The Deacon Scores 5th Elementt a Perfect 10!
Yo too, to my hundreds of regular readers from Colorado to Prevessin France. (Remember to send me an email and I'll let you new readers know whenever I write another rich ramblin'.)
And lest we forget Amy Pataki and all you mofo, tinsel-brained, Yellow Tail drinkin', Beemer drivin', TV addicted, Prozac swallowin', flu-shot receivin', illiterate, self-important, peckerdine, DIX out there, who still don't understand what the Deacon's all about but tune in anyway 'cause you're scared of missin' somethin' good...
WASSUP to you too!
Well your Deacon is back in style! A while ago I was gonna write this fine article, but got bogged down because your Deacon gots assaulted! Now y'all know that anyone stupid enough to try to test the Deacon's mettle is gonna get his fricken neck cranked and sign up for the Wheelchair Olympics, so you know I ain't talkin' 'bout physical violence here. In fact, your Deacon has had no physical alterkashuns since he choked out Robert "Nosey" Parker in the MGM Grand Hotel Octagon last November. In reality, it was my computer that got hit with a massive cyber attack. Thanks to the ministrashuns of Ashley Milne at Midac Solutions, we're back and secure again. Anyway, the long and short of the story is I've been offline and couldn't write the review that you're about to read. So sit back with a glass of Madeira and enjoy my rich wit and glib argot...
It was a rainy day...
(Man I hate that stupid commercial!) Well, it was a rainy day, when the Deaconess and I accepted Zoltan Szabo's kind offer for lunch at 5th Elementt at 1033 Bay Street. The restaurant itself is tucked away on the East side of the street, just across from the University of Toronto. I dropped Herself off at the door and parked in an underground lot, conveniently located just a block North. When you pass through the door, you're immediately struck by the fine sense of style and line value. The music was soft and unobtrusive. (The only thing worse than eating in silence and listening to the clicking sounds in your own head is trying to eat while some mofo DJ is blasting Mariah Carey's particular brand of shrill backhouse wailin'). 5th Elementt is easy on the eyes too; translucent saffron screens, full-length windows and muted pumpkin and eggplant tones. It's no accident that the owner is trained in both design and fashion. It shows immediately.
Vijay Karumanchi is the consummate host; the epitome of the cultured and sophisticated modern Indian male. Tall and fashionable in tasteful black and white, he's an impressive figure who radiates serenity and relaxed control as he effortlessly walks the balance between modern urban life, and the millennia of wisdom and history that are India. He got the Deaconess and I settled in and although he didn't eat anything, he joined us at our table for the extravagant meal. Where do I start? Let's just say that if this is how 5th Elementt does lunch, I can't even imagine how frickin' lurch dinner must be! The restaurant is a first for Toronto, specializing in Indian/Meditteranean Fusion, and is amazing, the Toronto Star's Amy Pataki and her crackerdine "opinions" notwithstanding! This fine dining establishment might easily have been airlifted from New York, San Francisco, or some other gastronomic capital, it's that good! Amy apparently didn't like her meal though, and saw fit to give 5th Elementt a lousy review. What the hell does she do? Flip a coin and say "Tails! That means it's time to treat a fine restaurant, a great meal and a fantastic staff as though it was Mr Sub"?
Well I could go on a Deacon Rant here, but I'm not going to say that Amy Pataki's educated beyond her intelligence and drunk with the exercise of her meager "power". And I'm not going to say that her reviews are just cracker-jive, self-aggrandizing, jank-bucket swill! I'm not going to say that at all. I'll just keep my opinions to myself. Instead, I'll just say that I dissagree with her. I'll also say that despite the modern view that everything should be treated with "corners of the mouth turned down" distain, it's still actually ok to like things!
So where was I? Oh yeah the food!
The menu is spectacular, as is the incredibly diverse and flawlessly selected winelist created by Uber-Sommelier: Zoltan "Hungarian 007" Szabo. The waiter brought us two bottles of Norwegian bottled water, still and sparkling and asked for our orders. Overwhelmed by the gastronomic wealth of the menu, we asked Vijay to bring whatever he thought we should try in both the food and wine departments. Then it began to arrive...Hot, tiny wedges of fresh pita bread and home-made hummus. Then there was the salad...Julienne of mango tossed with slices of Clementine, mesclun and a masal dressing. Next were the huge and meaty New Zealand half-shell mussels cooked with exotic spices and herbs, coconut milk and tomatoes. Each and every flavour was drenched in complexity; new layers of olfactory and gustatory discovery with each bite. And then the main courses arrived...The Deaconess had Coriander Crusted Halibut Fillet, served with Semolina "Kitchiri" and drizzled with kozhambu and garnished with a fresh oyster (which I stole from her). You gotta realize, although I love shellfish, as a rule, I'm not crazy about fish with fins. Nevertheless, I loved this halibut. Perfectly cooked and as delicious and brilliant as you're ever gonna find. Paired with the fish was a glass of 2004 Sauvignon Blanc and Assyrtiko, by Pavlidis, Greece. Talk about lurch! The combination rocked my taste-buds! I was served a generous portion of Hyderabadi Lamb Shank, braised with whole garam masala, fresh herbs, red wine and caramelized onions, served on top of mashed potatoes and feta cheese! Unreal. The lamb was so tender (having been slow cooked for hours), you could actually cut it with a spoon. The waiter brought us a 2001 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Salvalai, Veneto. Between bites of lamb and gulps of the lush wine, my palate was drenched by a kaleidoscope of psychedelic flavours.
We were suitably stuffed, but Vijay wasn't going to let us escape without dessert. The Deaconess and I shared a huge order of Pineapple Halwa, which is pineapple boiled for about 200 hours in its own juice. The result is a concentrated and chewy burst of flavour that perfectly topped the meal. Chef Johnee Savarimuthu came out to meet the Deacon and Deaconess and we told him we weren't worthy of his magnificence, because he's an effing genius!
Listen to me homeys: Y'all gots to check out 5th Elementt. You're honestly gonna love it! The Deaconess is a food-snob par excellence and she gave it a Perfect 10, for decor, atmosphere, service and quality. If you're in the mood for a really creative and delicious meal that's gonna take your breath away and wake your tastebuds up from a long hibernation, look no further. Check out 5th Elementt. They're able to look after small as well as large corporate groups too. I'll say it again: You're gonna love it!
Here's their website:
Tell them the Deacon sent you.
Thanks Vijay, Johnee and Zoltan for a fabulous lunch!
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Gangsta of Cuisine and Culture