By Lori Bosworth and Sonja Cloutier
Torontonicity was invited to the Cabana Pool Bar Media Party on Wednesday, June 12 in anticipation of the official opening of the bar on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Charles Khabouth, reknown for his upscale Toronto restaurants and bars including Cube (formerly Ultra), La Société. Spice Route, Buonanotte and the Guvernment to name a few, has revamped the former Docks patio into a Miami-Vegas-styled luxe poolside lounge. Upon entering the 50,000 square foot patio, it’s clear this high end bar-patio is intent on providing an unsurpassed luxury experience and we would already proclaim that Cabana is one of the best patios in Toronto.
Upon arriving at the party, we were immediately greeted by a server offering us a guava mango cocktail, which my guest gladly tried. I requested a non-alcoholic version of the drink and our server quickly returned with a virgin cocktail., which was absolutely delicious and thirst quenching on what was a glorious afternoon. We decided to take a seat on two of the lounges by the pool. Little did we know that we were about to be treated to a parade of appetizers from Executive Chef Jamie Meireles of Oliver and Bonacini, Cabana Pool Bar’s culinary partner and sushi from EDO Restaurant. Our first appetizer was salmon sushi served with a piquant wasabi sauce. The salmon was undeniably fresh while the rice was firm: a very satisfying combination. We also sampled the shrimp sushi, which was equally good.
If you are a fan of Pad Thai, you’ll definitely want to try the Vegan Coconut Tomato Pad Thai, a non greasy, healthy version that will leave you feeling virtuous. Served in a take-out style carton, the portion is deceptively large and features tasty pieces of grilled tofu, bean sprouts, peanuts and scallions.
Next we sampled California rolls, which were perfectly executed and then we were served a delicate butter-ginger crusted salmon that turned out to be our second favourite appetizer of the afternoon. Our first favourite was the Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burgers, which are a must-have if you visit Cabana Pool Bar. As you bite down into the chicken, your taste buds will be amazed by sweet raisin jam countering the burger’s Tandoori spices.
The 12 draped cabanas seat anywhere from 8 to 14 people comfortably and have one of the best view’s of Ward’s Island and the City of Toronto skyline. At $2,500 per day, these cabanas provide the ultimate in relaxation. (If you order a minimum of $2,500 in food and drink, the fee will be waived.) You can while away hours while listening to lounge music with beats.
We sampled the cherry snapper taco with jalapeno, lime and cilantro, flavours which gave a pleasant kick to the mild fish. Our server then brought us a delicate scallop appetizer with diced vegetables in a glass. One of my favourite seafood dishes, the scallops were large and tender and accompanied by a delicate vegetable marinade.
I love Chef Meirles’s take on fruit salad. Super sweet watermelon was served with creamy cheese, tomatoes and radish. A refreshing and surprising twist that pleased the palate on this hot afternoon.
A woman gave into temptation and dipped into the pool, which is about 2.5 feet deep.
Lounge chairs at the bar entrance provide a spectacular view of Toronto.