Lunch at Thomsons Restaurant

I recently learned that Thomsons Restaurant has revamped their entire menu and features free range culinary.  As I’ve been to their Sunday brunch buffet multiple times and have always been impressed with the quality of food (especially for a buffet!), it was a no brainer that I’d give their new menu a try! I rounded up a couple of coworkers to have lunch here this day.  I almost think it’s a cursing to work in downtown since I seem to eat out so much, yet it’s also a blessing because I can try so many more places! One interesting fact is the menu gets changed weekly – there are staples that stay on the menu for a certain length of time but there are special offerings.  If you ask for their menu via twitter they will be more than happy to send it to you!

Here’s what we tried today:

Thomsons - Starter Bread

Starter Bread

I like the cranberry and nutty taste to the dense starter bread here which is baked in house.  The butter is warmed to softened – it is a pet peeve when I’m served bread with cold butter.

Thomsons - Ewe-niversal Lamb Burger

Ground ewe-niversal farms lamb burger – $18
balsamic onion relish, cumin gouda, leaf lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic aioli, corn meal kaiser

CX’s choice.  She said she has never had lamb burger before and loved this.  We each tried a bite of it and can’t believe how flavorful and tender the meat was! All the garnishes paired the meat very well – I particularly like the sweet onion relish.  The lamb here is actually supplied from a former Chef of Thomsons who now has his own farm.

Thomsons - Grilled Veggie Sandwich (1)

Thomsons - Grilled Veggie Sandwich (2)

Grilled vegetable & goat cheese sandwich – $16
house grilled vegetables, hummus, focaccia, wild arugula and lemon oil

SD’s choice.  I didn’t try this but she said she really liked it.  She also requested her fries to be extra crispy and they were served that way.

Thomsons - Fried Monk Fish

Special of the day: fried monk fish – $18
potatoes, root vegetables

I don’t remember if I’ve had monk fish before, so I was curious to try this dish.  The texture is quite chewy and the flavors were quite mild.  It is a very meaty and dense fish and I liked it.  The vegetables and potatoes were simply sauteed in a buttery sauce and were cooked well.

The floor manager, Kim, whom is no longer with the restaurant learned that I was a blogger and offered us desserts on the house, even though we insisted that we were just fine sharing the creme brulee (what I actually ordered) as we were stuffed.  He said he wanted us to try at least one each and give our feedback!

Thomsons - Duo Brulee

Brulee duo

Bourbon vanilla bean and orange-spice streusel.  I found the texture of the vanilla one a bit underdone but the other one was perfect.  Very prominent flavors in both brulees.  The thin layer of sugar crust was light and crispy.

Thomsons - Grown Up Sundae

Grown-up sundae

This was a very heavy dessert.  Chocolate brownie topped with housemade coffee ice cream and drizzled with whisky chocolate sauce.  However, it’s my kind of dessert since it’s hot and cold! 😀 The brownie was delicious – sinfully chocolatey and as you can imagine, quite sweet.  The coffee ice cream neutralized some of the sweetness which was perfect, and I didn’t think it was too heavy on the coffee flavor.

Thomsons - White Chocolate Cheesecake

White chocolate cheesecake

Sweet, creamy cheesecake with rich white chocolate flavors.  I found that it had the right amount of sweetness although I would love a bit more of the berry coulis as a contrast of flavors.

Service was attentive, professional and courteous.  The atmosphere of the restaurant was quite laid back – the clientele was mostly business professionals.   I love how spacious the restaurant was and we can easily have our conversations as the noise level was low.  Prices are reasonable for the food and I can see myself returning (bonus that it’s pretty much across the street from my work building!).

My second visit was a Birthday lunch for SS.  I gave her several choices but she insisted on Thomsons since she missed out on our last lunch.

Here’s what we tried today:

Thomsons - Starter Bread (2)

Starter Bread

This was a raisin grain bread.  Once again I really like the bread here at Thomsons but one slice is enough if you want to leave your appetite for your main course!

Thomsons - Shrimp Fry

West coast shrimp fry – $14
spicy aioli, lemon

I love how lightly battered and perfectly crispy these were.  The shrimp was sweet and had a pleasant crunchiness to them – this totally beats Japanese tempura shrimp!

Thomsons - Lamb Burger (2)

Thomsons - Lamb Burger (1)

Ground ewe-niversal farms lamb burger – $18
balsamic onion relish, cumin gouda, leaf lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic aioli, corn meal kaiser

I wasn’t interested in their special of the day – the double pork chop, and settled for the lamb burger since I remembered liking it from my previous visit.  With their sandwiches you have a choice of soup, salad or fries but our server let us have half portions each of the fries and salad.  Now that I got a much bigger serving to try, I do have to say the lamb flavors are more mild than usual but it’s still very good.  For those who may not like the sometimes gamey taste to lamb, you may like the lamb here.  The meat is oh-so-tender and succulent, and look how thick the patty is! I only got to about half way and packed the rest of it to go.

Thomsons - Beef Cheeks

Slow braised natural beef cheeks
toasted sourdough, sauteed wild mushroom, poached egg, green onion

I was making small talk with our server and mentioned that I’ve been meaning to come here for dinner and try their beef cheeks (as hubby loves them) but coordinating our schedules isn’t the easiest.  Imagine my surprise when Chef Darren Keogh brought this out for us to try! Since SS doesn’t eat red meat, I helped myself to everything but gave her the egg (cooked perfectly to a soft medium) and some of the mushrooms 🙂 Anyhow, this was, as you can imagine, just delectable.  The cheeks were very meaty and insanely flavorful.  The texture is a bit fatty and quite tender and the sauce was quite savoury without being overwhelming.  I can see why this is their signature dish, and now it’s time for hubby to try it!

Service was amazing.  We felt very taken care of by our server and I’m so happy to meet with Chef Darren.  I’m happy to eat at a restaurant where the staff cares about your experience and actually listens to what you have to say.  I have no complaints about the food and can’t wait to try more of their menu! If you’re in downtown and wants a quality lunch/dinner, Thomsons is definitely your choice!

Christmas Special: If you have no desire to cook Christmas dinner but still want to eat it, Thomsons is serving up a buffet from 12:30 – 7:00pm! I saw the menu on Twitter – it is delicious looking and reasonably priced at $68 per adult.  I don’t have the stomach for buffets but I will definitely be back to try their a la carte dinners!

Thomsons Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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