What’s on the menu at Mother Tongue, a new restaurant and cocktail bar inside the Templar Hotel

What’s on the menu at Mother Tongue, a new restaurant and cocktail bar inside the Templar Hotel

Name: Mother Tongue
Contact: 348 Adelaide St. W., 647-243-5858, mothertongue.ca, @mothertongue.to
Neighbourhood: King West
Previously: Parcae
Owner: Renee Turner (Turner Stevens Entertainment Group)
Chef: Francis Bermejo (Bar Buca)

The food

Modern Asian dishes with Spanish, Filipino and North American twists, like a longanisa sausage sandwich topped with manchego, and dumplings stuffed with confit duck and foie gras. A separate snack menu is available in the downstairs lounge, and a weekend brunch featuring a pork belly eggs Benny will start this fall.

Homemade pan de sal ($1.50 each), a chicken liver spread emulsified with foie gras ($7) and imported Iberico coppa ($12).


This off-menu rice dish is topped with a chunky house XO sauce. $5.


Warm Bitter Greens features rapini and mustard greens that have been flash fried in house XO sauce. $14.


Mussels are cooked in a coconut broth with lemongrass, cilantro and chili. $24


This P.E.I. flatiron steak and seared foie gras fried rice was influenced by a dish Bermejo ate from an airport vendor in Japan. $26.


The leche flan is an evaporated milk custard baked in a caramel sauce. $8.


General manager Rob Granicolo (left) and chef Francis Bermejo.


The drinks

Besides wine and beer, there’s a gin-and-tonic menu, and two different signature cocktail lists (one for each bar). Upstairs, Griffin Harbury (Ufficio) makes drinks to complement Bermejo’s food. Downstairs, general manager Robert Granicolo (Il Covo, Bar Buca) gets a bit more playful with cocktails that pay homage to Toronto nightclubs of yore (Tasmanian Ballroom, The Joker, The Big Bop).

The Kali (from the upstairs bar) is made with coconut oil-washed rum, a pineapple-calamansi shrub, charcoal, dry curacao and an achiote tincture. $14.


The Big Bop (from the downstairs bar) is made with Bulleit rye, Cynar, Guerra Rojo vermouth and Peychaud’s Bitters. $15.
The space

Each of the bar’s two floors has a different look. The colourful and brighter 46-seat main floor dining room features a semi-elevated extension and banquette seating. The lower level 44-seat cocktail bar is dim and moody, with padded ceilings inspired by jeepneys (converted jeeps that are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines).

Here’s the upstairs dining room and bar.


And again.


One more time.


Let’s go downstairs now.


This is the downstairs lounge.


Just in case you can’t read this, it says “Get A Room”.