Doma opened around two weeks ago in Toronto to bring a creative take on Asian fusion: French-inspired Korean cuisine.
The restaurant is small, seating around 25 people, in a romantic setting with dim lighting and candles. The sign outside is very small so it’s hard to spot the restaurant especially since it’s along Clinton Road instead of College Street so you might mistake it as a house in the neighborhood if you miss the sign.
Doma’s menu is very simple: 7 entrees (2 vegetables, 2 seafood and 3 meat) and 2 desserts. You can opt to have the tasting menu to try the whole menu for $65. Their menu changes monthly so what’s in this review is for the November menu. They currently only do dinner, but said they plan to offer lunch next spring.
I was excited to check this place out after seeing them on Instagram (@DomaToronto). Since we really wanted to try everything, we decided to all get the tasting menu.
The presentation of dishes was amazing, very similar to fine dining tasting restaurants. As expected, this also means smaller portions. It’s actually quite filling after all the courses.
What bothered us the most is they combined all the food (except the dessert) in one plate to share, without even asking us. What if we don’t want to be sharing from the same plate. This also gives some uncertainty if we’re getting the correct portions: maybe what we got is the same portion as two people doing tasting (which is unfair), or if we just order ala carte. To prove our point, one of the seafood dishes only had two scallops, and we had to ask if we were expected to split two scallops among three people.
We actually would’ve preferred individually plated courses. One, to ensure we are getting food equally. Second, since we’re food bloggers, it would just be easier for the photography. Because we only got one plate, we had to wait until each person was done before we get to eat, which means the food sat longer than if we had our own plate to take photos.
We also found it misleading that on the menu it said “65 pp tasting whole menu”. However, when it came to dessert, we were told to only choose one of the two desserts per person. This means we’re not really tasting the whole menu on a per person basis. Good thing we’re foodies so we decided to make sure both were ordered to try.
If you know me, I’m usually all about seafood. But surprisingly, I loved Doma’s meat dishes better than the seafood. My favorite that night were two of the meat dishes.
Pork jowl, doenjang, heirloom carrot, fingerling potato, lotus root, perilla, yuzu, gochujang: I never had pork jowl made this way. I’ve only tried it in ramen or Korean bbq, and they are usually thinly sliced. This was a very thick cut and was 60-70% fat and 40-30% meat. It was grilled with some charring on top, which I appreciated as the char added a bit of extra flavor. They also put the fingerling potatoes under the jowl to soak up some of the flavour. The homemade gochujang sauce was amazing and went so well with the jowl to cut the fattiness, and the perilla added an extra twist to the taste. It was melt in your mouth goodness, though a bit fatty.
Duck breast, duck confit, foie gras, mandoo, duck jus, persimmon, red chili, hazelnut, cauliflower puree: The duck breast was perfectly cooked and was already breaming with flavor on its own. But add the other condiments on the plate and you get something even better. The cauliflower puree was just so good with the duck, and mixing it with the persimmon added a sweet note to the taste. I didn’t really feel much for the mandoo after having the duck breast. And one thing that disappointed me initially was I didn’t really taste foie gras which is what got me excited most on hearing about the dish. But after tasting how delicious it was, it really didn’t matter.
I really recommend this place. The food is very inventive and different from any Asian fusion I’ve had in Toronto, and best of all they were all delicious (yes, even the vegetable courses)!
If they can continue this creativity every month, I would definitely want to keep coming back.
Potato and Leek Foam with fried leek
Beet, gochujang, rice vinegar, chili oil, apple, almond, perilla oil
Yam, asian sweet potato, portobello, shiitake, black mushroom, shimeji, truffle, dates
Octopus, konyak, mustard seed, mustard, cucumber, pear, watercress, bell pepper
Scallop, fish, prawn, clam, perilla seed, korean chili, kimchi, yellow zucchini, peas
Beef, soy sauce, rice syrup, asian radish, green onion, ailoli, onion, shallot, garlic
Purple sweet potato sticky rice doughnut, 17 grain ice cream, brown rice puffs, black sesame glaze & brittle
Mugwart ice cream, red bean sponge cake, yuzu curd, torched meringue
Have you been to Doma? What did you think of it?
50c Clinton Street, Toronto, ON M6G 2Y3