I’d been humming and hawing about trying Fring’s for a while. Hesitation being that it would be pretentious and overpriced just based on the owners and also due to some unfavorable reviews I’d read.
Fring’s was conceived through the new partnership of Chef Susur Lee and Toronto music star Drake.
The culinary experience was better then I expected to be. The decor of the restaurant was entrancing and immediately won me over, a version of elevated shabby chic with rich colours and varying textures throughout.
Don’t get me wrong there was definitely a pretentious attitude to the place though. Firstly right off the bat, whether you are reserving online or checking in for your reservation at the restaurant, you are told the time limit on your table. I get that they are reserving tables back to back but this seemed unnecessary and made us feel as though we would be rushed through the evening. (chances are you probably won’t linger more then the 2 hour time limit anyways, unless the kitchen is slow).
Second the cocktails are way over priced even by Toronto standards, they should be taken down by about $5. My margarita, while an excellent cocktail, should not be valued at $18.
Thirdly the servers need to back off a bit. There were a minimum of three occasions where we had to stop a buser or server from clearing a dish from our table that still had food on it! Each time they had not even asked if we wanted it cleared, this made us feel further rushed even though at each point we were not even close to our time limit. (we spent just under 2 hours at the restaurant and the time we were told we had our table for was 2.5 hours)
Alright so pet peeves out of the way, let’s move on to food. The food was absolutely delicious and saved what could have otherwise been a disappointing experience. The menu is designed as a sharing experience with the majority of the dishes being tapas size. Following is a quick run through of our choices for the night, all of which I would readily order again:
Roasted Butternut Squash Toast: homemade ricotta, crispy shallots, candied orange segment ($10). This was a good toast, not the best I had as it was slightly flat in flavour. Also the texture of the butternut squash unfortunately affects the crispiness of the toast. Could be reworking by adding in another flavor for excitement.
Grilled Asparagus: with balsamic and parmesan ($12). As to be expected, cooked well and the balsamic and parmesan added an extra layer of flavour. Pricing on this one should be lower.
Watermelon and Fig Salad: feta, mint, crispy shallots, balsamic glaze ($15). Delicious and fresh, this salad has multiple layers of flavour and provides a great addition to the meal.
Beef Short Rib Tacos: avocado, mango pineapple salsa, sour cream ($16). One of my favourite dishes of the night. This is quite the mini taco but perfectly crisp and an explosion of flavour and texture in your mouth. I could eat a bucket load of these!
Mom’s Homemade Sweet $ Sour Meatballs: breadcrumbs, crispy thin onion rings ($12). Another favourite of the night. Not the sweet & sour sauce you would normally think about such as in an asian restaurant, rather a dark sweet bbq type sauce. You ill find yourself dipping each bite to try to get more sauce. The crispy onion rings also add a great balance in texture.
Southern Spicy Maple Fried Chicken: spicy maple syrup ($24). One of the house specialities. This is a generous serving compared to the other dishes with four proper sized pieces of fried chicken. Love the maple syrup sauce served with it, not too spicy which was my preference. I love that the paper lining the fried chicken basked is printed with the etchings that Fring’s has used throughout their branding.
We ended the night with a shared dessert for the table, the warm lava cake. Have no fear though as there is an abundance of choice on the dessert menu, something for every palette. Our lava cake was absolutely delicious and perfectly cooked, the chocolate just oozed out of it once I got my fork in there.
More information and reservations for Fring’s HERE.