If you love more adventurous, unique pasta, Shiso Tree Cafe is the place to go. There isn’t quite anything like this in the GTA and their lunch specials are very reasonably-priced if you’re a bit unsure about the premise.
Shiso Tree Cafe
Location: 3160 Steeles Ave E, Unit 1
Hours: Closed Mondays
Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday: 12pm to 9pm
Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 10pm
Price: $ (lunch) $$ (dinner)
Atmosphere: Bright and open
Service: Generally friendly
I won’t lie- I’ve been here quite a few times. Their food is unique and I can’t resist their lunch deals, though it isn’t often I’m able to go during that time.
Shiso Tree Cafe serves pasta with a Japanese twist. Their menu is divided into three sections: Wafu (fusion pasta), Tomato, and Cream/Rose sauces. All their pastas generally come with spaghetti and is cooked al dente, while some specials come with different types of pasta.
They also offer a few appetizers and salad combos, and have changing specials noted on their menu board. I have seen steak frites, seafood stews and off-menu pasta dishes make an appearance there.
They also serve creative fries combinations, which include Okonomiyaki, Nori, Bolognese, Tartar mayo, and now Japanese poutine. I’m not the biggest fan of fries, as I usually see it as the accompaniment to my ketchup, so I’m always happy to try new toppings (other than the traditional poutine).
Their desserts are worth a try if you have any room left; the green tea crème brûlée is good but the black sesame one is a definite stand-out. They also offer a wide selection of dainty cakes, all from Nakamura Bakery in the same plaza. If you’re planning to bring your own cake for a celebration, they do have a plating fee of $2 per person.
For dinnertime or all-day on weekends, their pastas range from $9 to $22, while fries range from $6 to $8 dollars for a plate. They also have salad sets, but I have yet to try them, as I’m usually craving the pasta.
Between my own orders and sampling my friends, I have tried the majority of the menu and concluded that is it definitely worth a visit if you’re in the mood to try something different.