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What’s on the menu at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant on King West with a tequila lounge and scorpion-garnished cocktails

Edible, mezcal-infused scorpions, of course

By Alex Cyr| Photography by Joshua Best
What’s on the menu at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant on King West with a tequila lounge and scorpion-garnished cocktails

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Name: Silent H Contact: 461 King St. W., 416-900-3535, silenth.ca, @silenth.to
Neighbourhood: King West
Previously: Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! Owners: Patrick Marzouk and Nader Marzouk Chef: Gerardo Álvarez Saucedo Accessibility: Not fully accessible (the washroom is in the basement, down a flight of stairs)   In 2022, brothers Patrick and Nader Marzouk had an idea to open a high-end Mexican restaurant downtown. They envisioned an establishment that would stand out from the conventional Mexican culinary scene in Canada, which seemed dominated by taquerias, food trucks and Chipotle-style takeout counters. There was just one problem: they didn’t have a chef.

A spread of dishes at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant and tequila lounge on King Street West in Toronto, Ontario

So they put the call out to their network, and one of their friends soon connected them with the best Mexican chef he knew: Gerardo Álvarez Saucedo, a 29-year-old culinary specialist from Monterrey. Although he lacked a restaurant, Saucedo maintained a repertoire of recipes, stored in his phone notes and inspired by years of family cook-offs between his six aunts. The Marzouks reached out with their business idea and asked Saucedo to share his recipes with them. A quick copy and paste later, they flew him to Canada, and they were so impressed with his cooking that they hired him as head chef. Two months after that, Silent H opened to the public.

The food

The menu of shareable plates features aguachile, tender rib-eye skewers, tuna tostadas, carnitas-filled flautas and Saucedo’s take on a whole grilled Cornish hen—but don’t expect to find a single food-truck-variety churro. “This isn’t American Mexican,” said Saucedo. “We’re here to give you the real experience.”

An order of tuna tostadas at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant on King Street West
The tostadas de atun (tuna tostadas), a popular starter, were inspired by Cancun’s seafood and vibrant street-cart culture. A tangy mountain of tuna cooked in confit garlic and fried red onions arrives on a corn tostada slathered in guacamole. $29

 

An order of cachetadas de rib eye and bone marrow at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant in Toronto
The cachetadas de rib-eye were inspired by Monterrey, where grilled dishes dominate. Cachetada means “slapped”: in this case, Saucedo smashes a corn tortilla onto a steaming grill, crusts it with a layer of cheese and then grills it with onions and tender rib-eye. He finishes the dish with some avocado, chives and lime juice. Tip: order the bone marrow as an extra-luxe topping. $37 (add bone marrow for another $14)

 

A closer look at Silent H's cachetadas and bone marrow
Here’s a closer look at the cachetadas with a spoonful of marrow.

 

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Rib eye skewers and tortillas for some DIY fun at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant in Toronto
These are the DIY espadas de rib-eye (rib-eye skewers). Take a tortilla, garnish it with guac, and use it to remove and swaddle a hunk of black chimichurri–seasoned beef. Saucedo likes that the process forces customers to eat with their hands. $44

 

Charred corn tortillas stuffed with black tiger shrimp, bacon and mozzarella at Silent H, a Mexican restaurant on King West
The Tacos Olvidados de Camarón—charred corn tortillas filled with black tiger shrimp, bacon and mozzarella, served with red house consommé—were a happy accident. Saucedo forgot a batch of tortillas on the grill while experimenting with recipes. He bit into the blackened shell anyway, only to realize that they tasted even better. Silent H regulars refer to them by their name’s English translation: “forgotten tacos.” $26

 

The sticky pear bread with a walnut crumble, served with vanilla gelato and salted caramel sauce, at Silent H, a Mexican restaurant in Toronto
The El Favorito de Papa is a revered Saucedo family dish. Saucedo’s father had six sisters, and on his birthday, each and every one of them baked him a cake. This one was his father’s favourite of the bunch: a sticky pear bread with a walnut crumble, served with vanilla gelato and salted caramel sauce. “My father has passed,” says Saucedo. “Putting this dish on the menu is my way of honouring him.”

 

A closer look at the sticky pear bread and ice cream dessert at Silent H, a Mexican restaurant in Toronto's King West neighbourhood
For best results, keep the pear bread and ice cream ratio at one to one
The drinks

There’s a short list of macro beers (Corona, Modelo, Stella, Michelob, Mill Street) and a surprisingly long wine list that includes a dozen by-the-glass options and a $1,000 bottle of champagne. The cocktails, conceived by Toronto mixologist Spencer Gooderham, include 15 signature creations and a house shot. Here are three of his most popular concoctions.

The Deserted in Durango, a tequila-and-mezcal cocktail at Silent H that's served with edible sand, a little scorpion and a succulent
Deserted in Durango—a refreshing glass of Patrón Reposado, mezcal, ancho reyes and tepache—piques the curiosity of the daring drinker. It comes served with a teeny scorpion imported from Thailand, infused with mezcal and sitting on a bed of edible sand. “It’s safe,” said Gooderham. “I’ve eaten hundreds of these.” $32

 

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The Oaxaca's Order cocktail at Silent H is an old fashioned with a Mexican twist
The Oaxaca’s Order—a mix of coconut-washed Patrón Añejo, smokey mezcal, agave syrup and mole bitters—is an old fashioned with a Mexican twist. It comes served on a grill over chai bitters and burning steel wool, which releases the chai aroma while putting on a show. $32

 

The Jungle Juice Cleanse cocktail at Silent H mixes Patron Silver with green Chartreuse, lime and ginger
The Jungle Juice Cleanse mixes Patrón Silver with green Chartreuse, lime and ginger. On the side: an oyster shell filled with pomegranate seeds for snacking. $32
The space

Golden arches lead to a moody booth-filled dining room on the main floor with a bar and live music. Downstairs is Aitch—the restaurant’s not-so-secret speakeasy and tequila lounge—where guests can enjoy another drink and some dancing. Outside, there are front and side terraces. “The idea is for customers to spend an entire evening with us,” says Nader, “from the appetizer to the late-night snack.”

An illuminated archway leads into the main dining room of Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant in Toronto
The main dining room and bar area at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant on King Street West in Toronto
A closer look at the bar at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant in Toronto
The moody, booth-filled main dining room at Silent H, a Mexican restaurant
Plush booth seating at Silent H, a new Mexican restaurant on King Street West in Toronto
Aitch, the downstairs tequila lounge at Silent H, a Mexican restaurant
The curtained doorway to Aitch, a tequila lounge at Silent H restaurant
The exterior and streetside patio tables at Silent H on King Street West

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