Do Not Disturb
Up on the glorious rooftop, which includes a secluded and covered patio area ideal for big group hangouts, the snack bar focuses on raw items, like oysters, and charcoal-grilled bites cooked to order.
There are cocktails too, with seasoned pro Moses McIntee behind the beverage offerings. He’s shaking and stirring up classics as well as more original creations that taste as good as they look.
At the rooftop bar, there’s the Pineapple-Rum Punch ($20), a well-balanced combo of rum, pineapple, mango, rosemary and ginger beer served in an actual pineapple. It’s the perfect tropical summer drink: boozy and not too sweet, with just the right amount of zing.
There’s also a visually stunning, classic Manhattan ($14), with a huge piece of ice on the bottom to keep the potent drink chilled.
Wood-grilled shrimp ($11) arrive on a skewer and is served with coconut cashew satay sauce and shrimp chips (a.k.a prawn crackers). Each piece of meaty shrimp has big and bold, Thai-inspired flavours.
Downstairs at the restaurant proper, the chic dining space features a lit-up sign that reads, “meet me in the lobby” that begs to be Instagrammed (along with the well-curated hotel shop, the ground-level restaurant shares a space with the lobby).
The bar down here makes another pleasing-to-the-eye-and-palate cocktail, the Paper Plane ($14), a modern classic.Vittorio Colacitti, Top Chef Canada alum and owner/chef of The Good Son, is responsible for the food menu. Dishes can be shared or eaten individually, and are meant to be enjoyed in an informal, non-stuffy manner.
The kitchen stays open pretty late and the prices are surprisingly reasonable for a boutique hotel restaurant.
Crunchy, spicy, sweet, sour and salty green papaya salad ($10) is another Thai-inspired dish. I’m shocked to learn its vegan, as there’s no dried shrimp or fish sauce in it. It’s missing a bit of that funky pong that comes from the latter, but other than that, it tastes pretty spot on.
Another plate with a different Asian influence is the crispy soy-braised pork belly ($15), which my dining companions go completely crazy for. The sweet, fat, pork belly comes with spicy peanuts, sultana raisins, cilantro and atchara, an addictive Filipino-style pickled veg.
I’m also a fan of the Cubano sandwich ($12). Pressed between two slices of Marc Thuet bread are layers of slow-roasted heritage pork shoulder marinated in pineapple mojo for 12 hours, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese and pineapple mustard.
It’s enormously satisfying – crisp, cheesy and savoury, with a hint of sweetness along with a nice pickled tartness.
The DND Burger ($10), which comes with fries or green salad ($5), is made with well-seasoned house-ground chuck and bone marrow, cooked on a flat-top grill and dressed with American cheese, pickles, tomato, lettuce and “Bev sauce” (a play on Russian dressing), all on a white bread bun. It's simple, straightforward and tasty.
However, the real star is the side of fries. They’re perfectly crispy on the outside and soft inside – I can’t stop eating them.
The fried chicken ($13/3pc, $24/6pc) is topped with pickles and served with spicy hot sauce, house ranch (the kitchen’s version of Alabama white sauce) and a wedge of lemon.
Like everything else we try, this is done well; the boneless pieces are tender and moist, the sauces fitting accompaniments.