Hello everyone! Summer is almost officially here, however we have been lucky with getting a sneak peek at the gorgeous weather that is still on the way. What better way to enjoy the sunshine than to have lunch and some delicious cold drinks on a patio?
I was recently invited to the newly opened Joey at Sherway Gardens to try some of their new spring menu items along with some new cocktails. Fortunately, my friend Mark was able to join me on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.From JoeyRestaurants.com: We travel the world to discover bold flavors, then turn them into signature recipes. Our people are masters of their craft, committed to creating a memorable experience for every guest. Our rooms are vibrant and polished, but without a trace of pretension. We live by a simple credo: “Get it right the first time.”The patio is located on the 2nd floor and offers partial coverage so you can choose to bask in the sun or enjoy the breeze under the shade. There is seating around the bar, on some high tops, and larger tables to accommodate your casual get-togethers. We sat mostly in the sun overlooking the parking lot (it IS a mall after all) and decided to start off with drinks. I ordered the new Blueberry Mojito ($10) and for the record – I am not usually a mojito person – but this was delicious! The blueberry vodka really keeps the mint in check (I usually find it to be overpowering in regular mojitos) and when combined with the lime juice and cane syrup, it is a sweet and fresh burst of flavour. This will definitely be my summer drink of choice! Mark ordered the Tequila Sour ($10) which combines tequila, fresh lemon juice, cane syrup and lime rind. He absolutely loved how tart it was. I didn’t mention that it was the egg whites that made it frothy and a bit more rich in texture (sorry Mark! LOL) so he could thoroughly enjoy it. We started off with the Lettuce Wraps with Chicken ($17) which were loaded with crispy noodles, a bit of stir-fried vegetables, hoisin oyster sauce, peanuts, and my favourite herb – cilantro. We actually saw 2 women at the bar having this as their main but it is definitely a perfect starter for 2-3 people. The filling mixture is savoury and you get the strong hoisin flavour along with the satisfying crunch of the noodles. The cilantro keeps it bright and makes this the perfect patio starter. But really, how are these lettuce cups so perfectly shaped?! Mark opted for the new Farmers Market Chicken Salad ($18) which, truth be told, I wanted to order too (but I figured it would be best to show a variety of dishes obviously 😉 ). I managed to steal a few bites and let me just say – this will be ordered the next time I’m at Joey. This salad was inspired by Executive Chef Chris Mills’ trip to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market while he was in Los Angeles opening JOEY at Woodland Hills. It’s a wonderful mix of kale and greens tossed in French vinaigrette served with roasted golden beets, fresh corn, avocado, aged white cheddar and their hourly roasted rotisserie chicken (you can opt for white meat for an extra charge if preferred.) I’m not even a fan of beets but those golden beets were so good! I love how hearty this salad is but still a relatively lighter option. (Note for my Weightwatchers friends though: the salad does clock in at 22 Smart Points, however I’m sure if you get the dressing on the side you can probably shave off a few!)I decided to give their Miso Ramen ($17.50) a try (it wasn’t too hot out for ramen fortunately) and let’s get this out of the way first: I kept in mind that this is not a ramen restaurant so I did not expect authentic ramen. In the same way that I would never order butter chicken at Swiss Chalet and expect it to be real Indian butter chicken – I would go to my local mom and pop Indian restaurant (plenty of those where I live!) for that. Anyway, the Joey rendition of ramen features sweet corn, bamboo shoots and a 65 degree egg, however they top it with a grilled chicken breast which definitely adds a different element of flavour. I would recommend this version of ramen to someone who perhaps has never had real ramen yet (ie: think that it is only the instant variety) or if you can’t make it downtown to go to Kinton or Isshin and need your ramen fix. Their feature/signature dessert is their made to order ice cream. They use liquid nitrogen and their house made ice cream base to give you a fresh, creamy dessert each time. I tried both (thanks Mark!) and both were equally fantastic. Both the strawberry and vanilla were very smooth and fragrant in their flavours. It’s so easy to have ice cream that is just sweet – but these definitely showcase their respective flavour heroes. Also – that chocolate topping on the vanilla was SALTED chocolate which was an unexpected surprise and I LOVED it. I cannot wait to go back to Joey. The service was impeccable (thanks to Karly and Andrew on the patio!) and the food speaks for itself. If you’re looking for great dining and beautiful atmosphere, I would highly recommend coming to Joey. There are several locations in Ontario, BC, Alberta, and Manitoba (so hopefully there is one near you!) and a few in the states.
Joey Sherway is located at 25 The West Mall in Etobicoke at Sherway Gardens mall. You can find them online at http://www.joeyrestaurants.com and follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @joeyrestaurants.
Huge thanks again to Joey for the invitation and also thank you to my friend Mark who allowed me to try some of his dishes and patiently waited as I staged and took pictures before he could eat or drink.