Mahalo Alo!

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Alo Restaurant in Toronto continues to be one of the best restaurants in Canada (and Top 100 in the world). I made my third visit to Alo this past week, celebrating a friend’s birthday. Securing online reservations 60 days in advance is highly competitive and not for the faint-hearted. It’s well worth the challenge (especially if you’re used to battling for coveted event tickets or kids’ community programs)!

Chef Patrick Kriss is an alumni of George Brown Chef School, one of the most innovative and well-respected culinary academies in Canada. He also worked under Daniel Boulud in NYC.

The Dining Experience

Our Alo experience was truly satisfying. Chef Patrick achieves nearly superhuman levels of perfection. From the creative French (and sometimes Japanese) inspired cuisine, to the knowledgeable and attentive table service, there is literally no detail overlooked. Where else are you offered a selection of perfectly folded napkins (two colours) based on your fancy? Where else can you ask any of the servers about a dish, and they can enthusiastically tell you about every component? Where else can you can trust the server to pick your drink, and it is actually exactly what you wanted? There are SO many of these examples.

My two girlfriends and I were chuffed to be sitting at the table adjacent to the kitchen, where we could closely observe the staff preparing courses, and slicing the Jamon Ibérico on the pass. Midway through our meal, Chef Patrick arrived to “Yes Chef!” greetings from the kitchen, and spent the remainder of the meal overseeing the pass, just a few feet away from our table. It was clear that Chef Patrick runs a tight kitchen.

Our intimate view of the kitchen, with Chef Patrick on watch


There was a nice selection of cocktails. We decided to try the Pine to Palm and Berliner Fix. They were both well balanced and refreshing. The water was served in nice, heavy rock glasses, and was constantly refilled.

Nice selection of cocktails and beer
Berliner Fix (vodka, coriander, apricot, lemon, coriander) and Pine to Palm (gin, campari, pineapple, lemon-lime)


Over the span of three hours, here’s what arrived at our table.

Wafers with Tuna and Red Pepper, Puff Topped with Sturgeon Caviar
Oyster with Cucumber and Coriander Oil
Simple and Beautiful Fork and Stand (à la Japonais?)
Kanpachi (amberjack) with Jicama and Green Curry Sauce
Creamy Anson Mills Grits and Manchego
Jamon Ibérico plated on gold block
Cuttlefish, Sicilian Pistachio, Cerignola Olive, Orange
Pasta with Parmesan and LOTS of Truffle
American Wagyu Beef Ribcab, Shiitake Mushroom, Dashi Butter, Perigord Truffle
Quebec Venison Saddle, Rutabaga, Chestnut and White Chocolate
Meringe Wafers with Passionfruit Sorbet
Chamomile Panna Cotta with Citrus Wedges
Pineapple, Dark Chocolate, Coconut, Mint
Chocolate Truffles with Gold

I counted a total of 14 plates. We were happily full. I actually forgot to take a picture of the East Coast Scallop, which was yet another flawless dish. Plus the to-die-for miniature brioche with hand churned butter. We thanked the brioche for being so good.

At midnight, we were one of the last tables to finish our meal. As our culinary journey came to an end, kitchen staff were diligently cleaning up their stations. According to the server, the staff aims to close out the night at 12:20pm. As we left our table, the hostess was awaiting us with coats in hand. All handoffs were seamless throughout the night. I am convinced the staff must be telepathic.

Mahalo, Alo, for another amazing experience!

Visit Alo Restaurant’s website:

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I'm a Canadian mother of two with a passion for food and cooking. I'm increasingly discovering that delicious food can also be healthy! So, I am sharing my favourite recipes with like-minded home cooks. Along the way, I'll also be writing about food-related topics such as gadgets, books and television. Let the culinary adventures begin!

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