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Location: 601 King W, Toronto, ON
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(416) 603-2205
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Value :Atmosphere : [About Rating]
Website: http://www.susur.com
Cuisine: Chinese  

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  (12 reviews)
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reviewed by Elaine,   visited on 2008-05-03 ,  overall
Cost Per Person $205   Tags: A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
We received a gift certificate for Susur in the amount of $350. We had never been there before we hoped that we wouldn't feel intimidated or at all out of place. We had a wonderful experience. The wait staff were very friendly and laid back. We asked for a kitchen tour and were taken into the kitchen at the busiest time and were given explanations as to what jobs people were doing. We each had the Best of Susur 7 course tasting menu and thoroughly enjoyed it. We are not wine drinkers, but each had one extremely generous glass of red wine. We left the restaurant after 3 hours with smiles on our faces, an autographed menu in hand and full stomachs. I immediately sent a note to my boss who had given us the gift card thanking him for giving us the opportunity to experience Susur. We will remember this evening forever!

reviewed by Adrian3891,   visited on 2006-07-25 ,  overall
the dinner was excellent. My dad, who was making his third visit in two months, claimed it was the best meal he’d had there yet. After the meal, we were offered a tour of the kitchen and private dining room. Susur was in house and made a number of appearances in the dining room. The private dining area was gorgeous and the kitchen was active even at that late stage of the night. Fort he meal itself, instead of giving a blow by blow of the meal, I thought I’d offer some observations about Susur’s cuisine.

1. The structure of the meal was interesting. I am still split on whether I like the ‘backwards’ format. I enjoy that the dishes get lighter in flavour, if not size, as the meal goes on but I think I prefer having stronger flavours later and the climax of a more traditional menu. Also, instead of there being a relationship between courses (like at Toque! in Montreal), the focus was on the interactions of the multiple elements on a given plate.

2. Dishes were composed with reference to various styles and areas of the world. Flavours, techniques and compositions gave the menu a really global feel while remaining very personal to Susur’s cooking. I really enjoyed that. Ingredients were fantastic and flavour combinations were often ingenious. When well executed, such as during the caviar and fish course, a variety of flavour served to accent the flavours of one or two star elements in this case ,house smoked salmon and caviar.

3. More critically, some dishes lacked focus. Often, a plate featured one element that seemed either out of place or was poorly executed. The squid ink ravioli in the Spanish inspired shellfish course was one such element. Some courses were just too busy and not really unified. I also thought that the saucing was fairly weak. But, to be fair, the saucing was hardly the point.

4. To my surprise, while the flavour combinations were adventurous, the technique was rather conservative. There was little cutting edge technique. Not a criticism, just something unexpected.

5. Finally, wines were prohibitively expensive. Thank god I was dining with my dad. Lots of tables were just ordering water and there were few bottles in the below $100 price range. I don’t think that there were any less that $60 or 70. While I wish I could spend over a hundred dollars per head on wine, it just isn’t feasible. A $50 per head wine pairing option would be greatly appreciated.

I know this review may sound a little critical, but it was an absolutely wonderful meal. the dinner took about 2.5 hours and there were no long waits between courses. Service was great. Our French waiter was really excellent, putting up with my dad’s good natured ribbing after he (rightly) recommended a St. Estephe over a Barolo. I think the joke had something to do with a soccer game played a few weeks ago…

reviewed by ATuazon,   visited on 2006-07-19 ,  overall
My wife and I celebrated my birthday at Susur's back in December. We are middle income earners so our budget is usually tight. However, I must say that the dinner at Susur's was the best dining experience we've ever had and worth every penny we spent that night. I'm not sure where all the negative reviews are coming from, but my wife and I can say that this (at least) has to be the best restaurant in Toronto. We've eaten at a couple of other high profile restaurants in T.O. and they just can't compare in service and food quality. We felt the service was amazing. We must have been served by at least 4 friendly serving staff -- all assigned a different task to ensure our night was relaxing and enjoyable.

As for people complaining about the time limit, usually spending more than 2 hours at a restaurant is a bit too much don't you think? If you want to talk, go for a walk or go to a bar or go back to your place. We didn't feel rushed at all.

reviewed by susancinsf,   visited on 2006-07-18 ,  overall
for people wondering how expensive it is..
A 5 course tasting menu ranges from $65 (vegetarian) to $90...the seven course is about $75-$110...wine list is extensive and ranges in price so your total depends on what you order...

reviewed by Endy,   visited on 2006-06-16 ,  overall
I had an excellent dinner. I'm lucky, I guess, to have missed the downturn that some have mentioned with respect to the restaurant; last time I was there was Dec 2004 and that was excellent as well.

for now, just 2 anecdotes:

when our foie gras course arrived, one of our party took a bit of hers and immediately exclaimed "this dish just made my whole night!".

and after we had finished up dessert and others at the table were ordering some a la carte desserts, I went ahead and ordered another of the foie gras courses (different than the one mentioned above) -- it was _that_ good.

reviewed by Bluedog,   visited on 2006-04-10 ,  overall
Susur is wierd that way. I'm on record as having enjoyed my meal there but as also having been put off by the arbitrary seating (we were placed beside a very loud couple in an empty restaurant), the very high cost, which might have been worth it if we were not under such a severe time restriction (2 hrs). During our evening Mr. Lee also toured the room, but seemed uncomfortable doing so and had no interest in talking to our table: a tour of the kitchen would have been welcome.

Anyhow, guess this all sounds like sour grapes, and I don't really mean it to be: just want to point out that there seems to be often wierd inconsistencies in the front of house which can mar the overall experience.

The food, however, is sublime (though people argue over this as well!).

reviewed by Corrie,   visited on 2006-04-09 ,  overall
I have been dying to go to Susur to see for myself. We went Saturday night, had the 5 course tasting menu and I have to say it was absolutely fantastic. Food was excellent as was the service! I am sorry to hear that so many people had negative experiences with the service because ours was just excellent. Bar none the highlight of the evening was when the server asked us if we wanted a tour of the kitchen which we readily accepted. We got to see the kitchens of both Susur AND Lee next door, meet the players including the man himself. An added touch that made the night.

reviewed by Madeline,   visited on 2006-03-26 ,  overall
I was recently there and had the 5 course taasting menu without the wine pairing and it came out to $130 with tax and tip. My friend had the 5 course testing menu with the wine which came to $180 with tax and tip.

reviewed by Lee,   visited on 2006-03-18 ,  overall
While Susur is very good, it's too expensive and I have no desire to go back as a result. Plus, service there is rather pretentious and upsales-y, which I never enjoy.

reviewed by Ben Reiner,   visited on 2006-02-02 ,  overall
I'll second this experience. I went with a friend last year. Key word is condescending. It was laughable. Food was first rate but I can't imagine shelling out that kind of coin again to be treated like I require education on food and etiquette.

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