Cactus Club Cafe originates from Vancouver and has locations all over British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Led by Iron Chef champion Rob Feenie, the menu items are globally inspired, with a focus on using fresh and sustainable ingredients . Working in downtown Toronto, I’ve walked by the Bay and Adelaide almost daily and have noticed the construction at this spot for almost a year. It doesn’t surprise me now that construction took that long; the space is absolutely beautiful and well thought out.
The Toronto flagship restaurant is located in First Canadian Place and occupies over 15,200 square feet and boasts three distinct dining concepts with seating for 500 people under one roof: Kate’s Bar, the Rob Feenie Dining Room and Lounge, and The Deck (rooftop patio).
Kate’s Bar is a cozy space on the ground floor connected to the patio on Adelaide St. It is affectionately named after the Kate Moss art that hangs on the wall.
The Rob Feenie Dining Room and Lounge is located on the second floor. The lounge features a large bar in the center with comfortable booths on the sides of the room. The dining room seats over 100 people and can be booked for private functions.
We took the glass elevator up to The Deck and was in awe of what we saw. The rooftop patio on the 3rd floor was spacious, cozy and heated. The biggest feature was the retractable roof which also melts snow, making it usable for every season, even duringToronto’s cold winters. The patio also has its own kitchen and bar which will have a dedicated menu.
On to the food! We were fortunate to sample some of Cactus Club Cafe’s dishes, all of which we were quite impressed with.
First up was the tuna tataki (left). The seared tuna was seared beautifully, topped with a yuzu vinaigrette which added a light citrus flavour to the albacore. The overall dish however was slightly underseasoned. 3.5/5. The yellow curry lamb pops (right) were perfectly grilled and topped with a refreshing mango mint chutney. The lamb was juicy and tender, and the curry spice didn’t overtake the lamb. 4/5.
The double braised shortrib pictured in the front (left) was soft and flavourful, and was paired with a unique celeriac (celery root) puree. 4/5. This crispy chicken sandwich (right) was so juicy and the panko batter was not too thick. The panko crust also had a slice spice to it. 4/5
Szechuan chicken lettuce wrap (left) – the peanuts added a nice crunch, but there was too much Korean chili sauce and covered up all the components in the wrap. 3/5. Butternut squash ravioli with truffle butter sauce (right) – Yum! This was melt in your mouth good and the aroma of the truffle brought it to the next level. 4.5/5.
Cactus Club also has an excellent cocktail selection and is reasonably priced. The Cohiba was the highlight with vodka, fresh blackberries, lemon and soda. The Brazilian had a great texture with fresh kiwi but was overly sweet. 4/5
The signature bellini – made with peach schnapps, champagne, white rum and sangria. It was not too sweet and the rum & sangria gave it a fuller taste. Will definitely be back for this one! 4/5.
The restaurant will be open as of October 27 at 5pm! We’re really hoping that the quality stays after they open, but for now it’ll be my first choice for lunch or drinks in the financial district.