Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore, Johor, Toronto based blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, places, people & overSixty lifestyle around the world

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

For foodies, the annual Summerlicious (and Winterlicious) are the best times to visit Toronto. Each season, about 200 participating restaurants offer discounted prix fixe menus. Today, I went to Valens on Baldwin Street.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Baldwin Street is right at the edge of Toronto's Chinatown which is near to University of Toronto. When you are in Toronto, you will notice the youthful energy here as besides U of T, Ryerson University and George Brown College all have campuses downtown.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

The short leafy Baldwin Street have several hip cafes and eateries serving trendy ramen, dim sum, sushi, Korean, Chinese style seafood, vegetarian etc appealing to the younger set. Known also as Baldwin Village, this place is a popular hangout of students.


AGO-Art-Gallery-Ontario-Toronto

Eating at Baldwin Street is a good option if you are visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario which is just a street away on Dundas Street West. AGO has a rich art collection and interesting guest exhibits on rotation. Entrance is free on Wednesday evenings, which is one of the best free things to do in Toronto.

(This picture of AGO was from my spring 2017 trip. The quaint rumbling vintage street cars have all been replaced by modern sleek designs.)

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Valens is located in one of the tiny shophouses converted from former townhouses.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Valens is a simple, busy, no frills restaurant. The long narrow space was filled with tables with a narrow aisle in the middle, and a small bar at the far end.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

I chose to sit outside in the patio, under a large maple tree. This is Canada, right? It was a cool summer midday with the sun overhead but it felt cool and comfortable under the crown of maple leaves.

Maple Seed

So many years in Canada, this was the first time I took a close look at the maple's winged seed.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

The 3 course Summerlicious prix fixe menu at Valens costs CDN23++ per pax. Click on the picture to get a close up view - Valens has the widest range of entree dishes of all the Summerlicious places I visited so far.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Mixed Greens Salad.

Having made the Summerlicious rounds earlier, I was expecting the salad portion to be downsized to fit the budget. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the serving.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Crunchy fresh baby mixed greens, sweet tangy roasted red peppers, walnuts, pungent savoury salty goat cheese, and zesty balsamic vinaigrette. It's an appetizing appetizer.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

After the good size salad, I was half expecting my entree to match up in size - it didn't disappoint. The steak was the size of my palm, but longer and slightly thiner.

The grilled striploin steak with peppercorn sauce came with mashed potatoes and blanched vegetables like carrot, zucchini, broccoli, French beans etc.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

I asked for my usual level of doneness, which is medium. It came out nicely pink and juicy in the middle with the outside lightly browned, the sear marks barely visible.

The juicy steak was tender and slightly chewy. It tasted savoury and slightly toasty outside. Every bite and chew on the steak released beefy juices into the savoury toasty blend. It was good.

I was stuffed. So, I picked a creme brulee for dessert because I expected it to come in a small cup which I can handle after a heavy meal. Creme brulee always come in a small cup or dish, right?

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

And then, this.

Oh.. mi.. gosh... the creme brulee came in a large foot wide, inch deep plate. That, by the way was a table spoon, not the usual itsy bitsy teaspoon.

This was the largest creme brulee I was ever served.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

It was all egg yolk, milk, cream and sugar. It's a diabetic's suicide.

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

My friends were joking that the Valens crew must be betting in the kitchen whether I am up to the task of finishing the whole creme brulee 😂

I would have lost money on myself 🤣

I surprised even myself 😱

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

👍 Simple no frills, no pretence restaurant professionally serving delicious food in generous portions at good value.

What is Johor Kaki doing in Toronto? 👈 click

Valens @ Baldwin Village, Toronto. Summerlicious 2019

Restaurant name: Valens
Address19 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L1, Canada
GPS43°39'22.0"N 79°23'34.5"W 🌐 43.656104, -79.392911
Tel+1 416-340-0303
Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm




Date visited: 9 Jul 2019


No comments:

Post a Comment

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.