Check out the Latest Posts:

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to finally check Luma out. Now that I’ve given it a try, I’ll definitely be back!

The restaurant is located on the second floor of the TIFF Lightbox right above O&B Canteen and occupies an enormous space. I came by for an early dinner with Amy (Amy’s Food Adventures) and we could tell the restaurant was filled with the pre-theatre crowd.

Complimentary bread & artichoke spread

The menu here is on the short side with only a handful of appetizers and entrees to choose from. Although I didn’t order any drinks on this occasion, Luma has a great cocktail menu and a nice bar/lounge area just outside the restaurant. You can bet I’ll be back for the drinks.

After ordering, they started us off with some complimentary bread a side of ridiculously good artichoke spread. If only they sold this stuff by the jar…

Anyway, for my starter, I went with the Tongue + Cheek – braised veal tongue, duck pate and pork head cheese with wild Canadian flavours ($15). The dish arrived on wooden board and I was impressed by its whimsical presentation. The presentation of the dish just looked like something out of a fairy tale!

The first thing I tried was the duck pate, which turned out to be my favourite component of the dish. The flavours were perfect and it was incredibly light. Even after running out of bread, I continued to eat spoonfuls of this delicious pate.

Tongue & Cheek

The veal tongue, which was hiding underneath the bread was served in thin shavings and was tender and well seasoned. The third component of the dish was the pork head cheese, which fell apart upon poking it with my fork. Despite its name, head cheese isn’t actually cheese – it’s a terrine which is made up of the stranger parts of an animal. The head cheese at Luma was tasty but a touch too oily for my liking. However, I still really loved the dish overall. I’d recommend ordering this to share since it was way too much for one person to eat as a starter given how rich all the components were.

Mike went with the Steak Tartare – spiced raw beef with chicken liver parfait, pickles and grilled o&b artisan bread ($15 appetizer/$28 main) for his appetizer.  The tartare came served with a quail egg on top which you’re supposed to mix into the tartare, and small side of chicken liver parfait. Sadly, I didn’t try any of this parfait since I thought it was the same duck pate served with my starter. As for the tartare itself, it was delicious – fresh and perfectly seasoned! We’d order this again in a heartbeat.

Steak Tartare

For my main, I went with the Ricotta Gnudi – sautéed mushrooms, parmesan and chives ($15 appetizer/$20 main), featured in Dish Duel. The light, fluffy gnudi were pillowy soft and covered in a delicate parmesan foam. Sometimes foam is an unnecessary component, but Chef Bangerter (@chefbangerter) created the perfect earthy, fragrant mushroom emulsion was perfect. The dish also came with a variety of sautéed mushrooms and slices of truffle that worked together to create the ultimate mushroom lover’s dream! Check out the other Dish Duel dishes at

Ricotta Gnudi

As you all know, Mike can never resist pappardelle whenever it’s on a menu, so it was no surprise he went with the Pappardelle – braised short rib, caramelized onions and horseradish cream ($19). Presentation-wise, the pasta didn’t look all too appetizing as it was quite dark in colour and contained a large glob of horseradish cream on top. But looks aside, the dish was delicious!

The papardelle was perfectly cooked and had a nice bit of a bite to it. The dish contained pieces of pulled, tender short rib and I loved the caramelized onions that gave the pasta a great flavour. Despite the generous amount of horseradish cream, it wasn’t actually too potent. More creamy than horseradish-y. Overall, this dish was a hit and miles better than the bad experience with pappardelle we had at Bymark.


We weren’t planning on ordering dessert but decided to take a little peek at the dessert menu anyway. When we saw the Chocolate Delice – dark Valrhona chocolate, caramelized bananas, peanut butter ice cream and brownie crumbs ($10) on the menu, I couldn’t resist.

I loved every single component of this dish. The dark chocolate, which was the foundation at the bottom of the dessert was incredibly smooth and delicious. The bananas were lightly caramelized and went perfectly with the chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, which was really creamy and thick, just like peanut butter ice cream should be. Oh, and the addition of the brownie chunks perfected the entire dish. Loved it all!

The Chocolate Delice

I have to say, Luma really exceeded my expectations! Everything we ordered tasted fantastic and the dessert was the perfect way to end the meal. I’ll definitely be back!

At a glance:
• Amazing food from start to finish
• Located on the 2nd floor of the TIFF Lightbox
• Large, open space
• Great lounge/bar area
• Warm, genuine service

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 4.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars

Luma on Urbanspoon

  1. Amy L (Reply) on Wednesday 29, 2012

    Same thoughts. I was so blown away and I’m happy that I got to dine with you and Mike 🙂

    • Jess (Reply) on Wednesday 29, 2012

      We’ll have to do it again soon!