February 6, 2013

Winterlicious 2013 @ Toula (Dinner)

After hearing various positive reviews from friends, I wanted to try Toula. Located on the 38th floor of the Westin Harbour, the view had to be spectacle and it did not disappoint.
However, I can not speak the same regarding food. Originally, my most anticipated Winterlicious spot was Toula due to the large selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts. I was told if the restaurant offered the same selection on their Winterlicious menu as their regular menu then it’s hard for them to mess up. With that in mind, that’s how I made my selections.

First of all, let's talk about the complimentary bread basket. I forgot to take a picture because I was too in shocked about how terrible the bread was. The dinner roll was clearly made by someone who is baking bread for the first time because it tasted exactly like the ones I made for the first time. It was really tough, like REALLY. I can't believe how a restaurant can just deliver such un-presentable bread to its customers even if it's free.

Moving on. After we placed our order, the dishes were delivered REALLY quickly, in like 5 mins or less. In a sense, I felt I was being rushed. In that case, the dishes were probably prepared in advance and just kept warm until someone orders it. I understand that this is necessary in such high traffic food events, but at least make it less obvious. Anyways, the scallop was not overcooked, nicely seared, best dish of the night.
East Coast Giant Scallops “Lido”
seared with thyme and chardonnay essence, topped with warm eggplant and fresh herb mousse
Guess what I just realize... I cut away the prosciutto part thinking it was the SHELL! Omg, silly me. It did look like the shell and it was so dark I can barely see. Now to think of it, I can't judge this dish properly since I tossed away some of the components.  
Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimp “Laguna”
wrapped with prosciutto di Parma DOP, drizzled with 10 year balsamic vinegar reduction on a bed or aromatic arugula salad
It's hard to see the half lobster tail here because it's drench in tomato sauce. The lobster was overbooked and tough, had no lobster taste. The pasta was slightly under-cooked  The pasta itself tasted good with the tomato sauce but not so much as a lobster pasta dish. Poorly executed, ruined a perfectly good piece of lobster.
Paccheri “San Marco” Pasta
with half fresh PEI lobster in a lightly spiced roasted plum tomato sauce
The seabass contained bones which made it very unpleasant. I hate fish with bones.
Pan Seared European Sea Bass
served with a “san gimignaino" saffron carnaroli risotto and drizzled with a warm pinot grigio and lemon sauce
I was looking forward to the dessert cause it seemed like tiramisu was something they really excelled at. It turns out that it was just so-so along with the spiced apple cake which is not shown here.

Toula Classic Tiramisu

Final Verdict: food wise it's really Par to Sub Par but if you factor in the view and the environment, I would give it Slightly Above Par

Toula Ristorante & Bar on Urbanspoon

P.S. To "you know who you are" You didn't keep your promise! What a liar! Liar liar, pants on fire =P


  1. I've only been to Toula once before, back during the first or second year of Winterlicious. I remembered the portions being a bit small, but the view was decent.

    Sorry, bwahaha, I'm still laughing at your prosciutto shrimp shell story. That's too cute, ahahahha!

    I've never heard of "European" sea bass before, typically it's Chilean, or just plain sea bass.

    1. *checking pants*
      phew, no fires here. although it's a bit cold out, burning pants would be nice and warm and cozy.

    2. hahahaha, you are so funny!!!