Cactus Club Sherway Gardens
Cactus Club Cafe has its 30th location ever at Sherway Gardens, equipped with a year-round rooftop patio.
Windows and a retractable ceiling fully enclosed in the winter, and there’s AC, misters, heating elements, and lot of pillow and blankets laying around to keep things cozy.
The front entryway is a mosaic of Brazilian slate, other signature Cactus Club elements like pop art and “artichoke” light fixtures also present.
The Tuna Stack ($18.50) is itself a signature at Cactus Club, created for the restaurant by Canadian celeb chef Rob Feenie.
Avocado and Ocean Wise ahi tuna are stacked in a ring mold with nori, sesame seeds, micro cilantro and a citrus tamari vinaigrette to create a fat cylinder of refreshing elements perfect for scooping up with crispy wonton chips.
Lobster + Prawn Tagliatelle Nero ($28), on the other hand, was created by local chef Cory Vitiello (Harbord Room, Flock) just for the opening of this location. Broad and tender squid ink tagliatelle noodles scattered with prawns and lobster chunks is smothered in a pistachio green chili pesto with a surprising kick to it.
His Salmon Fresca ($28.75) is less indulgent but also centres around Ocean Wise seafood, this time Lois Lake steelhead. Plated on a bed of hummus with jasmine rice, the dish is strewn with cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes and olives, shaved fennel, basil and dill.
Szechuan Lettuce Wraps ($18.75) are a fave of Vitiello’s here, calling them “easy and social, full of bold textures and flavours” as well as “highly addictive.”
A platter of sticky, sweet and spicy chunks of chicken or tofu with lots of crunchy peanut and wonton strips is presented with a wedge of lettuce for generously-sized cups, Korean chili sauce and spicy yogurt accompanying.
A Caramel Chocolate Mousse can be cheekily ordered as a single ($3.50), double ($7) or triple ($10.50), large shot glasses filled with a house chocolate mousse, crunchy sponge toffee and an obscuring yet airy warm caramel foam that making spooning up the rich textures a surprise.
A Pina Colada ($10.50) feels mandatory to me at a place like this, a splashy, smoothie-like cocktail to match the chain/resort vibe.
Bacardi, Maui Gold pineapple and toasted coconut are garnished with an Amarena cherry and pineapple chip, and biodegradable straws are available to suck down the thick, tropical and boozy bevvy.
At 18,000 square feet this location is more spacious than Toronto’s first Cactus Club Cafe, located in First Canadian Place along with Cactus Club offshoot King Taps. The chain has its origins in British Columbia.