Review: Bloke & 4th (Summerlicious 2013)

And so it ends… The last stop of my Summerlicious-gastro-tour. Located in the King West district, my friend and I checked into my final stop at Bloke & 4th, a supper-club that transforms into a dance floor past 10pm. Before you cringe at the sound of the mention of a “supper club”, let me assure you that Bloke & 4th is on a league of its own, and shows no resemblance to your average mediocre-menu restaurant-night-club hybrid.

With its posh and elegant atmosphere,  prompt and friendly service, but more importantly: plate after plate of delicately dished delectables, my inner foodie highly recommends a visit to Bloke & 4th. Having not been there for the night club scene, I can’t comment on the other half of this establishment.

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Before I begin my food reviews, here is Bloke & 4th’s stats (courtesy of Google):

Address: 401 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K1
Phone:(416) 477-1490
Price (out of 4): $$$
Hours (*social apps are served till 11pm, restaurant converts to a night club past 10pm):
  • Sun       Closed
  • Mon      Closed
  • Tue       10:00pm-3:00am (no restaurant service)
  • Wed      Closed
  • Thurs    6:00pm – 3:00am
  • Fri         6:00pm-3:00am
  • Sat        6:00pm-3:00am

To start off the meal, we were offered an amuse bouche of Strawberry Gazpacho: refreshing, tangy and all-in-all was a very thoughtful touch to get our appetites going.

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For the appetizer, my friend and I ordered the Steak Tartare. A seemingly simple, but very thought out dish. Half of the charm came from the dish’s creative play on taste and textures. Texturally, you have the crispy capers and tempura bits contrasting the tender beefy chunks. Flavour-wise, the bite from the gherkins, and the piquant crispy capers works well with the mellow savory undertones of the chives: these components really bring out the beefy flavours of the tartare. Scooping some tartare with house cut Yukon Chips, and adding a dollop of the horseradish mustard is a little piece of heaven. My only complaint is that I didn’t taste the truffle dressing on the frisee, but who cares when it already tastes so good?!

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For the main, I ordered the Braised Short Ribs with the Smoked Cauliflower Puree. Another exceptional dish that combines the elegance of fine dining, and the hearty taste of barbecue and comfort food. The fall-off-the-bone short ribs, dosed with a bold barbecue sauce, melded seamlessly with the creamy smokiness of the cauliflower puree. Refusing to be overshadowed by the beef ribs, the cauliflower puree seduces you with its lush creaminess and assertive smoky flavours – demanding your palette’s attention. Bloke & 4th’s Braised Short Ribs is a stunning dish, and it comes highly recommended.

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Instead of the short ribs, my friend ordered the fish tacos. Fried till golden and crispy, the beer battered tilapia was set atop the lime-spiked red cabbage and apple-avocado relish. The zesty perfume of the lime lightened the smokiness of the sour cream, and complemented the crispy fillets of fish. This is a great choice for those who prefer a lighter entree to the heartier beef ribs.

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For dessert, I ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme with a Salted Caramel Crumble. A very well executed dessert with spoonfuls of luscious chocolate cream, with a crunchy sidekick of salted caramel crumble. Delishhhh!

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My friend ordered the Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Churros, which came with a bourbon caramel sauce and a chocolate sauce. Bloke & 4th’s churros is lighter than your typical churros, but just as delicious. I enjoyed the bourbon in the caramel and thought that it gave the caramel a bit of a pizzazz, my friend however, preferred the chocolate sauce.

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To sum it up, my experience at Bloke & 4th scored high on all aspects, be it food, atmosphere or service. I highly recommend a visit to Bloke & 4th, and can’t wait to come back for more!

Here is Bloke & 4th’s Summerlicious Menu (They only offer dinner):

$35 Summerlicious Dinner

Amuse Bouche
Strawberry gazpacho * compressed cucumbers * fresh basil * lemon lime crème
(vegetarian)

Fire roasted shrimp * chili honey * guacamole * sour mango *elephant garlic chips
or
Hearts of romaine salad * jalapeño caesar dressing * house cured bacon * candied tomatoes * brioche * croutons * parmesan
(can be modified without bacon as a vegetarian option)
or
Local AAA steak tartare * gherkins * shallots *crispy capers * horseradish mustard * chives * tempura bits * truffle dressed frisee * Yukon potato chips
(local)

Braised short rib * smoked cauliflower puree * grilled asparagus * king oyster mushrooms * natural jus * carrot chips
(local)
or
General tao chicken lettuce wraps * pineapple * bell pepper * jicama * ginger aioli * cashews * crispy vermicelli
or
Fish tacos * beer tempura battered tilapia * avocado & apple relish * lime spiked red cabbage * smoked sour cream * hot sauce
(local)
or
Pineapple carrot risotto * curry marinated tofu * coriander puree
(vegetarian)

Key lime pie * ginger crumble * white chocolate key lime brulee
or
Bloke & 4th churros * cinnamon sugar dust * bourbon caramel sauce * chocolate sauce
or
Chocolate pot de crème * salted caramel crumble

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