The pen is mightier than the sword. This particular sentence gives a grander purpose to the power of words as opposed to brutal force. With words, we shape human laws and allow arguments to be resolved through debate. We pass down words of wisdoms and lessons learned. We create imaginary worlds and creatures that transport us to otherworldly locations. Sometimes written words are so powerful that they lead explorers in a wild goose chase, searching for a mystical paradise and sometimes the idea of those utopian lands creates such a lasting image that we name buildings and hotels after them. Such is the case with the Shangri-La hotels.
With such a grand name comes grand expectations and it was with high hopes that I went to have lunch at Bosk, the restaurant attached to the Shangri-La in Toronto. The restaurant was launching a menu by Chef Emil Minev, a previous collaborator of the Shangri-La and the Culinary Arts Director at Le Cordon Bleu in London. From the 31st of October until the 5th of November, Chef Minev’s menu is available at Bosk and showcases some of Canada’s prime produce such as Nova Scotian Scallops.
During our meal at the restaurant, we sampled a small portion of the chef’s menu. The squash velouté was, as its name entails, smooth like velvet and had the rich flavour of the fall harvest along with a nice kick of ginger. The Risotto of organic barley was cooked al dente, with a decorative and flavour packed slice of black truffle as garnish and a rich gooey parmesan emulsion. The Nova Scotia Scallops were seared and served with a Jerusalem artichoke, a squid ink paste and a miso velouté that balanced off an otherwise sweet dish. The prime Canadian Beef, the most interesting looking dish of the day, consisted of roasted tenderloin, pomme fondante, leek dust, a forest mushroom and a small ball of spinach. To finish off the amazing meal, we were served caramelized pineapples with yogurt, white chocolate and a refreshing aloe sorbet. Everything was an absolute delight, from the caramelized butter that was served with our sourdough bread to the perfected roasted pineapples that closed our feast.
Such culinary collaborations always help to reinvigorate the creative flow of a restaurant. It brings new eyes and quite literally puts new ideas on the table and allows the patrons of Bosk to experience the genius of people such as Chef Minev. If you have time, drop by the restaurant: just a single bite of the scallop and you’ll know that you’ve reached Shangri- La.