Located in what was formerly Death in Venice Gelato at Queen and Bathurst in Toronto, Away Kitchen has slowly been making the transition from coffee shop to full-service vegan restaurant. They launched their 100% plant-based dinner menu just recently, and has plans to expand it as time goes on. They are also working on acquiring a liquor license, but until then, we can enjoy their mocktails.
The space is gorgeous and comfortable and features wood tables, a living green wall, artwork painted right on the walls and all lends to the upscale feel. The menu is split into a few categories – Sharing Plates, Soup and Salad, Entrees, and Pizza.
We were hungry, and I like to try as much as I can for a potential review, so we ordered a LOT to share!
To start, we indulged in the vegan cheese board, which featured a smoky almond gouda-style (I loved!), a creamy cashew herb chèvre (amazing paired with the candied pecans on the board!), and a cashew ricotta (delicious!). Also on the board were small slices of bread to spread the cheese on, an orange marmalade, olives, the aforementioned candied pecans, and pickled garlic scapes and asparagus – it was creatively and beautifully presented on a long wood board. We enjoyed the fondue, which was served inside a bowl made from bread! This creative way to serve the dish added an extra phase to enjoying the dish – eating the bowl once the fondue was finished! The fondue was served with raw mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and grapes, which all paired well in terms of flavour, temperature and texture with the warm, creamy cheese! The third appetizer we ordered were the Garlic Twists – savoury twists of bread with a delicious garlicky finish. These were served piping hot with a marinara and a vegan ranch dip, both of which were delicious!
For our “main course”, we shared a Mediterranean pizza (artichoke hearts, basil, roasted garlic, cashew mozzarella, micro basil, balsamic reduction, and shaved walnuts) – I LOVE artichoke hearts on pizza!! Put together with the roasted garlic and basil, we had one unreal flavour combination on this pizza! Although there are a lot of great pizza places in the city, this is definitely a pizza you should try, whether you eat dairy or do not. The final dish we enjoyed was the oyster mushroom pot pie. This delicious dish came served in a ramekin with a big, flaky pastry on top and mushroom gravy that we poured on it and a well dressed fresh green salad. This was a perfect end to an amazing meal! Next time, I am going to try the rest of the menu, as it all sounded great, especially the Maitake Mushroom Steak with chimichurri!
Away Kitchen and Cafe is a great lunch or dinner spot on Queen West for those looking for a creative plant-based menu that doesn’t rely on tofu and fake meats – and especially for those craving vegan pizza!