First, a short background to put this in perspective. My husband and I don't really have "hobbies" together -- what we do is eat out. Then, we like to talk about our experiences eating out. Then, we like to get excited together talking about where we might eat out next. It's amazing we're not morbidly obese! We've even started writing little reviews for ourselves in Word (not always agreeing, but that's the fun part of he said/she said, right?). We've been everywhere that's anywhere in this city, and for the past 2 years or so, we've been pretty good about keeping up on all the "high end" eateries out there. We joke that we should somehow find a way to get paid for eating out (especially at the fancier places), because we do it so often it would really help with the budget! :) That being said, I have to agree with misschickie. Susur was a disappointment. Our appraisal of an eating establishment is based on the entire experience, and Susur fell short in various areas. We got the full out tasting menu, but the server seemed completely confused when we asked for wine pairings (a standard request for tasting menus). After futilely trying to explain what we meant by wine pairings, we finally asked that the server just bring us 2 half bottles of wine, one white and one red, and we'll take it from there. Needless to say, at that price tag, you don't want to have to do a DIY pairing! But, we were at Susur, so we persevered, waiting for the food we've heard so much about. Well, in the end, he brought us the same bottle twice. He switched the bottle while we weren't paying attention, so by the time we noticed it was too late. Again, for that price tag, he should have done something to make up for it when we (politely) pointed it out, but nada. Then, there is the food. While certainly good, it wasn't mind blowing. There are a couple chefs that come to mind in the city that consistently blow my mind, so I know it's possible. The food was too much daikon for my taste, and the "originality" that I had expected just wasn't there. Essentially, it seemed like Susur might have been resting on his laurels a bit too much. I can go into the review at greater length (see above comment about personal reviews in Word), but I'm sure I'm running out of space and have already made my point. Plus, I'm well aware that not everyone might care as much about this stuff as I do. :) We've also been to Lee, and it is better (good atmosphere too), but in my opinion there are still better, more affordable places than Lee in Toronto for that type of menu as well. Normally I agree with Toronto Life about these things, but I think that ChickAdvisor is great because there are other opinions out there! :) We are completely in love with other restaurants running the spectrum of price ranges that I would highly recommend, so it's not as if we're invariably fussy. We just believe in value, and unfortunately it just wasn't there at Susur.
Maybe I just had a bad experience, but I came here with Alex and another couple and was disappointed. I'd heard it was amazing and was really excited to try. I had the lobster and the rest of them had the tasting menu. My lobster was cold, the service was reeeeaaally slow and some of the tasting dishes were kind of gross. For example, seafood gelatin was one of them. It was just a jiggly blob of jello that was very fishy. I'm accustomed to eating all sorts of things thanks to my Dad who had us eating escargot since age 5, but this I found disappointing. The $20 martini's kind of put me off as well. Also, the whole time, Susur was standing in the dinningroom by the kitchen looking on at everyone eating. I kept thinking, "shouldn't you be in the kitchen?!" The bill was about $600 for the 4 of us. In the end, I may give it another shake at some point, perhaps it was an off night. I've heard Lee (next door, same chain) is really great and a bit less pricy.
Sometimes, you just need to get yourself a meal at a fancy-pants restaurant. And my fancy-pants establishment of choice is Susur, which pretty much knocks the socks off my ass every time I'm there.
As a vegetarian, it's sometimes a little difficult to find a fine dining establishment that will cater to my dietary needs. Which, beside the food being like what I imagine heaven to taste like, is why I seem to keep returning to Susur instead of branching out and trying other places in town.
Susur specializes in a tasting menu, either five or seven courses, and takes into account any dietary or allergy restriction that its patrons have. Served backwards, with the biggest and heaviest dish being the first to be brought to the table, and the others being progressively smaller and lighter, each meal is topped with an excellent dessert tray, filled with a number of two bite wonders, meant for sharing with your dining companions. Additionally, if you love the wine, consider opting in for a wine pairing service as well.
For the quality of both food and service, their prices are more then reasonable.
Vegetarian five course tasting menu: $75 (food only)
Regular five course tasting menu: $110 (food only)
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.