Sense Izakaya

Happy New Year everyone! I’m almost a month late with my New Year post, but I hope no one minds.

I visited a brand new restaurant to start my first post for a brand new year. When I visited Sense a couple of days after it opened, completely by accident. Living close to First Markham Place often means that we eat there quite often. A new restaurant opening in FMP (to me) is always an exciting event.

 

 

Sense Izakaya
3255 Highway 7
Markham, L3R 3P9

Sense’s décor felt slightly out of place for First Markham Place. I couldn’t remember what the previous restaurant was at all, and even if I did, I wouldn’t have remembered after seeing the interior. The first thing I thought of when I entered was “Wow, this is in FMP?” then I turned to the NSSSO (Not-So-Significant Significant Other) and said, “I think this place would be fantastic for Valentine’s Day, don’t you?” The servers were quite attentive throughout our meal, with many suggesting and answers to our questions. The restaurant was new enough, that (who we thought was) the owner came and asked us about what we thought of food.
We order a dish from each section of the menu, except for the sashimi section (cause the NSSSO doesn’t like raw food).

 
The Shrimp Tempura with Corn Ice Cream and Grilled Sweet Corn was intriguing. I ordered it based on the Corn Ice Cream (because WOW, Corn Ice Cream?) but I was disappointed. No matter how we looked at the dish (study the picture very carefully dear readers), we couldn’t find the ice cream anywhere. Forging ahead (hoping for the best) we tried the dish out. Instead of having Corn Ice Cream and Grilled Sweet Corn, we were treated to a delicious shrimp tempura with a (what we think) wasabi mayo sauce instead, the sauce was kind of sweet and not intolerably spicy (which means that normal people will only feel a slight tingle).

Next up was the Baked Avocado (which the owner came by and asked us if the way the served it was efficient). I wouldn’t recommend mixing it at all, but cutting it with a spoon and spooning it up by layers. The avocado was hulled just a little bit and filled with seafood and topped with a cream sauce. Unfortunately, the seafood got a little lost against the avocado, but I highly enjoyed he cream sauce. I would not recommend sharing the dish. It is really a solo dish, not meant to be share with anyone, it just isn’t large enough.

Part way through the meal, a server put down a sashimi salad, free of charge and looking for opinion. Here’s my opinion: I really enjoyed the salad, pieces of salmon sashimi sitting on a piece of raw and hulled cucumber mixed with some ingredients that I could not determine, was actually quite good. The overall feel of the dish was quite refreshing. I personally thought that the dish could use a little more sweetness, but overall it was quite delicious.

The NSSSO was terribly excited about the Duck Poutine, duck gravy, pulled roasted duck, crispy duck skin. He thought that the poutine felt a little separated, it was very much a dish with various elements that didn’t meld together very well. We thought that if they had sliced the crispy skin and the meat smaller to make their size closer to the fires, there may be more cohesion.

We also got the Braised Pork Belly and my exact words (after putting a piece in my mouth) were “Oh My God, so fat… but so goooooooooood!” There was one smoked pork belly and it was a tad too salty for the both of us, but it was tender and juicy and melted in your mouth. The bacon wrapped on top was an unexpected but delicious surprise. I couldn’t and wouldn’t bring myself to eat too much of it, but holy pig it was good.

The Beef Curry was a disappointment. It vaguely tasted like curry and had no spice level to it at all. It was definitely missing something, something I couldn’t describe. The contents of the meal was cooked perfectly, tender, and soft and fell a part in your mouth. It’s too bad about the curry.

-> Food
-> Plating
-> Decor
-> Service

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