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Planta (Brunch) : Toronto, Ontario

Planta (Brunch) : Toronto, Ontario

Name: Planta
Address: 1221 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5R 3P5, Canada
Website: Website
Instagram: @plantatoronto
Phone: (647) 348-7000
Wifi: No
Tender: Debit, Credit, Cash
Neighbourhood: Yorkville, Toronto
Type: Vegan

Planta is the newest endeavor by the The Chase Hospitality Group and is located in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood on Bay Street. Serving up a completely plant-based menu the interior of the space follows suit with the rest of the The Chase Hospitality Group family with it’s jaw-dropping interior. Don’t be fooled by the exterior of this place though. From the outside it looks small and cozy, but enter indoors and you’ll soon discover that it’s spacious. Very spacious. With copper accents and a skylight that runs throughout it’s also flooded with natural light. Clean white walls with mosaic tiles in addition to a hand painted palm tree mural and feature walls flanked in palm tree wallpaper give it a modern, yet relaxed feel.

Planta Toronto: Dining Area
Planta Toronto: Dining Area

In addition to the dining and bar areas the space is also built for entertaining. The entire back area of the restaurant, which seats from 40-50 people can easily be closed off with it’s retractable doors for private, yet intimate, events which also includes access to a television and a view of their floor to ceiling wine storage.

Planta Toronto: Private Event Space
Planta Toronto: Back dining area that can be sectioned off for private event space

On the day that I visit, it’s for brunch and with a fairly large group of friends. I always enjoy visiting places in a larger group because truth be told it means I can try out more dishes, especially since my friends are also keen on trying everything out and sharing family style. Luckily, the space at Planta is spacious enough that it comfortably seats both large and small groups alike.

We of course start out with a round of espresso based beverages and being a completely plant-based restaurant the non dairy options are plentiful and include cashew milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and soy. While I myself am not vegan I am lactose intolerant and it’s nice to have so many choices. In addition to coffee and tea they also offer up a wide range of cold-pressed juices ($7.75 CDN + tax), smoothies ($9.50 CDN + tax), juice based cocktails, and alcoholic beverages.

My friends decide to try out the Carrot Cake Smoothie, a mix of carrot juice, banana, almond butter, maca, Mylko coconut Mylk, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Being allergic to coconut I skip out on trying this one but the consensus amongst the group is that its good and spiced perfectly with the flavors you would expect from a decadent carrot cake, although with a distinct banana flavor thrown into the mix.

Planta Toronto: Carrot Cake Smoothie
Planta Toronto: Carrot Cake Smoothie

From the Small Plates section of the menu we try out the Nachos ($12.75 CDN + tax), the Cauliflower Tots ($9.75 CDN + tax), and the Potato Hash ($8.25 CDN + tax).

First the nachos, which consist of perfectly fried tortilla chips topped with fire pit beans, queso, avocado, crema, and cilantro. The “queso” in this dish is not actually the Spanish cheese that one would expect nachos to be slathered in. Being an entirely plant-based menu the queso in this dish is actually a cashew based sauce that has been spiced and concocted in such a way to come as close to the real deal as humanly possible.

The cauliflower tots come served with a vegetable and soy based truffle aioli and a generous sprinkling of truffle “parmesan”, made from cashews. The tots themselves are a mix of cauliflower and potato and are fried perfectly for a nice crisp exterior with a soft pillow-like interior. This ends up being one of my favorites of the meal. I’d be perfectly happy eating a mountain of these.

 

Planta Toronto: Nachos + Cauliflower Tots
Planta Toronto: Nachos + Cauliflower Tots

 

The Potato Hash also ends up being a winner. Fried cubed potatoes are dressed with a blend of maple syrup and sriracha, and then topped with chopped green onion, and dollops crema. They have just the right amount of heat without being overpowering and at the end of the day a side fried potatoes are pretty much a requirement for any brunch, with these ones definitely being up to the challenge.

We move onto the Large Plates and settle on the Banana Pancakes ($13.25 CDN + tax), the Land Lox Platter ($16.75 CDN + tax), the Avocado Toast ($12.25 CDN + tax), and the Crab Cake Benedict ($21.75 CDN + tax).

The Harvest Salad is served with brown rice, caramelized squash, chickpeas, roasted pears, cranberries, napa cabbage, pecans, and balsamic dressing. It’s a nice light option that bursts with flavor, although I would definitely recommend this as a sharing item or as an accompaniment to another item.  Regardless it has the right blend of ingredients to elevate it above and beyond the average everyday salad. The pecans, which are candied, are so good that they alone make this a must order.

The Avocado Toast is served on two slices of rye bread which are then topped with generous smears of mashed avocado, cherry tomatoes, lemon, puffed wild rice, and a drizzle of olive oil. While I do think this dish could have used slightly more seasoning it’s still a stellar option with the puffed wild rice adding good texture and crunch to the smooth avocado.

For those that prefer something on the sweeter side there is the Banana Pancakes, which come topped with perfectly rounded banana slices, a side of maple syrup, and a sprinkling of icing sugar. The same candied pecans that were in the Harvest Salad also make an appearance here, something which I’m definitely more than happy about.

Planta Toronto: Potato Hash, Avocado Toast, Harvest Salad, Banana Pancakes
Planta Toronto: Potato Hash, Avocado Toast, Harvest Salad, Banana Pancakes

Last of the main items we try is the Land Lox Pizza. With the name being a clever play on salmon lox the Land Lox is served with smoked carrots, capers, onions, potatoes and arugula. The carrots are smoked perfectly in the same fashion as salmon lox and gives the humble carrot a flavor that is eerily similar to that of actual smoked salmon. I am beginning to suspect that there must be some wizardry happening in the kitchen.

Planta Toronto: Land Lox Pizza
Planta Toronto: Land Lox Pizza

Finally we end with dessert and try out the Young Thai Coconut, the Avocado Lime Cheesecake, Chocolate Terrarium, and the Smoothie bowl.

Again, being allergic to coconut I sit out on the Young Thai Coconut which is presented beautifully in a hollowed out coconut that is filled with coconut basil, chia seed pudding, and then topped with passion fruit sorbet and coconut chips. I sat and watched as my friends huddled around the coconut, savoring every last drop. Their reaction to it made me contemplate researching whether or not it is possible to build a tolerance to allergies.

Like the Young Thai Coconut I also sit out on the Avocado Lime cheesecake which also served with a coconut crust and a raspberry sorbet. I’m told it’s tangy and smooth and I suspect that sans coconut that it would have been a favorite of mine since I tend to have an affinity for citrus based desserts.

I do however get to sample the Chocolate Terrarium and the Smoothie Bowl. The Chocolate Terrarium is crowned the best dessert amongst the group, and not only does it win in taste it also wins in terms of presentation. Dairy-free chocolate mousse is served inside a terrarium-like bowl with peanut butter cream, fresh raspberries, toffee pieces, crumbled chocolate cake, salted caramel, sprigs of dill, and gold dusted peanuts. With the chocolate terrarium being rich and decadent, the Smoothie Bowl definitely sits at the opposite end of the spectrum lending itself to be a much lighter option. Smooth berry yogurt sits on top of a chia seed pudding and is topped with fresh fruits and crushed pistachios. It’s a nice option for those looking for something on the healthier side, although this can easily be something that is served as a breakfast option as opposed to a dessert.

Planta Toronto: Dessert
Planta Toronto: Dessert

Like all of The Chase Hospitality Group restaurants the space is beautiful and built to impress with the service being friendly and attentive. Being the furthest from a vegan as one can get, I must admit I definitely had my reservations about an entirely plant-based menu. After my visit here though I was truly impressed with the execution of menu. What I appreciated most was that there was no use of imitation meats, which they forego in favor of  extreme care taken to cook plant-based ingredients with the same methods as the traditional dishes. It’s done in such a way that you question whether or not you actually bit into it’s meat based equivalent. With all other vegan restaurants in Toronto being quick-style service they’ve also helped to elevate Toronto’s status as a food-forward global center point with it’s upscale vegan dining experience. Regardless of whether you’re a vegan or not, it’s good food that bacon eaters and plant-only eaters can both enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with The Chase Hospitality Group. All opinions expressed are my own. All menu offerings and prices are accurate as of time of posting. Please refer to restaurant/shop for most up to date information.

*All images are copyrighted Allons.Y Styling & Photography. Please do not use or re-post without written consent and provide credit where applicable

1 comment

  • Rose

    December 1, 2016

    I love how descriptive you are with all the dishes. I need to go back to Planta! All those desssserrrrrts

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