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TOMI-KRO Restaurant

Posted by Staff / Listed on May 23, 2007 / review policy

Tomi KroAfter sunset, with candlelight casting interesting shadows in a monochromatic room, and the deep bass of a house dance track playing, Leslieville's TOMI-KRO certainly feels more like a lounge than a resto. Add to the mix arty-looking servers table hopping, and it feels like a night out even though we're here to eat.

Tomi-Kro Octopus CevicheMuch like the decor, presentation is simple and elegant from small plate to main. We start with octopus ceviche ($12). Pink, slightly chewy slices resembling sushi ginger are drenched in a syrupy concoction along with bits of mango, and squirting cherry tomatoes.

Tomi-Kro Potato CakeSpunky sides (or tapas depending on one's hunger level) were lovely. Wasabi-flavoured panko potato cake ($6) with a dollop of sour cream was difficult to share.

Tomi-Kro Brussel SproutsBrussel sprouts ($6) appeared as slaw, with lively shards of asiago and pancetta that sang with its cruciferous perfume.

Tomi-Kro Shitake RisottoShitake risotto with dashi ($8) was creamy, dense, and rife with umami.

Tomi-Kro Lobster ballsLobster balls ($11) were clearly the fave of the night, unanimously agreed upon due to a winning play of textures - crisp batter versus warm soft centre - despite its flaws. The featured lobster merely provided a bit of red and brininess, the avocado was a few days from ready, and the rice was overly mushy. Not to mention, the oil-sopped batter cried for a hotter deep-fryer.

Tomi-Kro Beef FiletMains varied too. The duck ($23) was perfection - succulent flesh connected by a line of luxuriant fat to an edge of crisp skin. It rested atop custard-like yam mash and a sour cherry sauce. Its flawlessness made the beef tenderloin filet ($24) pale in comparison. The meat was tender, but despite the flavourful sounding accompaniments of gorgonzola, wasabi-infused potato mash, and carmelized onion ), it literally lacked a pinch of salt. Still, it was good enough to finish.

Tomi-Kro PitaWhile not quite a dress-to-impress place, the vibe is intimidating enough ($3 for a cola) to warrant wanting to look good in this crowd. For chic cocktails and sensual tapas, Tomi-Kro, is a Saturday night alternative for the maturer palate.

Tomi Kro



andrew / August 20, 2008 at 01:43 pm
Consistently very good food and really good wine list. Faves include apps: lobster makie balls and creme brule fois gras, mains: steak and tuna, sides: shaved brussel sprouts with asiago and pancetta. Desserts areworth a look if you still have room. Ambience is good, but music mix could be better at times and can get a bit loud - maybe a bit more Buddha Bar'ish, or at least consistent themes and not such an ecclectic mix - can get a bit in the way of a great meal.
SupaAlek / August 28, 2008 at 01:15 pm
Always wondered about this resto - the review does not really make me want to go. The lobster balls were the fav but writer finds rice mushy and batter soggy? interesting. The chef there is overrated.
Elly / September 4, 2008 at 12:51 am
Rude service, took forever to get our meal, bread side (pita wedges) brought as an afterthought after main, bussing station in middle of dining room for servers convenience. The worst thing was the number of uncleaned tables with meals of previous customers sitting on them although the restaurant wasn't busy. The servers were too involved in conversation to bus them. Our night out was a bust.
TIm / January 12, 2009 at 10:23 pm
I ate here recently with a group of five and we all loved it. I highly recommend the tuna.
Shachin / January 17, 2009 at 02:17 pm
I've been here three times now and everytime it always delivers. It's my wife and I favourite restaurant in the city. The lobster maki balls are incredible, as is the greek salad. Mains, we've tried tuna, duck, scallops, salmon, lamb and all were amazing. I'd highly highly recommend this place.
Stuart / February 8, 2009 at 09:19 pm
I think this is one of the city's true gems, great food, excellent wine list . . . and when your finnished at Tomi hop next door to Gio's for an after meal martinni.
hated it / April 9, 2009 at 11:05 pm
i think that place sucks. Everything has soy sauce, wasabi, cheese. I wouldn't call that asian fusion.

I had the octopus ceviche and it was sweet. I asked and they told me they marinate it in mirin sauce. I don't recommend it. The tuna was ok but over priced. My friend had the beef and it was over,he returned it, and they toke 30 min. to bring another one. When we look inside the kitchen( its an open kitchen) to see what was going on with our food we saw the cooks were drinking a lot! In my opinion they didn't know what they were doing and they seemed drunk. ( i noticed the same with the waiters).

What kind of place let the stuff drink like that?
J / April 11, 2009 at 07:11 am
Just had an amazing dining experience. Not only was the space, art , food and music really good, the service made our night exceptional. I would like to thank the 'brothers' lol. Too bad for the ' fuddy-duds' sitting next to us. We'll be back!
Pitchcapping replying to a comment from hated it / April 21, 2009 at 04:26 pm
Their menu is posted outside - common practice in most major metropolitan cities. If you don't like the ingredients of a menu or don't consider it to be what it says it is, ie: 'Asian Fusion', yer a complete tard for going in.

What were they drinking? did you ask? did you smell it? did you try it? maybe they all received raises that day, perhaps they enjoy their working environment, maybe they were in fact drunk and it's the only way they know how to deal with douchbags like you. The list could go on....

I bet the conversation prior to going in went a little something like this…

You: Hey guys, I know Asian Fusion and this doesn’t look anything like it. Lots of soy, wasabi, cheese - just doesn’t seem right.
Friend: Really? I’m so glad we brought someone like you who’s so well versed in the culinary arts to warn us in advance. Just like this menu on the front of the restaurant did.
You: No problem. Also, those prices are a little steep. So kinda expensive food that isn’t Asian Fusion….hmmmm…..
Friend: Well, it’s either this place or the place next door with the big nose on the front.
You: Well, I know cuisine and you can’t trust any place with a big nose on it. I bet they serve boogers. I gotta hit the toilet, wanna avoid all these warning signs and go for it?
Friend: Lead the way!
Ian / June 15, 2009 at 02:00 pm
'Definitely one of my neighbourhood favourites, and i have tried to introduce many of my friends to it....not a weak spot in the menu's 'line-up'. The evening usually starts with one of their fabulous martini mixes, then progresses through lobster maki balls and the Miami ribs to the scallop carpachio and tuna sashima.

A great vibe to the place, and the service is top notch....
E / August 4, 2009 at 03:31 pm
I went to TOMI-KRO a couple weeks ago and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! The atmosphere was fabulous, the service was great and the food was delicious. I love the eclectic mix of artwork, music and decor right down to the bussing table in the middle of the dining room. Super cool place, felt like you walked into someone's home yet chic enough that you might assume you would only find in NYC. Whether you're adventuring out with a group of friends or on an intimate date, this is a place to try out and add to your list of favourites.
Kathy / September 23, 2009 at 02:45 pm
I went to Tommy Kro's for the second time last night. My dinner companion cancelled out at the last moment, so I told the head guy that I was now a table for 1 and asked for something near the window. He told me they were very booked so he couldn't do that and actually took me to the furthest back corner of the restaurant in the 2nd room. I really resented it even more as the evening went on because although the restaurant definitely got busier, it certainly wasn't so busy that I couldn't have had a table closer to the front where at least I could have had some light to read or whatnot. Yes, the food was fine but I won't go back, alone or with friends as a result of this treatment.
Soho / October 4, 2009 at 10:35 am
Went for dinner last night and loved it! Great laid-back atmosphere. Delicious food and decent portions (for two to share). Friendly staff (except a bit of a grouch at the front door). Will definitely be back!!
Jamie replying to a comment from andrew / November 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm
Pretentiousness in three courses. Lousy service for an empty restaurant!
John R / November 17, 2009 at 11:15 am
I have had many delicious meals at this restaurant. It is relaxed, has a nice ambience, great art on the walls and good food! I highly recommend this place!

Cynthia / August 16, 2010 at 04:55 pm
I've also had many delicious meals and wonderful evenings at this resto. I'm amazed that it would be accused of being pretentious as all staff I've deal with (and that's most - if not all - including the owners) have all been stellar...hospitable, welcoming and genuine.

And, no, it's not cheap but boy is it good - love, love, love the scallops. Drinks (Mojitos, Margheritas and martinis) and wine all excellent.

Love that it's in my hood.
V / October 22, 2010 at 09:42 am
Went there a couple of times and I am still confused about what type of cuisine they sell. Is it asian fusion? Defnitely NOT tapas. The maki lobster balls are excellent, and the panko potato cake is definitely a fresh take on the dish. The tataki beef is severely overpriced at $13 for a very small piece of beef with deep fried onion shreads. Delicious but a ripoff. The crab balls are horrible and the risotto is ok.

I definitely agree they need to work on customer service; you come in and they ask you if you have a reservation even though the restaurant is empty. The first time the waitress was very slow in attending us, being more into chatting with coworkers than doing her job. The second time the waiter was overly attentive.

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