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The East Ender
1212 Queen St. E.,
Toronto, Ontario M4M 1L7

43.663150 -79.330990

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In spring 2012, chef Greg Argent and co-owner Hieu Nguyen opened an Asian-inflected comfort food spot in the space formerly occupied by Tomi-Kro on Queen East. It's a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, and the menu will appeal to many palates. The sides make or break most dishes. Smoky, peppery dry ribs arrive on a stack of excellently crunchy shoestring pork rinds, but supple sesame-crusted albacore tuna deserves better than a perfunctory mango slaw and wasabi peas. Mains are hugely portioned and sloppily plated, each accompanied by the same medley of glazed carrots, zucchini and bok choy. A satisfying braised Moroccan lamb shank sits on a fluffy pillow of couscous that's used to sop up every drop of a sweet honey- and cinnamon-enriched jus. Seared trout is overshadowed by its companions: nutty black rice, umami-loaded shiitake mushrooms and a lush soy-butter sauce. Desserts, like a wobbly vanilla bean panna cotta topped with flaccid oven-baked pineapple, are sad and unimaginative. Reasonably priced wines are available by the glass. The stripped-down decor—exposed brick walls, naked wood tables—makes an empty room feel even emptier on a Thursday night, and overly attentive staff interrupt the meal every three minutes.
The East Ender


Neighbourhood: Leslieville

Payment methods: Visa, MasterCard, Interac, Cash

Hours of Operation

Monday: Open from 5:00 PM until 9:30 PM
Tuesday: Open from 5:00 PM until 9:30 PM
Wednesday: Open from 5:00 PM until 9:30 PM
Thursday: Open from 5:00 PM until 9:30 PM
Friday: Open from 5:00 PM until 10:30 PM
Saturday: Open from 11:00 AM until 10:30 PM; but closed from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM
Sunday: Open from 11:00 AM until 9:30 PM; but closed from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM


Reader Reviews of The East Ender


Average user ratings (out of 10):


Interesting great food! Friendly staff by Mark from Toronto on 2013-12-30

Overall Rating: 10.0 (out of 10)
Food: 10  | Decor: 10  | Service: 10

"Excellent wines to choose from"

- Mark

The East Ender by Vicky from 1212 Queen St. East on 2013-04-25

Overall Rating: 8.3 (out of 10)
Food: 9  | Decor: 7  | Service: 9

"This place delivered one of the best meals I have ever had in Toronto. I was amazed that it wasn't busier, but just because a restaurant isn't bustling on a Wednesday night doesn't mean it should be disregarded. The Pork and Black Truffle Dumplings were a delicious start, and the baked Goat Cheese stuffed Beet salad was creamy and warmed us up on a rainy spring evening. Our mains were recommended by the owner who was informative and attentive, not overbearing. Considering the number of restaurants I've been to where the wait staff are non-existent for most of the night, I would rather have a waiter come to the table to ensure the customer is happy and refill the drinks, than disappear not to be seen again until the bill. The Alaskan Black Cod just melted in your mouth, buttery and sweet, it paired perfectly with the shitake mushrooms. The Quail and Gnocchi was fantastic, and I quite enjoyed the accompanying bok choy and glazed carrots that came with the mains. A truly wonderful experience overall and the prices, compared to restaurants of a similar quality, are great. Can't wait to go back! "

- Vicky

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