3.75 Stars – Overall Experience
3.25 Stars – Price
3.50 Stars – Service
3.75 Stars – Food
4.50 Stars – Atmosphere
Peach (Don’t Kill My Vibe) Cocktail
Kimchi Spring Rolls
Aloo Gobi Pizza
Vegetarians and vegans rejoice as Toronto has a new, hip vegan restaurant on the scene that puts some creative spins on classics like crab cakes, truffle mac&cheese and even hot dogs.
Planta Restaurant – think Miami Vice meets the 21st Century – is all too Instagrammable. The big, bright, open space (dim lighting though for dinner service) almost feels like you’re sitting outside on a patio. Very modern in design with an artistic flare, the space invites you to think of warmer climates with subtle placement of palm leaves, pineapples and flamingos. Right down to the gorgeous water glasses, rose gold cutlery and beautifully set bar, Planta is perfect for a fun night out with friends, colleagues, a romantic interest and, hey, I even saw a few well behaved kids.
Ok…we did have a pretty rough night when it came to service. At 9:30 AM, my friend and I went online to check reservations and they were solidly booked. (You have now been warned to make reservations far in advance). We decided to try our luck by going early at 4:30 and were told we could be seated at 5 PM but needed to make sure we were out by 6:30. No problem. We hung out at the bar until five when we were promptly shown our table. We placed our order within 10 minutes and after about 15 mins or so we were munching on our appetizer. We never saw anyone again until 6:20 (an hour later) when I was finally able to flag down our waiter to ask where our food was. “It hasn’t come out? I will check on it right away!” he responded. Turns out they lost our order and had to quickly make it. After that, it seemed like every server in restaurant didn’t let us out of their sight. I counted 7 different people who served food, filled our water, cleared our plates, brought us the bill and took our credit cards (a bit much)!
Ok, we all have an off night once in a while so I will not condemn the restaurant for this, hoping it was a likely a one time situation. The staff, for the most part, seemed friendly and they also compensated us on our appetizer and brought us out an extra.
I chose a “Peach (Don’t Kill My Vibe)” cocktail as my friend and I waited at the bar. The bartender had recommended it saying it was very refreshing and he was absolutely spot on. Not too sweet and not too strong on the alcohol flavour. I would definitely recommend this drink.
We had only actually ordered one appetizer, but because of the mix up with our food, the waiter ended up bringing us a second. First up was the Kimchi Spring Rolls. Ok on flavour and a little but mushy on the inside but a good crispy outside. The second appetizer was the Cauliflower Tots. Like the Kimchi Spring Rolls I found the Cauliflower Tots to be very mushy on the inside (not of ton of texture). The “parm” was delicious, however, and overall we enjoyed both apps.
For my main I went with one of the November specialties – an Aloo Gobi Pizza – while my friend ordered the ‘crab’ cakes. The crust on my pizza was phenomenal (they clearly know how to make a great dough). I am a bit torn on the toppings. Typically, Aloo Gobi is made of cauliflower and potato. In order to capture this, Planta had put very thinly sliced pieces of these two ingredients on top (along with pickled onion I believe). Unfortunately I found the veggies to be a bit too thin and ended up being very much lost in the sauce. It felt more like I was just eating really good crust and sauce as opposed to eating a pizza. The sauce had great flavours though and a good amount of spice. I would be interested in tryhing another one of their pizzas to see if the toppings are better. My friend thought her crab cakes were ok. I asked her if they tasted anything like real crab and she said no. She was a bit confused by the accompaniment of chickpeas as typically you would get a dipping sauce with crab cakes.
The phrase “DUH!” comes to mind. This is a vegan restaurant so literally an entire menu for you to choose from if you are vegan or vegetarian. Oh, and they have some gluten free options too.
A bit overpriced in my opinion. The average price for a main was between $18-20 which felt a bit high for vegetarian/vegan fare. My bill which included a cocktail, the cheapest glass of wine and a pizza came to $47 before tip and don’t forget we were comp’d our apps so it would have been higher had the mix up not happened. I thought the pizzas were the most reasonable as far as price was concerned.
Time of Dinner: 5:00pm
Date: Friday Nov 10th, 2017
For more information be sure to visit their website https://www.plantarestaurants.com