Delta Toronto MoVernie VIP Experience – a 10-Part Series
A few weeks ago, MoVernie and his brother, MoKenny were kindly hosted by Delta Toronto for an Exclusive MoVernie VIP Experience. Within the MoVernie VIP Experience, they each got a high-rise hotel corner suite room, a big tour around all the facilities and amenities that Delta Toronto has to offer. Fine dining at SOCO Kitchen + Bar was part of the VIP Experience and of course, a relaxing Whisky Bar 101 at Char No. 5 was also part of the agenda.
In this 10-part series, MoVernie will share his adventurous journey of his VIP Experience with his followers and audiences.
Part 2 – SOCO Kitchen + Bar
It was around 7:00 pm and that means dinner time! Delta Toronto had made a reservation for us at its restaurant called SOCO + Kitchen Bar. SOCO Kitchen + Bar is a modern restaurant that features the best ingredients, prepared with thought and care, yet simplistic but with creative twist to it.
SOCO Kitchen + Bar is managed by head chef Daniel Craig. I was told that he is like the James Bond of the food world, showcasing the secret culinary skills along with secret ingredients. Chef Craig is an internationally trained and award-winning Chef that brings his love of local ingredients and simple, yet elegant, food to SOCO Kitchen + Bar. He basically let his ingredients speak for themselves, letting his creations to bring out the best of its natural flavours.
At a push of an elevator button, off we go from our 33rd floor and down to the main lobby. There was a huge SOCO Kitchen + Bar signage that you can’t miss it. There are two ways to enter the restaurant. If you are already inside the main lobby, you can access it from inside. If you are walking outside the hotel, coming from the Bremner Blvd, you will see the “SOCO Kitchen + Bar” signage and enter from the street level.
As we entered the entrance from the main lobby, the hostess immediately greeted us and guided us to our reserved table. Our reserved table was located in a quieter, private area that was near the bay windows. I love the table as it was more private and I also got to check out the pedestrians and cars moving along the Lower Simcoe street. Along our walk, we spotted the kitchen area where the chefs and kitchen staff were working hard to prepare the meal for the patrons. Then we walked pass the bar area that had a nice long bar counter and long lineups of flat screen TVs, showing a variety of sports games. If you are on your own or with a buddy, I highly recommend the bar area because you can watch the games on TV as well as interacting with the friendly bartenders.
Our server came and introduced himself and welcomed us to SOCO Kitchen + Bar. He asked how our stay was so far and also gave a brief introduction about this restaurant. As a social media digital influencer, having a fully charged smartphone is KEY to me. Our server told us that many of the booths or dining tables at SOCO Kitchen + Bar have its own individual outlet, so that we can plug our cord to it while dining. Furthermore, throughout the entire Delta Toronto, it’s FREE Wi-Fi. With Delta Toronto motto of “Expect Even More” slogan, free Wi-Fi is a nice gesture. Delta Toronto doesn’t believe in charging its own patrons and customers with extra internet service. Instead, they want us to have a good stay and a good meal without worrying about data usage on our phones. I am sure many patrons would really appreciate that.
The restaurant was lit by individual candle lights on each table, giving it a chic, modern, positive vibe for the patrons. As I looked around, I saw a good mix of demographics of patrons dining here. We could see couples enjoying a romantic dinner. Friends who were having a few pre-drinks and shareable before heading to the Air Canada Centre to catch a Leafs game. I also saw family of four having pizza and burgers. I think SOCO Kitchen + Bar is a very versatile restaurant that caters to a variety groups of people.
As our server handed out the drink and food menu, I realized SOCO Kitchen + Bar have a good list of wine, beer and specialty cocktails. I told our server to surprise me with a specialty cocktail and he got us a refreshing Cucumber Collins. The pour was generous, yet the proportions were perfect. Really enjoyed the drink to start off the evening.
As we glanced over the food menu, the list was concise yet adequate. A great restaurant shouldn’t be offering hundreds of crazy items on the menu, but instead, provide enough variety so the chef can focus on preparing the high quality of food items to its patrons. I realized that most of the food items on the menu were food that was familiar by most people, nothing crazy or out-of-this-world. Instead, Chef Daniel Craig wants to bring out the best flavours from these high quality fresh local ingredients with his great culinary skills. Furthermore, SOCO Kitchen + Bar also offered vegetarian food items.
Here is the list of food items that we had selected as we wanted to be able to taste the variety of food items made by the chef:
MUSHROOM SOUP – wild mushroom sauté / feta cheese / truffle oil
OYSTERS (half a dozen each) – mignonette / tobasco + lemon / horseradish
HAND-CUT BISON TARTAR – egg yolk emulsion / black pepper jam / crisp parmesan / mache
MARGHERITA Pizza – fior di latte / tomato / fresh basil / san marzano
ROASTED SCALLOPS – housemade truffled mortadella / hazelnuts / sunchokes
MoVernie vs Food Verdict:
The mushroom soup first arrived and from a distance, you could see the steam coming out. I love hot soup & having it nice and hot is key to a delicious soup. This is one element that many restaurants often neglect and presented with a warm or cold soup, which is a no-no in my books. So, with the fresh ingredient of the mushroom soup, it’s nice and hot, good texture and colour. I thought there was a bit too much of the feta cheese, if it can cut down a little bit, then it will let the mushroom shine a bit more, otherwise, it’s a good soup. And of course, I love anything with truffle oil.
NOTE: This soup has become my MoVernie MUST-HAVE food item whenever I eat at SOCO Kitchen + Bar. If I am super hungry, it’s a good appetizer. If I am not that hungry after watching a Raptors game for a post-game meal, the soup is a good snack. You can’t go wrong with a hearty hot soup in any situations.
Then the oysters arrived in a circular metal tray along with the horse radish and sauce. First glance, the oysters were in season as it was big and juicy and the water within the shell was fresh. Everyone who follows me on Twitter knows how much I love fresh oysters.
Then came the hand-cut bison tartar. Usually, it’s either beef or tuna tartar, bison tartar is a nice twist. The plating was great as I could see the egg yolk sitting on top of the tartar. After mixing all the fresh ingredients together, the first bite was unforgettable because the bison tartar was rich in colour and texture. It was tender, juicy and melt in your mouth. This was a great dish, coupled with the crusty bread, it’s the perfect combo. The bison tartar was definitely a great dish to share.
After munching down all the delicious appetizers, I had finished my cucumber Collins, so my server asked me what else I would like to try. I told him I love beer, in fact, fresh pint of beer. He recommended me “Blanche de Chambly” brewed from Quebec. I recalled I had a great experience with this beer when I was visiting Quebec City so I opted for a pint of this beer. (It’s great SOCO Kitchen + Bar is providing some unique beer and not all the mainstream ones which they still provide but I like a good variety).
As for the shareable, the margherita pizza was fresh off the oven. I could smell the fresh aroma coming out from the pizza. When I was in Rome, Italy, the locals often told me that margherita pizza is the best. The simplest pizza is the best way to test out the culinary skills of the chef and I totally agree. This margherita was a great dish to share among friends. The cheese was perfect in portion, not too much or too little. It came with a thin crust but its perfect thickness. I hate those thin crust pizza by other eateries that it was so thin that you couldn’t even lift it up and all the toppings splattered on your plate. I love my toppings being supported by a solid thin crust and being able to consume it in one bite without leaving a mess. I think the chef at SOCO Kitchen + Bar was able to achieve that.
Both MoKenny and I love seafood and when the food menu offered roasted scallops, we jumped on the opportunity and we both ordered the same thing. Each scallop was nice and big. The first bite was fresh and juicy and not overcooked. Scallop, overall, is quite a difficult ingredient to prepare, you want it to be cooked and not be too raw, yet you don’t want it to be over cooked and shrink and being overly chewy. Chef did a perfect job with the scallop. One ingredient that aren’t always be served by chef was sunchokes, but I love it. I think it worked perfectly with the scallops. To me, sunchokes looked somewhat like a mini-ginger but yet the texture was like mini potatoes.
All-in-all, the food items being prepared at SOCO Kitchen + Bar was top notched. It’s amazing how the team was able to retain the freshness of the ingredients and provide a delicious list of food to its patrons. The perfect combination of awesome food and a great vibe makes SOCO Kitchen + Bar a great hotspot for family, couples and friends. It is also a perfect place for people to come before or after watching a concert, Leafs or Raptors game.
Also to note is the prime location SOCO Kitchen + Bar is located. If you walk around the Lower Simcoe area, there is currently isn’t much to offer. There maybe a few fast food eateries but a sit-down, modern restaurant isn’t really available around this area. So, SOCO Kitchen + Bar is a great place to have a nice meal after checking out an Auto Show at the Metro Convention Centre or a CN Tower tour or even a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre.
Click here for more information on the SOCO Kitchen + Bar.
Special thank you to Delta Toronto for your kind hospitality, providing a unique, customized VIP Experience for MoVernie & MoKenny.
Click here for more information on the new Delta Toronto.
Check out my previous article here – Delta Toronto – Intro: MoVernie VIP Experience
Also check out – Part 1: Hotel Room – MoVernie VIP Experience