I’m overly cautious when I enter a theatrical and stunning chain restaurant. I find these places tend to spend their money on decor instead of investing in a talented chef. Well, unfortunately, Chatto Matte at 1664 Lennox Avenue is no exception.

Disneyesque grandeur, eye-popping, Amazon, jungle feel, with palm trees, volcanoes, and dark glass walls. The centerpiece, a large square bar in the middle of the room, with an atrium ceiling and skylight, that I hear is retractable, but I did not see it in action. Various food stations, like a sushi bar, robata grill, and barbecue. Beautiful colourful murals adorn the walls.

Nine page menus scare me, how can you perfect food with all these choices? The menu highlights many of their favourites, so we tended to go with those. The presentations were lovely as you can see in my photos. But, there was not one standout dish that I can say was memorable. In fact, the food was all mediocre. From the awful guacamole to the sour and acidic sauces on the ceviches and sashimi. The only thing I enjoyed was the scallop sashimi, as it tasted sweet, fresh and came unadorned without any sour, tangy, burning accompaniment. The food came out too quickly, with no chance to digest. The sushi rolls had more rice than fish, and I could go on.

Despite my opinion, the place was packed with 20-30 somethings, who obviously were oblivious to the average food, and loud music. It has become a hot spot despite all this. Do I sound like a food snob? Probably, but when I want to spend hard earned money, I want more than mediocre, or respectable, I want to enjoy my culinary journey from beginning to end. I don’t need to be dazzled with theatrics, but I want to enjoy dynamic flavours, and quality ingredients.

Happy dining,

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