I’ve been to Beast (@BeastRestaurant) a number of times but never for brunch. After hearing so many great things about it, I had to see what I was missing. It’s now confirmed – I’ve been missing out big time!
Beast, located on Tecumseth (near King and Bathurst), is one of the best spots in Toronto for nose-to-tail dining. You can read about my previous dinner visit here. To get an idea what Beast has to offer, take a look at Chef (and owner) Scott Vivian’s Instragam account (scottvivian). All his pictures make my stomach grumble!
Mike and I came to Beast with another couple for Sunday brunch. We arrived at 10:45 and had no problem getting a table. But by the time we left, there was a line out the door. So, get here early to avoid the wait.
We started our brunch off with some Coffee ($4). I was pleased to see that they use beans from Sam James – “CUT” coffee, a new venture in small batch roasting. The coffee menu changes often as they use seasonal beans and each coffee order is served in its own individual French press. Super cute!
The four of us decided to share a few doughnuts to start (2 for $5). The doughnuts are made by Rachelle Cadwell (@doughtoronto), Scott’s wife, and are only available during brunch.
Maple Bacon Donuts are always on the menu while the other varieties change each week. The maple bacon was made with a light, fluffy yeast base which had a nice chew to it. It was lightly coated with a maple glaze and topped with bits of bacon.
The second donut we shared was the Cardamom Cruller. The cardamom flavour was definitely evident but I felt it was a well balanced donut which wasn’t overly sweet. Mike commented that this was his favourite of the bunch.
We couldn’t resist ordering the Peanut Butter & Oreo Donut. It consisted of a chocolate-glazed yeast donut which was topped with a drizzle of peanut butter icing and crushed Oreos. Chocolate, peanut butter and Oreo’s – what’s not to love?
The last donut we shared was the Boston Cream. Rachelle’s Boston cream definitely isn’t like the Tim Horton’s variety which can be sickly sweet. This one had a nice balanced custard and the donut base itself tasted fresh.
It was really tough narrowing down which dishes to order since each and every dish sounded amazing. After some deliberation, I decided on the Crispy Pork Hocks – tossed in kecap manis and served with kimchi, two eggs any style, toast and house potatoes ($12). No regrets!
It came with four large chunks of crispy and fatty pork hocks which were coated in kecap manis, a delicious sweet Indonesian soy sauce. I remember enjoying the pork hocks during their dinner service and their brunch pork hocks were just as good. While the kimchi wasn’t quite as memorable, it complimented the pork hocks nicely. A killer breakfast dish!
If you’re coming to Beast for brunch, you’ve gotta order their famous Beastwich – buttermilk biscuit, fried chicken thigh, pimento cheese, pork sausage gravy, a fried egg and house potatoes ($14). This beast of a sandwich certainly lived up to all the hype!
The juicy fried chicken thigh was covered in a delicious sausage gravy that was packed full of flavour. The fluffy buttermilk biscuit that it sat on was also a winner. I don’t think I need to mention that it’s an incredibly rich and filling dish, so you better be hungry!
My friend Vanessa ordered the Challah French Toast – topped with duck confit, cranberry mostarda and whipped crème fraiche served with a side of maple syrup ($13 or $10 without the duck). I didn’t try any of it but she really enjoyed it.
Unfortunately her boyfriend’s dish didn’t fare quite as well. He ordered the Breakfast Sandwich – grilled pork belly, pickled onions, Kozlik’s sweet & smoky mustard, lettuce and a fried egg on an apple fritter served with house potatoes ($12) which sounded quite promising. I didn’t try any of this either but he said it was on the dry side since it wasn’t the fattiest cut of pork belly.
With each visit to Beast, I enjoy it more and more. Brunch was no exception. Come early to avoid the wait and most importantly, come hungry!
At a glance:
• One of the best spots in the city for nose-to-tail dining
• Came here for brunch but I’m also a big fan of their dinner service
• Come early (for brunch) to avoid the wait; they take reservations for dinner
• Chef and owner Scott Vivian; his wife Rachelle makes donuts for brunch
• Located on Tecumseth (by King/Bathurst)
• The Beastwich is a must-order!
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars