TORONTO — Planta Queen has opened in Toronto, offering 100-per-cent plant-based Asian cuisine.
The 7,000-sq.-ft., 160-seat restaurant is the fourth restaurant to open under the Planta brand, which got its start when Steven Salm, president and founder of Chase Hospitality Group, partnered with chef David Lee to create Planta Yorkville in 2016. Planta Burger followed in 2017 and, in 2018, Salm and Lee partnered with Miami-based hospitality entrepreneur David Grutman for the opening of Planta South Beach. Planta Queen is the latest collaboration between Salm, Lee and Grutman.
“Our ultimate goal is to apply the plant-based approach to all types of cuisine, breaking the upscale-restaurant mold wide open and offering more choice to diners,” says Salm. “We are very proud to introduce Planta Queen, which offers an incredible experience inspired by authentic Asian cuisine. Chef David Lee continues to inspire me every day with his respect and approach towards menu innovation.”
The restaurant’s menu features new plant-based takes on chef Lee’s favourite dishes from across Asia. Offerings including a variety of dumplings; nigiri and maki rolls; Ssam lettuce cups with walnut bulgogi, lettuce, white kimchi and cucumber; dan dan Hakka noodles with gai lan, pickles, coconut milk and kamut; and forbidden-rice pudding with mango, coconut milk and vanilla ice cream.
“Devising the menu for Planta Queen has been a personal labour of love,” says Lee. “I am delighted to feature Asian dishes that are so personally familiar to me in a 100-per-cent plant-based creation. Our goal is to demonstrate to everyone that you can enjoy an exceptional and sustainable meal without the use of any animal products.”
The restaurant’s design — created by Toronto-based interior-design firm Nivek Remas — is inspired by traditional Chinese courtyards and architectural gems found throughout Asia. The bar and lounge features a series of copper mesh chandeliers, green velvet banquettes and a large polished marble bar. The a loggia featuring exposed brick and intricate metal archways opens into the grand dining room, which boasts hand-painted dragon murals by artist Candice Kaye.