I found myself close to the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel the other day (in downtown Toronto) and I was seriously craving a glass of beer and some chicken wings, so I decided to stop by Traders, (one of the hotel's restaurants), to satisfy my craving.
I've had a lot of chicken wings over the years, mostly at pubs, bars and smaller restaurants, but also many times at various hotels as well. I've found that hotel restaurants typically do an excellent job with chicken wings but they're usually way too expensive to make it a regular visit. (They're just chicken wings afterall…)
The chicken wings at Traders were by far the worst presentation for chicken wings I have ever seen, especially at a hotel.
First of all, the chicken wings were served in a bowl (which is fine) but the edges of the plate weren't wiped clean, so right off the bat, the plate looked messy and unappetizing. You'd expect a hotel restaurant to at least get this much right – cleaning the edges of plates is such a basic thing and the first thing you learn about food presentation, isn't it?
Also, the veggies that came with the wings looked pale and lifeless – not fresh at all. I would maybe expect this from a run-down pub, but definitely not from a hotel restaurant. Also, only two sticks of celery and just one stick of carrot on the plate? Really? Plus, the carrot stick already had dressing smeared on it which looked terrible. Really, the veggies should have there own place and shouldn't be in the dip at all.
In terms of taste, the wings tasted fine but we really do eat with our eyes first so I'm sure they would have tasted much better had they been presented properly… I remember thinking to myself,
"I'll just finish these and then go find some decent wings at a pub somewhere else". As for the blue cheese dressing – it was nice to find chunks of real blue cheese in the dressing, but it didn't really make sense to serve that particular dressing with the chicken wings. I'm sure the chunks of blue cheese would be amazing with a salad, but with the wings, they were just awkward and didn't make any sense.
When you consider that I paid $18, plus 13% HST, plus tip, for these wings, (not including the beer I had, of course), you really expect them to do a much better job on the presentation. Again, these were by far, the worst chicken wings I've ever had at a hotel restaurant. If they can't do wings right, I don't think I'll ever go back and trust them with a whole plate of food… No? Hm.
Traders – Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street West
+1 (416) 947-4955 ext. 4617