight, we did a long overdue, ‘post-Covid’, catching up by having a multi-course tasting menu at my favourite neighbourhood restaurant - FRILU. A prolific foodie with a refined and discriminating palate, this Hong Kong based gourmand friend of mine just returned from a month long food-crawl in Denmark. Restaurants he frequented included multi-Michelin stars in Aarhus and gastronomic temples that included the 3* Geranium and NOMA in Copenhagen!

Setting foot in Toronto last month, he started another round of eating spree by selectively picking and feasting from establishments on Toronto’s 2022 Top 100 Best Restaurant list. These included #2 Edulis, #3 Canoe, #4 Sushi Masaki Saito, #7 Shousin, #16 20Victoria St, #15 Bar Isabel….etc.

Complimenting my review and opinion of tonight’s meal with his own, he remarked that tonight’s dinner was the best tasting western meal he has had in Toronto to date. Beating out competitors like Edulis and Canoe……which in itself was a tall order! We both agree that, the creative ‘ Zen influenced ‘ food was “ sophisticated but not overly complicated, well balanced, gorgeously plated, dressed with near perfect seasoning and loaded with umami-centric components/layers “…definitely Michelin star worthy…….a solid 1 at least!.*…and we will be most disappointed and upset if Michelin’s announcement on the 13th does not reflect that! In fact, my friend told me, taste-wise, FRILU’s ‘ Nordic-Japanese-Italian ‘ fusion cuisine even surpassed and trumped NOMA’s ‘food-lab-like, gimmicky’ offering!

With so many praise-worthy winners in tonight’s meal to choose from, it is one difficult and challenging task to try singling out the creme-de-la-creme!

For me, the stand outs included:

  • the wonderful taste and textured profile “ BC Albacore tuna and cucumber ", dressed with anchovy and garlic oil on a super crunchy Japanese style rice cracker “ amuse…. so delish!!
  • FRILU’s lobster 2 ways were sensational! The butter poached lobster meat with corn and burnt miso was so good, it can easily rub shoulders with ALO’s famous and tasty Corn and Crab creation! However, FRILU’s lobster brain and essence, perfectly al-dente spaghetti with Uni was mind-boggling goooood! Wow!!
  • The tasty, roasted Linton pasture Pork was so moist, perfectly executed and flavourful, juice was actually oozing out from every bite!.. ( The only slight downside being the use of overly bitter radicchio as sides and the lack of a ‘crunchy‘ component to enhance the texture profile. IMO, some fried, crispy julienne leeks or even onions will do the job! )
  • Lastly, the impeccable, sous-vide pink duck breast with char-grilled crispy skin was tender, moist and paired so well with the sour cherry and savory wing jus…I want more!!

The slightly off-dry 2019 Pfalz Riesling was a perfect candidate for the seafood-centric meal. The slightly sweet and acidic component matches so seamlessly with the majority of ’ hint-of-sweetness’ sauces and ingredients

Service by our newly arrived from Osaka, Japanese server/front-of-house manager was super-friendly, attentive and exhibit the highest professional standard.

Lastly, a most interesting factoid! The following ingredients/components used in tonight’s dinner came from Frilu’s own farm in Tottenham. These include: Sour Cherry, Dill, edible Flowers, Shashito, Okra, Daikon, Cucumber, Tomato, Swiss Chard……etc. A ‘L’Arpege-esque’ restaurant approach in Thornhill! Cool!!


You called it Charles maybe you have some insider info :grin:

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Hmm … Pairings are mandatory from November onward it seems … without opt-out option?

Hmmm…!!! Me too!!

Yeah, it does seem to be one price with either alcoholic or non-alcoholic pairing. I don’t recall any restaurant that forces you to order a pairing. It’s interesting they provide a link on their site to Toronto Life article that quotes their tasting menu at $95pp back in 2019, and juxtapose that to today’s price of $260pp - a 275% price increase in 3 years!

Perhaps you should compare that to the tasting menu prices of the other 1 starred restaurants.