When it comes to chain restaurants, JOEY's got all its bases covered: a crowd-pleasing menu, a contemporary atmosphere, and killer locations. After a recent shop-till-you-get-hungry session, we visited JOEY Yorkdale, located just outside (you guessed it) Yorkdale mall. Since crossing two locations off our list, it's clear that this ain't no run-of-the-mill chain restaurant.
First up on the docket: Japanese Gyozas ($12), JOEY's take on pork dumplings with hot mustard. Delicious, if not slightly salty if you find yourself downing an entire plate and then also attempting to siphon away the remaining hot mustard (which may or may not have happened). They're not the most authentic gyozas to exist, but this is still a chain restaurant after all.
Of course, we'd rather be at the beach, but we also didn't mind settling for JOEY's Beach Salad ($17.50): lettuce topped with a refreshing mix of grilled chicken breast, strawberries, goat cheese, quinoa, candied pecans, avocado, and lemon poppy seed dressing. It was incredible how well all these flavours work solo, let alone together, and attempting to get every element of the dish into each forkful was akin to playing Tetris.
It's hard to resist ending a meal with a dessert called Happy Ending ($4.50), so we didn't. Maybe not the happiest of endings for those with a sweet tooth, but a good option if you don't want the guilt eating you up at night for eating this boat-shaped pastry. Made of 70% dark chocolate, dulce de leche, and Maldon salt (aka crunchy English sea salt), it has a balance of slightly sweet and very salty that will satisfy whatever craving you have (infomercial over).
Like JOEY Eaton Centre, JOEY Yorkdale's versatility makes it home to practically any occasion, paired with the fact that the menu is filled with hits that wouldn't be amiss on the menus of any other restaurant of its calibre. Now, it just needs to follow the path of its chain restaurant siblings and open up on every block.