By: Saema Nasir
“This is going to be good.”
Those were the words my friend exclaimed as he surveyed the crowded room filled with the chatter of strangers and the music of a live band.
And it turned out he was right.
The crowd was hip, the beer was flowing and the music was loud in the dimly lit room. This is the scene I found myself in for Batch Toronto’s pre-opening bash.
A new gastropub in the heart of Toronto, Batch’s menu features carefully crafted cocktails and an extensive selection of craft beer brewed in-house as well as traditional pub eats with a fresh twist.
The upscale décor is really what stands out. The open space features exposed brick, tasteful and ultra-current accents such as mason jars, copper hardware finishes as well as a retro touch of lighting and seating booths reminiscent of a 50s diner. With two levels, there is plenty of room and the space is great for big groups or even an intimate dinner for two. Think of Batch as the most upscale pub you’ll ever go to.
I was presented with three beer selections, each with a distinct taste and flavor. The Porter beer was a deep chocolate colour, with a chocolaty, deep taste to match. This was a filling beer that had real depth. Next came a foggy, amber, wheat beer, which was surprisingly refreshing and light. I could see myself drinking this on a cottage patio in the summer. The last beer was the lightest in look and flavor; it had a bitter taste that didn’t linger but is potent when it first hits your tongue.
After whetting my whistle, the food was served, which was superb. Expect traditional pub fare done excellently and differently, which will pleasantly tingle your taste buds. One example is the fried pickles. This may seem like a simple dish served in many other places, but in the hands of Chef Ben Heaton, he turns this humble snack into something wonderful that is both crispy and light. Paired with the dill and ranch mayo this is a must-have!
The lamb burger was juicy and the curried lime pickle mayo had a creamy tang that complimented the taste of the meat.
My personal favorite were the wings which came in garlic and honey or house hot sauce. Elevated beyond what usual wings are, these small bites had a kick without too much heat and a sweet tang without the sugariness. Also of note was the curried chicken flatbread, which was buttery yet still light, savory and spicy. The herbs stood out and the flatbread itself was fluffy.
I was impressed by the beautiful space and elevated pub fare. If you want a comfortable atmosphere that is still trendy and delicious and affordable food, definitely make Batch your go-to weekend haunt.
Photos of interior by Joel Levy Photography.
Photos of food by Paula Wilson.
Saema Nasir is a communications professional who blogs, writes, paints & explores her beautiful city of Ottawa. She has a Masters in Public Relations and also blogs at thecityquill.com. Follow her on Twitter @saemanasir.