flame food toronto

Flame Food + Design

Flame Food + Design is three things in one: a cafe, a design store, and a restaurant serving modern Anatolian eats from an Argentenian grill. 

This eclectic two-storey building is run by Irem Sacakli, a professor, and her designer-and-chef husband Serhat Sacildi, who operate Flame as a canvas for their creative endeavours. 

flame food torontoThe lively Turkish couple have transformed this historic Bloor West space—which has previously housed a series of beloved local restaurants like Mad Apple and Dr. Generosity—to house a fun hodgepodge of visual and culinary experiments. 

flame food torontoIt may seem like too many concepts rolled into one, but it's quite simple: the first floor is where most diners go for Turkish dinners of grilled meats and mezzes. 

flame food design torontoUpstairs, a cafe serving Turkish coffee and classic Italian espressos operates all day, offering free WiFi and a lunch menu including French crêpes. 

flame food design torontoAdjacent to the cafe is an airy room dedicated a miscellaneous items from housewares to aprons, t-shirts from Istanbul, and accessories.

Some are designed by Serhat himself while others come from well-known Turkish, French, and Italian brands.

flame food design torontoAlongside Deejo knife sets ($350) and cast iron pans are Serhat-designed marble serving plates using stone from Afyon (the marble capital of Turkey) and Flame Plus notebooks with a patch to strike a matchstick on. 

flame food design torontoThe couple definitely likes fire, and the trifecta of flames, food, and design is obviously the basis of their M.O.

flame food design torontoFiring up downstairs, the Argentinian grill imported from Texas is where all the restaurant’s fresh twists on ancient Anatolian recipes are made and presented on sizzling platters.

flame food design torontoWhile the meats are cooking, you’ll be presented with a complimentary Nice To Meet plate, which comes with a blackened Turkish siyah bread and a delectable mix of olive oil, cheese, garlic, and herbs.

flame food design torontoA collection of shareable mezzes include the Cretan ($10), a ball of feta, goat cheese and pistachio.

flame food design torontoThe Cerkez Tavugu ($13) is a chicken breast mix with garlic and pickles, and the Muamma ($8), my favourite, is a garlicky tomato and red pepper paste that goes well with bread.

flame food design torontoThe Despina mezze ($19) comes in an extravagant cloche filled with smoke. 

flame food design torontoThis dish of bulbous squid tubes comes stuffed with squid legs, shrimp, and clam meat in a sweet pepper sauce.

flame food design torontoSeven pieces of kefir-marinated jumbo chicken wings arrive with The Winger ($22), along with grilled veggies.

flame food design torontoThe lamb rack ($38) is a particularly juicy French cut lamb rack marinated with coconut milk and served with grilled artichoke and mint jus.

flame food design torontoThe Delicioso ($29) is osso buco—veal shank—with an assortment of dried fruits like plum, with almond tomato sauce and white wine.

flame food design torontoFor dessert, a delicious take on kunafa comes in a delicious cube ($12) instead of a flat pan with fior de latte and pistachio liquor cream butter.

flame food design torontoA shot of Yeni Raki is encouraged to go with your meal, regardless what time it is—nothing like adding alcohol to the flames in the middle of the day to really get things going. flame food design toronto

Photos by

Herman Wong

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