Bent & Bang Bang

My third (and final) day in the big city couldn’t have been more relaxing.

After sleeping in just a tad, we relaxed our bodies with a bit of much needed hot yoga. Although a few years back I was quite an intense yogi, I somehow fell of the wagon and hadn’t been back in months.

The heat, the work out, and the deep stretching were just what I needed to settle into vacation mode and to let go of the stresses that come with everyday work life.

Of course, after the session, we were quite sweaty and could easily use a shower.

But, rather than your boring old every day shower, Em & I had a day of pampering in mind.

So, we headed off to one of the best spots in the city – Body Blitz – where there is no judgment on whether you’ve come straight from the gym, or are as pristine and proper as it gets.

A bit over a year ago I went to Body Blitz for the first time, and to be honest, I couldn’t get it out of my mind after that. It’s a ladies only spa, offering services like body wraps and massages – but most importantly, is their water circuit. The circuit – or the baths – are a series of pools at different degrees of heat. Combined with a sauna and steam room, the hour long circuit is meant to have a number of wellbeing effects like stress relief, muscle relaxant, and blood flow.

We managed to do the circuit twice – plunging ourselves into the cold pool when we had the courage, and relaxing in the epsom salt pool much longer than necessary. The entire thing is a bit of a luxury, with the option to order healthy smoothies or teas – and a room dedicated to all the primping you need afterwards. I would highly recommend it for a date with a friend, a bachelorette party, or even just a little time to treat yourself.

Anyway, onto business.

By the afternoon I was feeling weightless and utterly relaxed. We did a little window browsing down Queen West, and toured our way through some of the older buildings in the city.

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toronto court

toronto sight seeing

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toronto view

toronto skyline

downtown toornto

Making our way to one last tourist stop on my checklist.

queen's park toronto

toronto sign

No shame at all. #xoTO

toronto sign

But, playing tourist has its toll, and we had quite the appetite by the end of it. Luckily, the evening’s itinerary had two local faves in store.

For dinner, we started out at Bent. An asian inspired restaurant, the interior is trendy yet low-key and all about good food & friendship. It is quite a popular spot in Toronto, headed by the internationally acclaimed Chef Susur Lee.

BENT toronto

BENT restaurant toronto

bent restaurant review toronto
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After a thorough glance through the menu, we picked three dishes to share between three of us – and started with (mock)tails.

bent cocktails toronto

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Our first dish, was the Singapore style slaw. An absolute staple if you’re going to head in for a meal. 
bent toronto signature dishThe slaw is a 19 ingredient dish, with Asian & French influences. Entirely edible, it is mixed right at your table. You can watch this video if you’re interested in knowing all 19 of the ingredients, however, all you really need to know is that it’s tasty.

signapore slaw bent toronto
The mixture of pickled red onion, shallots, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, taro, carrots, cucumber (the list goes on) is crunchy, sweet, tangy, and soft. The ginger adds bite, the herbs add flavour, and the noodles at some substance to it. The salad is easily a dish you can share between 3-4 as an appetizer, or you can add tuna if you want something a little more substantial.

Next up, we ordered the homemade gnocchi with bits of spicy chorizo, spinach, wild mushrooms, pine nuts, lemon zest, goat cheese, parmesan, and truffle oil. The pasta was soft and the sauce creamy – just like you would expect from a restaurant describing itself as cozy.

bent restaurant gnocchi homemade

homemade gnocchi bent toronto

And finally, we went for one of the specials that night – fall of the bone ribs with pineapple and corn bread.

fall of the bone ribs

This dish actually had quite a bit of heat to it, but the slices of pineapple somewhat softened my burning taste buds. There were three ribs – so likely better for a single entree – but the meat was cooked to perfection and utterly tender.

We still had a bit of hunger afterwards, so I would recommend a fourth dish if this is your final stop for the night.

But for us, it wasn’t. Ice cream was next on the menu.

And, not just any ice cream.

A creamy base, incredibly realistic flavour combinations, and baked goods for pairing – you can’t get better than Bang Bang.

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Tucked into an up and coming area (Queen West West), it is a bit of a hike from the centre.

But, I would say it is totally worth it – and I think my brother feels the same. Plus, there are number of little restaurants and bars you can pop into afterwards, if the mood suits you.

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We each went for single scoops in a cone – but, I have a bit of regret about not ordering an ice cream sandwich (on homemade cookies!). There is usually a lineup at the door, so, now that I’ve warned you, you can begin preparing your order.

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It was great to experience a bit of the local food scene and culture of Toronto. While asian inspired cuisine is normally out of my comfort zone, I’m happy I tested out Bent and Nikai, because they opened my mind to a whole new world of food!

After that, it was home to bed, then back on the road.

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