Origin

Posted on February 28, 2016

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I have been quite in hibernation this winter with my last post published during Christmas time.  My work-life balance shifted significantly, I have to give way to gain more stable footing.  That doesn’t mean I stopped appreciating good food.  I have rediscovered ways on how to alleviate my stress through playing in my own kitchen where everything goes by own cadence. No deadlines, no rules and everything according to my instinct.  But for special occasions, I do come out of the comforts of my own space. My very good friend, Natalia is about to get married in a few weeks and she has invited me for her bridal shower. She is definitely one of those people that I would stretch myself for, one of the sweetest people that I know.

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Natalia’s friend Gina had the bridal shower slated for a brunch.  When I walked up to the location, I already liked the curb appeal, tucked in old brick building by the southeast corner of Church and King St East. Walking in, I relaxed at the sight of high ceilings, dark hardwood floors and brick walls.  It has that definite warm nostalgic ambience that makes me feel at home.  But as you walk in further,  you would start understanding how they mixed the old with the new, successfully integrating quirky modern art so tastefully, it comes as a surprise when you start comprehending what the design is all about.  Now that brought another realization, if they put that much detail to appearances, I started to hope for good things to work towards my tummy.

I got myself a seat beside my friend Natalia and was brought up to speed that we are enjoying the meal family style.  Origin apparently have this option for big parties of diners. That sort of news make a foodie like me giddy as it means I get to sample more than one dish.  The day just keeps on getting better as I go. Check out the parade of beautiful dishes that was placed in front of me. It was half of what the brunch menu was and it was very well curated as the progression of dishes just whetted the appetite as we moved on from one dish to the other. Here is the list of what we have enjoyed:
Scones with jam and yoghurt
Deviled eggs with souffletine, herbs and smoked bacon
Spicy Spanish fries with chorizo and Manchego
Sweet potato, kale salad with pumpkin seeds, apple and sweet soy
Egg White Frittata topped with buffala mozzarella, ratatouille and pesto
French toast with duck confit, blueberries, hoisin, sesame seed brittle and sour cream
Fried rice with pork belly, crispy eggs with ginger, soy and chilies
French toast with banana, coconut, peanut brittle and pineapple

If I were to pick one dish that really stood out, it would be the French toast with duck confit, blueberries, hoisin, sesame seed brittle and sour cream. Most of the time duck confit comes out so rich yet this one did not overwhelm as the different textures and flavours with this composition had the balance I was looking for. Throughout the meal, I was polite to take one serving for myself as I was mindful that I am dining in a crowd. But I broke my rule and I shamelessly helped myself for seconds when I saw there was still some left on the serving plate. It was that good. It was an indulgence I just had to take twice.

I have enjoyed the company of Natalia’s friends a few times before and this one was again very memorable. Gina set up really thoughtful games for us to contribute to make the moment special for Natalia. All the fun games just tugged at your heart. To see Natalia beaming would just make you smile. To Natalia and Greg, I wish you all the best for all the coming years together. Thank you for making me a part of your journey. :)

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