Enigma is a fine dining restaurant near Bay and Bloor where the interior space is a wonder to behold. There are hand-placed mosaic tiles adorning the ceilings and walls and soft yellow lighting throughout.
The menu rotates seasonally, but all their dinner menus are served in the form of tasting menus so don't expect to walk out of here without paying at least a few hundred backs.
For $220, you get 10 courses if you count them all, all of which are presented with flourish and panache.
Chef Quinton Bennet, originally from South Africa, runs the show here, having previously worked in restaurants in Vancouver and Copenhagen.
His philosophy of "let nature be the artist" is what guides him, and he told me that the dishes served here are meant to reflect his culinary journey so far.
The Asparagus Tartlet is primarily composed of asparagus espuma with egg yolk and smoked paprika. This one is for anyone who is a fan of moleculary gastronomy. The texture is smooth and the taste has a nutty vibe.
The tiny accompanying Crispy Chicken Sandwich is made with mushroom miso butter sandwiched by crunchy fried chicken skin. You're not going to find this at Chick-fil-A.
The 2001 Organic Tomato Odyssey is made with liquid nitrogen. By this point, you should be getting the idea that Enigma is not your typical dining experience.
This dish is comprised of tomato espuma, marigold, and kalamata olive crumble. It's visually stunning although I did find the tomato flavour to be slightly overwhelming.
The Butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster is likely a crowd-pleaser. It's served with a lightly-sweet brown onion consomme and infused with cardamom oil on top of pickled baby onions.
A more standard offering is Enigma's Miso and Saki glazed Sablefish. The delicate but meaty fish is served over a warm dashi jelly. The accompanying Cucumber and Squid Salad is a nice touch.
Not to be overlooked, the Darjeeling Tea-smoked Quail comes accompanied with frozen foie gras shards and puffed grains. There's also a confit leg served on the side.
A fun touch to the meal is that you get to personally choose the knife that you'll use to eat the main dish. I have never seen anything like this anywhere else.
Using my high-end Japanese knife, I quite enjoyed the aged Ontario Lamb Saddle with BBQ Lamb Belly that came next. It was served with shaved turnips and some mint risotto.
And dessert? You can always expect a place like this to have some showstoppers and Enigma doesn't disappoint.
Mine starts with a beautiful Raspberry an Rhubarb Mille Feuille which is plated swimming inside some rhubarb consomme and basil oil.
And then, wait for it, there's a Dessert Tree. It comes with cherry and apples hanging from the branches that you can literally pick. Inside is a mixture of compote and real fruit.