Me and my best friend have been eyeing Origin North at Bayview and Sheppard for a couple weeks now, and proceeding a whole week without seeing each other (Gasp!), we decided to try it out. We made a reservation just in case, even though the restaurant was fairly empty when we went Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere was lovely, very modern yet with a rustic edge; we both commented how it reminded us of Joey's (which is one of our favourites). It had that sort of charcoal grey and wood colour scheme going on which I personally love. :)
As for the food, we decided to order a couple things and split each one rather than our usual split appetizer and entree each. This is what we tried:
Chorizo Fries, 12$ These were alright, however the chorizo and olives (we guessed?) proved to be too heavy of a combo in combination with the mayo on top. They were also quite salty, as we both needed a gulp of water every couple bites.
Fiore di Latte, 17$ I somewhat liked this dish, but it was an acquired taste.. the more bites I took, the more I liked it. However, my friend did not, and I must agree that the eggplant and pepper mixture was very sweet, perhaps overwhelmingly so. However, the cheese was absolutely fantastic and the bread was perfectly crispy on the outside yet soft inside! Next time I definitely want to try another dish from the Mozzarella Bar.
Calamari, 15$ THIS WAS HORRIBLE! Neither of us enjoyed this at the last, and the only reason we came even somewhat close to finishing it was because we were trying to decipher what the odd taste was! On the menu, the dish is described as "Crispy calamari + caramelized peanut sauce + shredded veg", however the only "vegetables" included were mango and pineapple (to our knowledge). The sauce had an awful aftertaste, almost bitter. Overall, this dish was by far the worst and I would NOT recommend it.
Origin Beef Burger, 17$ I forgot to take a picture but it was delicious! Probably our favourite of the night! The beef was perfectly cooked and so juicy, while the avocado wasn't overabundant and the arugula provided a nice crispy edge. The bun was very fresh and yummy too :) Maybe not the VERY BEST burger I've ever had, but definitely delicious and a must-try in my opinion!
Walnut Doughnut, 9$ My personal favourite of the night! Considering I have a huuge sweet tooth, I couldn't resist the sound of caramel, soft serve and warm doughnut. Thankfully, it didn't disappoint! The doughnut was very fresh and airy, not too heavy at all! The walnuts, caramel and whipping cream were lovely together and the soft doughnut soaked them up nicely (as weird as that sounds). The ice cream was decent, nothing spectacular, but was a nice pairing with the doughnut which had enough layers already. :) I would definitely try this guy for one of the safer options Origin offers!
All in all, Origin was a slight disappointment. Some of the dishes just had TOO many flavours and we both got the feeling they were perhaps trying a little too hard to please. Thus, the SIMPLEST dishes of the night were actually our favourites (the burger and the doughnut). The service was very mediocre; nothing too special, but nothing to complain about. The staff did seem fairly knowledgable of the food they served though, which is always a bonus if you're unsure of what to order!
Overall, I would sadly give Origin a pass. While it was fun trying out new flavours (some of which I'd never experienced before), I definitely think they failed on the simplest front; providing plain ol' GOOD food you'd come back to time and time again!
P.S Did I mention Origin didn't have Caesars (otherwise known as both mine and my best friend's FAVOURITE drinks ever)?!?! The horror...........