Drake: rapper, ex-Degrassi star, deity of the 6ix, the Raptors’ biggest fan, OVO’s founder, our omnipresent champagne-papi, and now… restauranteur? Well, not quite.
It’s not exactly clear what Drake’s stake is in the latest Susur Lee restaurant venture, Fring’s. What is clear, however, is that Drizzy is a major fan of the celebrity chef – who has made appearances on Iron Chef and Top Chef: Masters – and of his latest opening especially. Rumours have swirled about Drake’s relationship with the restaurant, fuelled by Drizzy’s own Instagram posts. Fring’s is an incredibly popular spot to dine; getting a reservation can take upwards of three weeks.
The wait, however, is well worth it. Fring’s is the epitome of cool — in fact, it’s cooler than cool. The restaurant’s launch has been frequented by many of the hippest Toronto socialites, not to mention Jada Pinkett Smith and Serena Williams. While you likely won’t see any tennis superstars at Fring’s nowadays, you can count on seeing some of the most attractive, fashionable Torontonians.
Fring’s charm derives from its unique ambiance. You may not be lucky enough to be seated at one of the tables with two fuzzy thrones, but any table has enough pizazz to make you question whether you’re even worthy of the place. The Drake references are not easily missed; a trip downstairs will lead you to the neon sign that reads “6 ON A WAVE,” and the washrooms for “6gods” and “6goddesses.”
Fring’s has also developed a reputation for its music playlists. Those expecting to hear a loop of “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” will be pleasantly – or unpleasantly – surprised; any music played during your visit will be sure to have strong bass, a splash of hip-hop, and a variety of recognizable MC’s rhyming to the beat. The modern restaurant is shamelessly trendy, and that’s all it aims to be, in everything from the music, to the clientele, to the menu.
Inexplicably, Fring’s narrowly avoids pretentiousness, perhaps due to the fact that the food is done particularly well. The menu is a unique fusion of flavours — and as the waitstaff will describe to first-time diners — the dishes are intended for sharing. Foods range from an interesting assortment of toasted bread toppings — such as smoked gouda, crispy maple-glazed prosciutto, wild mushrooms, carmelized onions, and creme fraiche — to steak tartare, sweet & sour meatballs, and southern spicy maple fried chicken, which, it must be said, is a highlight. Finish the meal off with a warm chocolate lava cake, and both your stomach and your taste buds will be warmly satisfied.
Unfortunately, Fring’s is not very friendly to the student budget. If you order an entrée, share an appetizer, and split a dessert with a friend, your portion of the bill will likely be upwards of $40. Want one of Fring’s signature cocktails? That’ll be another $17 to your total. Sadly, this isn’t the kind of place to pop by for a casual Saturday night get-together. Instead, save your trip for when you’re trying to impress a friend from outside the city; it’s when you’re eating at a restaurant like Fring’s that you truly realize you’re living in a city akin to London or New York.