We’ve managed to enjoy date nights on a few patios recently here in the city as restauranteurs are making up for lost months of business and taking advantage of our summer months. As long as we can safely venture out, we’re in! Our most recent visit took us to the College & Spadina area of the city to Chef Eric Chong’s SKYFLOWER patio.
Master Chef winner and R&D co-owner Eric Chong recently relaunched SKYFLOWER with a starry view from the rooftop above the busy streets. An oasis covered in wall to wall floral decor is a much welcomed site in the concrete jungle.
The brand new menu is all about elevated comfort foods where Chong takes the palate on a playful journey. Even the most sophisticated diner will delight in familiar sounding childhood favourites. Yes, there are definite favourites of his that we’ve tried before in some iteration like his Fried Chicken – only instead of a the damn good messy sandwich in the past, it’s now presented as ‘popcorn chicken’ on the new menu. The Deluxe Meltdown Burger, a Skyflower’s signature, comes with a black truffle, bacon jam, and a side of crispy fries with delicious truffle aioli.
The menu is intriguing with dishes that are easily shared like his twist on the classic ‘PB & J’ sandwich. Three of the cutest mini sliced sandwiches appear with the Skyflower logo grilled on top of the brioche. A generous slice of fois gras ganache that’s balanced with a hazelnut thyme butter and fig jam nestles quite comfortably in between.
Summer isn’t summer without Korean BBQ (and oh boy, do we ever miss that!). Perfectly marinated and grilled Kalbi (beef) Lettuce Wraps are an absolute must-have on the menu. Comes with added items that add subtly adds flavours and textures — kimchi pico de gallo, asian pear, and a Singapore style crunchy topping that the server explains is like a savoury cereal crumble.
While we ventured into the area I couldn’t help but think about the traditional tacos found at the nearby Kensington Market. But Skyflower’s version of Duck Confit Tacos satisfied that craving as juicy shredded morsels of duck perched on top of the masa (corn) tortillas finished with salsa verde, mole, and queso fresco – a fresh and lighter cheese ideal for hot summer nights.
There are two salads on the menu but how can you resist the sound of the signature Skyflower Salad? Buttery lettuce leaves glisten with a crisp and light hint of Lillet Blanc and refreshing hints of bergamot, citrus, almonds and edible flowers bring the best of summer to the forefront.
For larger entrees, if you have space, there are two additional selections aside from the burger. A grilled halibut is presented in a pretty rosé buttery sauce with contrasting brightly green garlic scapes finished with beautiful calendula petals was what we shared. But we’ll have to return to try the tropical flavours of the Iberico Pork BBQ Ribs brushed with a Jamaican Rum BBQ sauce.
If you’re there enjoying the late summer nights on Thursdays through to Saturdays, catch local DJs at Skyflower. Keep on top of what’s happening on the restaurant’s social media pages.
Skyflower is located at 292 College Street in Toronto. See their site here.