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Reviewed January 31, 2004   »   32avenue.com   |   justin-cheung.com     

Hemispheres

Metropolitan Hotel Toronto - 110 Chestnut St., Toronto, Canada
Muscovy Duck Confit and Wild Mushroom, Orange Segments & Diced Peppers on Citrus Dressing | an impressive appetizer; quite possibly the best part of the meal. Very delicately prepared and full of flavor, the mushrooms were very nicely accentuated by the citrus dressing. The only downside to it would be the difficulty in eating it properly since it was so delicate.

Seared B.C. Snapper, Grilled Artichokes, Nicoise Vegetables with Spiked Herb Broth | the snapper was an excellent entree, very well seasoned and tender throughout. The broth was so amazing, I kept eating bread so I could dip it in the broth. The vegetables were a nice addition to the main attraction, but I'd stay away from the olives.

Lemon Meringue Pie with Mixed Berries and Caramel | a little bit too much on the heavy, sweet side - and having caramel on the side certainly didn't help things. The contrast between the heavy bottom lemon layer and the light top whipped layer was too overwhelming. Not one of the better desserts I've had, and I wouldn't say having two measly raspberries would qualify the dessert as having "mixed berries".

Conclusion: For a high level restaurant, the booking/reservation process left a bit to be desired. While most other reservation agents were courteous and well-spoken, the Hemispheres agent had a heavy accent and didn't seem like he cared whether or not I made a booking. Upon arrival, the service level was also wildly varied between the waiters and the managers; the managers were well trained in asian mannerisms, but our waiter left us quite disappointed. Bread was the only thing they offered to refill without us asking - we kept waiting for our tea refill to come until I couldn't take it anymore and asked for the waiter. They also presented us with the bill right after our dessert had arrived - I didn't even get a chance to start my dessert yet - which really left me with a disdain for the terrible timing. It was outright insulting. It's not like the restaurant was even full - so what's with the rush in kicking us out? I have to admit, this is the biggest reason I gave Hemispheres such a low rating despite its reputation. It certainly didn't help that we didn't get a choice of what to eat - the winterlicious menu was already set, and none of the items were actually on the normal dining menu. It's a shame really, because the Asian-Western fusion cuisine, otherwise pretty decent, was tainted by this bad experience. At least the decor and ambience was more representative of their top-tier status, and the food was very intricately presented with decent portions. They were accomodating to the fact that I needed to add one more seat to the table only the night before. Complimentary parking for you and your guest at the hotel is also available.

2.2

Justin's out of 5.0

3.5

Renee's out of 5.0

noteworthy
n/a


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