I recently dined at a new steak and seafood restaurant located at 77 Portland Street in Toronto. It was previously Shook Kitchen, a really fun and casual Mediterranean spot by Hanif Harji. For some reason, he decided to change the concept entirely, and I must say it was an experience like no other. From the moment you step inside Maxime’s, and walk down the corridor of arched lighting, you are transported into a world of theatrical ambiance with immersive lighting, disco beats, and flashy dry ice effects that promises a memorable night. However, when it came to the food, I found it to be much ado about nothing.

The restaurant’s presentations are undoubtedly top-notch, and a lot of effort was put into changing the room into a visually stunning atmosphere.

The menu offered an array of steak and seafood options, but despite the promising descriptions, the taste of the dishes failed to leave a lasting impression. The salmon crudo tasted like smoked salmon on a bed of yogurt. The rock shrimp were too heavily battered and the fish was decent. But when dining at a high-end restaurant you should expect better flavours, less salt, and better service. Our Baked Alaska banana fosters was the best thing we ate that evening. I had high hopes for a culinary adventure that would match the restaurant’s dramatic flair, but it fell short of my expectations. It appears that the emphasis here is more on appearance than substance, which I am finding more often than not in many Toronto establishments. Come on Toronto, we can do better than this.

The same goes for the bar. I can only speak of my cocktail, which was served with flair and dry ice, but it wasn’t that tasty if I’m being honest.

While the restaurant wasn’t terrible by any means, it left much to be desired in terms of flavour and memorability. If you’re looking for a restaurant to impress visually, this place may be worth a visit. If you are expecting cuisine that matches the theatricality, you might explore other options in Toronto’s vibrant dining scene.

Happy dining,



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