Healthy Food Blog

Restaurant Review-Origin North

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Origin North logo

Our family headed down to Origin North for dinner one evening. It is located Uptown Toronto, on Bayview and Sheppard in Bayview Village.  Origin North is diverse in it’s cuisine as it showcases different ingredients from around the world. There is enough diversity for everyone to enjoy.  Origin North gives off a downtown vibe.  Which is a gem for those who live north of the city 🙂

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Owner Chef Claudio Aprile is the mastermind behind this beautiful restaurant. Claudio knows how to create beautifully prepared dishes that are bursting with flavour. He is very creative when it comes to his dishes, and pays close attention to detail. You almost don’t want to touch your dish, as you don’t want to destroy its beauty. Take a picture, it lasts longer…your tastebuds will thank you.

The 6, 000 square foot restaurant  is so beautiful and spacious. There is plenty of parking, and a massive patio if you prefer outside dining. The atmosphere is fun, kid friendly, great for groups, and is a hot spot for foodies.

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Aesthetically it visually looks great inside and out. The natural elements make it beautiful.  I love the big, bright floor to ceiling windows,which brings in natural light. for a naturally lit space.  The industrial lighting fixtures give it a rustic industrial feel.  I especially love the huge Douglas fir wood beams hanging from the ceilings.Its so warm and cozy, yet spacious at the same time.

The light bulbs hanging from the ceiling are trendy, and give the room a nice soft light.

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Luckily we made reservations as the space was JAM packed. Buzzing with families, corporate crowds, couples, and groups of  friends.I love that you can fine dine and feel like you are downtown but comfortable enough that you can bring your family.There is also a private room you can reserve for business meetings or private parties.

Origin North is tapas style restaurant, meaning  your dishes are meant to be shared. Giving you a chance to taste more dishes, leaving you feeling satisfied, without feeling full or bloated.

We were greeted at the door by 2 polite and friendly hostesses.  One brought us to our table immediately,  despite how busy it was. We were handed a kids menu and crayons. The fact that they have a kids menu that kids can colour on is great. Anyone with kids knows how critical this is when dining out! Claudio’s daughter added a personal touch to the kids menu. Very cute!

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Our server Hugo was very knowledgeable, fun, polite, efficient, and came with a side of enthusiasm! He was very attentive and provided us with a memorable experience.

I started with a drink that was recommended by Hugo.I don’t remember what the drink was called or exactly what was in it,  but it was delicious and refreshing. I tasted lime, jalapeños, alcohol,  a couple of other ingredients that i’m not sure of. The jalapeños gave it a nice kick, they also aid in digestion. Great to have prior to your meal. Bottoms up!

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I ordered the Lobster Seviche with coconut, yuzu, popcorn and plantain from the raw bar. I liked the combination of these ingredients! Wow! Do the flavours ever pop in your mouth! This was one of the most creative and tasty dishes there. The crunch from the plantain and popcorn really compliment the lobster and the yuzu. Yuzu, which is commonly know as the Japanese grapefruit,  is loaded with Viatmin C and phenolic compounds.

Would order this again and again.

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Ordered the Baby Kale and Quinoa salad. I could seriously eat a whole bowl of this stuff. Ah-mazing! So delicious, and healthy, my body wanted more.  I love how it’s topped with dinosaur kale chips! Gave the salad a nice crunch.The quinoa gave it some depth. This is not just a salad, this was a super salad. The kalamata olives and the sherry onions bring life to the salad. Absolutely delicious.

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Salad with superfood benefits? Absolutely! This salad doesn’t just look pretty, quinoa is a pretty amazing food.It contains all the amino acids, which makes it a complete protein.  Quinoa is also loaded with protein, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, and  lysine.Clean burning, plant based protein is what you get.

Kale is so nutrient dense.  It’s Brain food. Kale contains:  Vitamin K, Vitamin A, a load of calcium, phytonutrients and trace minerals. Can I order another one of these please? Super sized?!

The Thai curried shrimp with Naan was out of  this world! I almost licked the cute little cast iron bowl it gets served in!

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I’m not a big fan of gluten,  but naan just tastes so damn good with this dish. You don’t have to eat the whole piece of naan..a little goes a long way. However, the highlight of this dish was the Thai Curried Shrimp and sauce that comes with it.

Curry makes dishes taste quite flavourful and is beneficial for your health too! Turmeric the primary ingredient in curry is responsible for many of the dishes health benefits. Turmeric is a anti-inflammatory, boosts immunity, eases digestion, helps burn fat, reduces risk of cancer, and reduces risk of dementia. The shrimp are a concentrated source of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient called astaxanthin, and is an excellent source of selenium.

Would love to see this dish tossed into gluten free noodles. That would taste amazing! Take out anyone? They do have dine and dash available, if you are wondering!

Ok, I’ve tried duck once in the past,  it tasted a little too gamey for my liking. Not a big fan.My husband encouraged me to order the chinois duck wrap ,  he said I may be pleasantly surprised, and claims that if duck is cooked right,  it will taste amazing…. and boy did it ever! Crispy on the outside and juicy and flavourful on the inside, and the sriracha made this taste oh so lovely. Lets’s just say we had to fight over the last one!

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Duck is very high in protein and minerals such as selenium, phosphorous, zinc, iron, copper, and sodium. Vitamins riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, b6 and b12, are in abundance. Over half the total fat content is mono saturated and polyunsaturated. It is thought to be better than the fat of beef as the fat solidifies at a much lower temperature. It behaves more like olive oil. So it’s considered more of a healthy fat than beef.

We were really excited for the in house nitrogen ice cream that was made table side. I don’t eat much dairy, but this I had to see and try of course.  What an awesome experience! Fun for kids! It’s like having a little science experiment at your table. You’ll have to experience it for yourself. It’s pretty cool.

Within minutes we were eating an array of flavours with the most delicious maple ice-cream you have ever tried, made fresh to order. The crunch from the toppings, and creaminess of the ice-cream work so well together.

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This photo shows the toppings that came with the Northern Storm ( nitrogen ice cream).  Candied orange slices, freeze dried blueberries, toffee, & fruit sauce, to name a few ingredients. The photo didn’t turn out too well, it was evening at this point and the lighting was dim.

Here’s my daughter having a great time at Origin North.

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I smile for ice cream! There was enough for the three of us to share. It is meant for two, but throw a kid in the mix and it works. More than enough to go around.

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I am definitely heading back to Origin North soon.  Excited to try more beautiful, creative, and flavourful dishes.I love tapas style cuisine. It’s sophisticated and is designed to encourage conversation, and enjoy a meal together as opposed to focusing on the meal in front of you.

Origin North serves some unique, healthy, fresh, delicious food. You can dine here and eat relatively healthy and the freshness and quality of the food is totally worth it! 

Please stay tuned for my next blog post! I will be interviewing Chef Claudio Aprile owner of Origin, Origin North and Masterchef Canada judge. He will give us the scoop on his inspiration behind his restaurants, his favourite ingredients, Masterchef Canada, & much much more.  

Up on the blog soon!

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ClaudioAprile_F_m-2With Love and Gratitude,

Laura xo