In the heart of Toronto’s beloved historic Distillery District is Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill. Elliott took me here on one of our very first dates and then we came back here on our anniversary. It’s such a nice little sweet spot, with such a rustic historic feel from when you walk through Distillery District right up until you get seated at your table.
What intrigued us the most was that they had a selection of oysters to try. Pure Spirits may not have the most expansive list of oysters to try, or the most exotic, or even the best, but what they do have on offer is a wide variety of menu items from different cultures. I also do like that they stock my favourite oyster – the Kumamoto from Washington. It may look small, but it is packed full of flavour. If Pure Spirits decides not to stock this oyster anymore, I will be deeply devastated. The Malpeque from PEI is also a nice tasting oyster which has a lighter flavour and is usually bigger. I often find various restaurants in Toronto will stock the Malpeque so it’s kind of become the common classic oyster I will find myself devouring on. Pure Spirits offers their own oyster sauces too, but nothing too out of this world. The oysters are always fresh tasting.
Next, we ordered the Mussels in Malaysian Laksa broth. Oh gosh, I love this. Being from a Malaysian background myself, I find that I often drool over anything even with the slightest hint of the taste of Malaysian food. This broth wasn’t exactly a real laksa broth but it was pretty good to me. It was creamy and I could taste the shrimp paste. The mussels were well cooked and packed of flavour. I found myself more concerned in slurping all the the broth than enjoying the mussels though. I just couldn’t get enough!
With all this soup in me by this point, I was already full and satisfied. But we had already ordered the paella and the salmon as our mains. The salmon was well cooked but the paella was very tasty. I was disappointed that I couldn’t finish it! I must say, it was too good to leave behind.
Pure Spirits is on the pricey side but what restaurant isn’t at Distillery District? You come hear for an experience more than anything and I sure did get an enjoyable experience on both times I ventured out here. Pure Spirits have definitely made my visits memorable.
mildly fruity and sweet, slight mineral taste, buttery texture, great for beginners
Fanny Bay, BC
flavour is smooth, creamy with a cucumber finish
perfectly balanced with sweetness and brine, pickle like liveliness
malaysian laksa broth $15
wild lime leaves and coconut cream
crisp skinned pacific salmon $27
lyonnaise potato, green peas basil and orange compound butter
black cod and dungeness crab paella $33
cured portuguese chourico bay scallops, squid