Final meal at Marben, Toronto

I am very disappointed to have to write this review but I think in light of the situation, I need to stand up for what I believe! Marben has a special place in my heart but all feelings aside, Notes on a Meal readers deserve my honesty. A few months ago, my fellow diner and myself received a meal that was a little off (a.k.a. expired to the point of stomach malfunction). It was a very unfortunate accident and it was forgiven and forgotten due to the numerous outstanding meals I had enjoyed there previously.

However, after very much deliberation and a lot of self convincing I returned to this eclectic restaurant to allow them to redeem themselves from their previous mistakes. My fellow diners and I were treated like royalty by the kitchen and we enjoyed them cooking specifically for us. For starters we had a very cool asparagus soup served with a dollop of sour cream and minuscule croutons. The flavour was incredible showcasing their beautiful fresh asparagus and only subtly seasoned with a hint of tarragon. Their charcuterie platter was next. Since the kitchen had a lot of wild boar on hand, we got to taste this ingredient in many distinct and extremely flavourful forms. Following this were a shaved asparagus salad served with an amazing fresh cheese and a testina dish (pig’s skin cooked slowly over a very long period of time… my explanation doesn’t do it justice but the protein is very interesting) served over soft polenta. Moving on to our mains, we had the famous and still mouthwatering Marben burger and the duck breast. Finally, in order to complete our meal, an assorted dessert platter was brought to our table. A warm apple pudding served with a giant spoonfull of fairly bland bailey’s caramel mascarpone cheese and their token super chocolatey ice cream sandwich. The meal was great until maybe an hour later when things began going array. To spare you of any details, I’ll just say that my dining team and I lost an outstanding amount of weight in the 24 hours following this dinner. Yes, it’s true, lightning does strike twice and you can get super sick two times in a row eating at the same restaurant.

I hope I have the world’s worst luck when it comes to this and that I’m the only diner experiencing this phenomenon at Marben. I have had very many wonderful meals there and it’s unfortunate that this is how our relationship needs to end but this restaurant can’t redeem itself any more. I wish them all the luck in the world and hope they return to the same calibre of food their were serving their patrons a year ago, before food poisoning was on the menu.

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