When Zomato treated us to a complimentary meal at Hot House, we instantly made plans to check out their much-talked-about, all-you-can-eat brunch. Unfortunately, the stars misaligned and we found ourselves there for lunch. (All the more reason to pay another visit?)
Left to right: Lemongrass Sambal Shrimp ($14), Truffled Crostini ($11)
After a warm welcome, we were seated against a window overlooking an even warmer Torontonian day. To quench our thirst, we ordered the
Tennessee Teapot ($12), a strange concoction containing Jack and tea. It arrived in a teapot filled with ice and accompanied by a sweet syrup which was then combined to create the cocktail. It tasted much like its namesake – like a sweeter, watered down Jack.
Tennessee Teapot ($12)
Next up, we decided to sample their Lemongrass Sambal Shrimp ($14) and Truffled Crostini ($11). The lemongrass shrimp was expected in its taste but unexpected in its execution. After a measly three pieces of marinated tiger shrimp, the remainder of the dish was composed of the type of shrimp crackers you'd find on a supermarket's shelves. The Crostini was made of cremini and porchini mushrooms, sauteed with shallots, thyme, and truffle oil. The combination of mushrooms, asiago cheese, and garlic crostini resulted in a very mushroom-heavy dish, lacking a freshness that could have cut through the richness.
Penne Alla Sambuca ($13 at Lunch, $19 at Dinner)
Our main, the Penne Alla Sambuca ($13 at lunch, $19 at dinner) was a fulfilling dish made of pancetta bacon, chicken breast, diced tomatoes, snow peas, peppers, and creamy tomato sambuca sauce. One of the more popular menu items, the pasta almost had a homemade feel--the flavours were fresh worked harmoniously.
Eating at Hot House leaves just a little more to be desired. Although the food was fresh (minus the imfamous shrimp crackers) and the meal was satisfying, the comfort food remains firmly in 'average' category, right between Hot Stuff and Hot Mess. Here's to hoping their buffet is something to write home about.