Restaurant Review – Church Bistro

Church Bistro is a modern halal/organic brunch and dinner restaurant serving its classic menu items with a South Asian flare. It’s located right at Church and Wellesley and normally location wouldn’t mean much to me, except hubz pointed out after we left that there were two dead bodies found basically across the street from here, linked to recent murders? Fudgetoast that’s not something I want to think about at all.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the restaurant itself. So the first thing I have to note here is that this restaurant is famous for brunch. I was here for dinner. Considering myself a phenomenal judge of downtown Toronto behaviour, I made sure to call ahead so they had room for the two of us at 6pm on a Thursday night. Imagine my surprise when I walked in at 6 to realize we were the only ones there. You could probably hear crickets chirping in the distance. It was a chuckle.

The owner(?) greeted me by name, and almost as if he knew what I was thinking, he told me it’s way too early for their dinner crowd. And also to make sure to drop by for brunch next time because that’s what they are famous for.

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It’s a small restaurant, I’d say seating capacity is 30 or so people. The decor is cute, with abstract paintings hanging on the wall for sale so you can browse while you wait for your food.

We got to choose our seats, and the friendly waitress told us to browse their Instagram page in case pictures would help us make our decision. So we did, and everything looked amazing! It was a hard decision, but based on our appetites we decided to forego appetizers and try out some burgers instead.

She took our orders and immediately, you could hear the kitchen get to work. It was pretty clear that the food was made fresh – you could literally hear the sizzle as the potatoes dropped into the fryer.

Hubz got the Bistro 555 Burger ($16), pictured below.

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I’m not gonna lie, it looked way better than it tasted. The potatoes were fried a little too long, and his meat was pretty bland. I tried a bit and was disappointed. Needless to say, he wasn’t impressed.

I should note that for an extra $2, you can add extra spice to the burger, but we didn’t opt for that because we had assumed that would be for people who want a spice challenge – not bring it up to a normal spice level. We don’t really think that you should need to pay extra to get a burger tasting good, you know what I mean?

My Chicken Tandoori Burger ($18), pictured below, was lightyears better.

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There was plenty of chicken in every bite and it tasted fresh, vibrant, with just the right amount of spice in its seasoning. I don’t know what was in that sauce either, but I gave it a 10/10.

I was pretty full after my meal, and so I had no room for dessert. I had seen jalebi on their Instagram but not on their menu, so I asked about it in a moment of greed and it turned out to be specially made for that event. Oh well, its better for me to stay away from excessive sweets anyway. We paid and left.

Overall we obviously had mixed reviews on the food, but were pretty happy with the service. Consensus reached was that we would definitely be willing to drop by again for brunch one day and see what the hype is about.

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