House of Moments
House of Moments, located on Carlaw just south of Gerrard has recently reinvented itself as a gallery meets restaurant, in what owner Hamid Kouchak hopes will become a hub for the artistic community.
Inside, dark velvet lounge furniture, clusters of dining tables and hi-tops offer a variety of seating options and vantage points from which to take in the surroundings.
The space (formerly a furniture showroom), feels like an industrial loft — the high-ceilinged, poured concrete room is partitioned into smaller areas by museum quality artifacts collected during Kouchak's travels. For instance, the extensive collection of oversized, 17th century doors hail from Thailand and Jaipur, and can be reconfigured to transform the space.
With so much room to play with, the 12,000 square foot space easily accommodates art exhibitions but is also garnering interest as an event venue for fashion shows, weddings and corporate affairs. Kouchak (an artist himself), curates month-long shows from emerging artists.
The menu from Korean chef Daniel Park features a rare blend of Japanese techniques fused with Persian flavours that only loosely follow the printed descriptions. Kouchak encourages Chef Park to take liberties with the menu and to experiment with flavours outside his comfort zone. The resulting combinations make for unique, spa-like food, which is presented on sharing plates that pair well with the lounge setting.
The Sashimi Platter ($22) is an artfully plated assortment of salmon, scallops and tuna, and arrives garnished with toasted sesame, poppy seeds, pomegranate and gold leaf flakes. The accompanying rice paper rolls are filled with avocado, julienned carrots, radish, and topped with a tart pomegranate walnut paste.
The chef-selected assorted Maki ($20) changes daily and showcases individual rolls, each filled with different combinations of masterfully prepared vegetables, raw bar selections, and African flavours that surprise given their Japanese presentation.
The Tofu Salad ($9) is a deliciously light, vegetarian option that features grilled tofu and avocado tossed with greens, pomegranate seeds, dried blueberries, pumpkin seeds, and a fragrant orange blossom and miso dressing.
The tempura Fried Tofu ($8) is topped with burdock root foam, a single jalapeno ring, dried cherry, and a sprig of oregano.
Behind the bar, professional flair bartender and Ukraine's Got Talent contestant Andrey Shaherbyna mixes up cocktails and provides a little drama for late night events. A full wine menu and selection of bottled beers are also available.
With rotating exhibitions, a modular space, and the ever-changing menu, it's hard to say what future visits might hold. When asked what Kouchak plans next for House of Moments, he speaks excitedly about all the opportunities the space can afford: suspended yoga classes (the ceilings could support it), a massive rooftop patio, and the addition of Indian flavours to the menu top his list.
Photos by Jesse Milns