MENAMI VALENTINE’S DAY

MeNami Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is one of the busiest nights for Toronto restaurants. Trying to make a dinner reservation around the 14th for any popular restaurant can be quite the challenge unless you’re planning weeks in advance. Many restaurants also only offer a set course menu that can be quite pricey. I much prefer restaurants that allow diners to order from both their regular menu and and any special menus for the event. MeNami, one of my go-to restaurants in North York, is offering a 3 course Valentine’s Day menu this year for only $48 per couple. With three appetizers to share, an entree each, and dessert, dinner at MeNami is a great way to celebrate the Hallmark holiday and a seriously good deal. Their cocktail menu is also on point.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

To start, our set dinner began with a house made Wakame salad that had various types of seaweed and a light vinaigrette. There was lots of different textures and flavours in the dish and I loved the crunchy tofu skin on top. Cherry tomatoes and radish slices added colour to the plate along with bites of sweetness and earthiness. The next two appetizers were two items from MeNami’s regular menu that I always order, Smoked Salmon with Parsnip Sauce and Corn Kakiage with Honey Butter Mayo. I love the deep fried corn fritter that’s sweet and crunchy. The lightly seasoned salmon had a strong smokey flavour and paired excellently with the tangy parsnip sauce. I could taste the freshness of the buttery salmon.

For entrees, two new items are available to choose from, the Potato Cream Curry Udon or Dondeki, a pork jowl steak meal. When the Potato Cream Curry udon first arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The surface of the bowl was pipped with creamy mashed potato, that was slightly sweet and very rich. Digging in below the blanket of fluffy potato, uncovered a treasure of MeNami’s delicious fresh, housemade udon coated in a flavourful curry sauce. The combination of curry and potato created a thick, creamy sauce that was sweet, a touch spicy, and truly addictive. A full bowl might be a little heavy to finish alone, but it’s a perfect bowl for sharing. The second entree was a pork jowl steak served with a light teriyaki sauce, salad, rice and broth. I really liked how soft and tender the pork jowl was, a cut that I normally think of as quite fatty, and how meaty it was. The sauce was light and well balanced.

Dinner ended with dessert, a pair of Macaron Ice Cream sandwiches, one filled with black sesame ice cream and the other green tea. The menu was designed for sharing and perfect for two. I’d order one of each entree to split and eat both ice cream sandwiches myself.

MeNami is offering 3 special cocktails (just $9 each) for Valentine’s Day that include rose, raspberries, rosemary and chocolate. My favourite of the 3 was the rose and raspberry cocktail, which was topped with a real, velvety, rose petal. The sake flight (also only $9!) was delicious including a glass of yuzu flavoured sake and a plum flavoured one. Whatever you order from the bar, the drinks are carefully assembled by the bartender with plenty of care.

With all of that food if you’re still hungry, I’d highly recommend adding an order of Tsuke Udon, my favourite item on the menu. The cold noodle is super refreshing a perfect compliment to the creamy potato curry udon.

MeNami’s Valentine menu is available from Feb 12th -15th. I really hope that even after the event ends, the two new entrees find their way onto the restaurant’s regular menu.

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