Since opening its doors in September 2015, Fring’s has been a well-known hotspot for locals. Featured in BlogTO, Narcity, Toronto Life and even international news sites, Fring’s brings a hip vibe to the restaurant industry, yet keeps it upscale.
Located on 455 King St. W (King & Spadina) in Toronto, this establishment stirred a lot of excitement in the city when it was first announced. What spurred the enthusiasm was the mere fact that it was owned by Susur Lee, his sons Levi and Kai, Toronto rapper, Drake and Drake’s business partner, Angelo Ferraro.
Although it has been said that Drake had little to do with the restaurant, there are visuals around the establishment that are indeed inspired by his career and persona. For example, the entrance boasts a bright neon sign with the words “6 on a wave” (in emoji symbols) which is a reference to one of Drake’s songs and “6” being Toronto’s nickname. Around the corner from the sign, the restroom doors are labeled as “6 God” and “6 Goddess” which are Drake references as well.
The entrance allows patrons to walk in one of two directions – downstairs to a private dining area, which is available as a rental for events, or upstairs to the main dining room to be greeted by a warm and friendly hostess.
Side note: During the first six months after opening, four to five months advance booking was required for a reservation. Currently, reservations can be made with approximately a week’s advance notice. However, it should be noted that there is a two-hour limit for each stay.
The dining area has a mellow, lounge-like vibe that features black leather, chandeliers, dark brick walls, and dark grey furry-backed chairs. The room is set up with a long bar in the middle and booths around the perimeter. Hanging red lights are dimly lit and there is candlelight on the tables. The music is at a reasonable volume during meal times on most days except for Wednesday evenings when there is a live performance.
This is the type of restaurant the average person will save for special occasions, especially if ‘average’ means a student or young adult that potentially views the menu prices as leaning toward the high side. For professionals or mature diners with a bigger budget, the menu likely falls in line with what you would expect from chain restaurants like Moxie’s, Milestones or perhaps Jack Astor’s.
For review purposes, our four diners ordered and shared a variety of dishes in order to get a broad feel for the menu. This approach broke down as $50 per person, which included six dishes (3 starters and 3 mains), an alcoholic beverage, tax, and gratuity.
The evening began with guacamole ($12). Although the plate was short on chips for dipping, the guac was fantastic and featured olive crumble, tomatillo salsa and coriander seedlings. It all paired perfectly for a great taste. Next up was a small but stuffed bucket of truffle fries ($20). These were topped with parmesan and fresh black truffle. They are a definite must-try if you plan to visit Fring’s, but be warned that you might want an order all to yourself. The third and final starter were crab cakes ($18), topped with black garlic purée, brie, and seasonings. For my personal taste, these were a bit too fishy which effectively overpowered the toppings.
Main dishes were brought to the table next, including Singaporean chicken satay ($16), Fried Chicken and Waffles ($26), and Eggplant Parmesan ($18). The satays came on three skewers with a side of peanut sauce, mango salsa and Cala Mansi. They were perfectly seasoned and spiced and absolutely delicious, with or without the peanut sauce. Though chicken and waffles seems like a strange combination, it’s entirely tasty. Fring’s does this dish as southern-spiced maple fried chicken on top of a Hong Kong style waffle glazed with spicy maple syrup. This is crispy, crunchy fun in an explosion of flavour.
Finally, the eggplant parmesan ($18) was served, with flavours of ricotta, mozzarella, pomodoro, bread crumbs and pesto all alive on this dish. This truly was a rich and filling experience and every bite was delicious.
As for alcoholic beverages, Fring’s selection of wines ranged from $11-21 by the glass and $55-725 by the bottle. Most of their signature cocktails are priced at $18.
Fring’s is restaurant that every Toronto native or tourist should visit at least once. The menu features a nice variety of dishes and the upscale ambiance is hip and beautiful. There are Instagrammable picture opportunities everywhere you turn and, who knows… you might even get lucky enough to spot the one and only Drake!
Note: All prices are in Canadian dollars.
Photos from Fring’s Website