Acer Restaurant Toronto Airport
I love airports!
Now, I realise I may be very alone in feeling this way – Airports can be stressful and sad places. Saying goodbye to my family in Australia and using LAX as a layover to Canada manages to hit peak stress and sadness in one trip!
But my average trip to an airport is something I really enjoy. Using Sydney airport frequently as an adult, I could get a good meal and drink there, do some shopping for new bikinis, and even get a massage and a blow dry if I wanted to. Compare this to LAX, and you can see why some people don’t like airports…
Pearson International Airport in Toronto has been a mixed experience in the past. Redevelopments and the addition of free high speed wifi throughout the terminals has considerably improved this experience.
Recently, we were at Terminal 3 to fly on Cathay Pacific to Chiang Mai, Thailand, via a quick layover in Hong Kong.
We’ve missed flights from Pearson before, not because of our own tardiness, but because North Nomad was pulled over for secondary checks by the United States pre-clearance (for our non Canadian or American readers : in Canada, you do U.S. customs BEFORE you arrive in America. It’s convenient for the U.S. customs and no one traveling from Canada).
As a consequence, we sat in customs for perhaps 4 hours waiting to be spoken to? Naturally we missed our flight, and I like to get to airports insanely early after this incident.
I was determined to get to Terminal 3 super early to avoid issues, and we arrived with about 4.5 hours to spare. Even our cab driver thought this was a little odd.
Luckily, Terminal 3 has a really fantastic restaurant and bar, Acer, located after the security at the departures level.
Acer is a modern Japanese restaurant, nestled right near the Cathay Pacific gateway. It was very convenient; right next to our departure gate.
Every seat has an Acer tablet with high speed wifi access. In terms of airport entertainment, these things are crucial. It’s also aesthetically pleasing at Pearson, with nice ergonomic chairs.
And, most importantly to our journeys with North Nomad and I being polar opposites, it caters to every diet you could imagine. “Enjoy your choice of products that cater to every lifestyle, including organic, vegan, Kosher, Halal, all-natural, no-sugar, gluten-free, heart healthy and other distinctive choices,” Acer states.
The menu was created by Toronto chef Guy Rubino, and you access it and order via the tablets at your seats. It has a wide variety of dishes focusing on fresh and healthy food, including Butterfish sushi, tuna carpaccio, vegetarian curry rice bowl or shrimp dumplings with udon noodles.
I order the Spicy Edamame and the Vegetarian Curry, with a Coke Zero and a Steam Whistle Pilsner. North Nomad ordered the Salmon Sake, the Korean Style Short Ribs, and a Coca Cola.
The waitress arrives almost instantly to tell us that he chef just took his dinner break and there may be a short delay. We don’t mind at all, we’d seen the chef leave as we sat down and had expected this would be the case, so we just have our drinks and do last minute email responding (and phone cancelling, which turned out to be a huge hassle for me that took weeks!).
When the meals do arrive, we accidentally receive another patron’s meal. We don’t notice until North Nomad takes a photo of his chicken skewers, then realises he didn’t actually order teriyaki chicken. The meals are quickly removed, and about 15 minutes later ours arrive.
North Nomads salmon sake arrives. It’s a small portion, but he reports that it’s delicious. On reflection, we should have ordered him two servings. He’s picky about food, and appreciates finely cut salmon. He’s happy with his ribs, too, which come in a more generous main sized serving. Though, they would have gone nicely with the rice and we didn’t think to order it as a side. Rice that comes with every meal is something we’ve come to take for granted in South East Asia.
My meal arrives, the vegetarian curry with rice. It’s a tasty vegetable and tofu green curry, that’s vegan friendly with its lack of dairy. The seasonal vegetables include zucchini, carrots, squash, eggplant, and some small choy. I probably would have considered it spicy then (or “phet” as it’s said here in Thailand), but after almost two months of spicy South East Asian food, my ideas of hot has changed!
There was no edamame available, so I just stuck with the curry. The meal comes in at just under $65, which is expensive, but such is airport food. It was a delicious meal, filling, and a very relaxing wait for our plane.
Pearson website: http://www.torontopearson.com/index.aspx#
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 4 a.m. – last flight
Contact Details: (t) 1-866-508-3558
Cost: $64.96, incl tax, but not tip.