Located in the heart of Chinatown, it’s so easy to walk by without noticing R&D unless you’re looking for it. R&D is an urban casual restaurant run by MasterChef Canada Season 1 winner, Eric Chong and Michelin-starred Chef and MasterChef Judge Alvin Leung. Having just had dinner, J and I were looking for a place for drinks and a quick snack and R&D’s menu on the outside door seems promising enough with their variety of dishes of baos, small(appetizers) and large dishes (mains).
When you walk through the doors, you’re greeted with a big waiting room and a lounge-like area with cushy furnitures right by the bar a little inside. The bartender proceeded to welcoming us warmly and led us to the dining area.
It being a Monday at around 9pm, the place was pretty quiet and only had a couple tables filled with quiet chatter. The whole place gives off an intimate atmosphere with the dim light settings, elegant and cushy furnitures but coupled with the the large wall murals inspired by Chinese Street art with a grunge flair, hanging drum-like lights from the ceilings and wooden pillars, the place feels like it strikes the perfect balance of an elegantly hip and casual place to lounge at with friends or loved ones for a drink or three.
The restaurant, menu cover and items are all inspired by the Asian culture. I got myself a Confucius Cosmo which was accompanied with a sweet presentation by our lovely server.
You can check out that video on my instagram here.
citrus vodka, cointreau, lime, lychee, cactus pear juice
Fresh Oysters (6pcs)
on the half shell, yuzu mignonette, cilantro, R&D hot sauce
All my friends know I am a big fan of oysters. I try to make it for a buck-a-shuck almost every week if I can, and even go for regular priced oysters at times just because the craving is too strong and I decided money is not an issue (but I am so poor at times). Fresh Oysters with horse radish and hot sauce is the perfect appetizer (or meal, if you will) and I could easily have 3 dozen to myself. At R&D, I was really excited to try their version of Fresh Oysters and man was it good. I love, love cilantro, and although some people would think it ruins the flavour of food, I think it actually accompanied the oysters and yuzu mignonette and R&D sauce really well in this scenario.
Chicken Satay (3pcs)
lemongrass, ginger, peanuts, nuoc cham
The chicken satay’s probably one of the most tender satays I’ve had in a while. It was so deliciously seasoned through the meat and the sauce added another dimension of slightly sour and gingery note to the satay.
Definitely gonna check the place out again when I get the chance to. Did I also mention that they do $7 cocktails, 7 days a week from 5pm-7pm? Well they do!
Check them out at 241 Spadina Ave.