Zee Grill (Toronto)

Phebe’s Zee Grill is one of the oldest seafood restaurants in Toronto and just happens to be down the street from me, so I’ve had my eye on going there for some time. The space is nice, with exposed brick walls and lots of dark wood. It’s a little on the dim side, though luckily we were seated right under a skylight so my pictures turned out well.

Zee Grill - Calamari

We got two appetizers to split. The first was the plancha grilled calamari with rocket and tomato jalapeno salsa. The calamari was nicely cooked and seasoned – not rubbery at all. The tomato salsa and peppery rocket went with it well.

Zee Grill - Crab Cakes

The other appetizer was BC Dungeness Crab Cakes with corn relish, sambal aioli, and some pickled white radish. The crab cakes were tasty, but very small! Each one wasn’t much more than a bite.

Zee Grill - Half lobster with chips

My boyfriend got the half-lobster which came with kettle chips and fresh greens (though he asked them to forgo the greens). He enjoyed the lobster but found the dish very small and not particularly filling. I thought it was a bit weird that it came with chips.

Zee Grill - Jambalaya

I got jambalaya for my meal. It looked great and was packed full of mussels, calamari, shrimp, chicken, and sausage. It also had a lot of really nice okra. Unfortunately, the very first mussel I ate was off. Though I did try a couple more and they were fine, that sort of put me off the shellfish and I ended up eating around most of it. Aside from that one mussel the dish was decent, though not spicy enough. They brought a side of spicy sauce to add and though I added all of it, I still found it a bit mild.

Zee Grill - Creme Caramel

For dessert my boyfriend got the creme caramel which came with a warm caramel sauce. He liked this, and the bite I had was very good.

Zee Grill - Lemon Meringue Ice Cream with raspberry coulis

My dessert was a lemon meringue ice cream sandwich with raspberry coulis and honey. This was amazing. I’m not even a huge fan of meringue but the tartness of the lemon ice cream and raspberry sauce really worked with it. It had all the textures covered –  crunchy, creamy, gooey, smooth – and was so well balanced. This was a good thing to end on.

Overall, Zee Grill was a bit of a mixed bag. The majority of the food was good, my dessert was great, the servers were timely and personable, and I had a nice time. However, some of the portions were a bit small and even one bad mussel has a way of ruining everything. If I were to go back in the future, I’d probably avoid the shellfish which, to be honest, I’m not even that big a fan of anyway.

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