Two special places in my heart: Harbourfront Centre: The Natrel® Rink and Reservoir Lounge

I want to take a break from food talk and do some travel talk. Because of this Leap Year promotion, Shutterfly was giving out 101 free prints. This got me looking through pictures and albums from the past. Through my many, many travels, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of “special places”.

Let’s start with a most recent trip to Toronto.

The Natrel® Rink
Location: 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8
How to get here via TTC: 509 Union/Exhibition, 510 Union/Spadina streetcars

Five years ago, my now-husband-then-boyfriend and I had our first date here. This is a good spot for a romantic skate because of the view (yes, even if you are looking out at Lake Ontario) or some good fun with friends. They have an indoor change room to put on your skate, skate rentals, and a food place upstairs. On Saturday nights, they have DJ Skate Night.

Reservoir Lounge
Location: 52 Wellington Street East, Toronto, Ontario

This is where we went for dinner that night. We came back for a visit recently for our anniversary. It was an excellent weekend! There have been a lot of changes in the last several years for us, but in many ways both of us are still the same. This place was recommended by a friend (tacomeow).

It’s a great place to enjoy good food and live jazz music.

It’s more of a bar than a “restaurant”. Be sure to make a reservation on the weekends if you want to dine there then enjoy music afterwards (note: there is a $10 cover charge). Their menu isn’t very big but their food is very tasty.

We had some oysters to start with – Sparkling oysters, baked in champagne butter. It was good, although I’ve never had oysters quite like this, where the oyster was the main character (and not many minor characters). In Taiwanese cuisine, we normally put oyster with other stuff like in oyster omelette (蚵仔煎) and oyster noodle (蚵仔麵線). I am not sure if I am a fan of oyster in this way – where you have to slurp the oysters. However, maybe I just need to acquire a taste for it.

Their pizzas are very good! I ordered the free range chicken pizza and my husband ordered the proscuitto pizza. The pizzas were bigger than I remembered, which meant we had leftovers! One is good enough to share between two people.

We didn’t have enough room for dessert but certainly saved a lot of room for good music.

Featuring that night was Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm. You can find out more about this band on the Reservoir Lounge website. They were incredible. Their music was lively and they sounded like they were having fun, which made their music fun to listen to!

I highly recommend this place for a good night’s entertainment! (You don’t have to reserve a table, they have standing room too.)



  1. Awww I didn’t know that’s where you two went on your first date! That’s adorable. And it looks like it turned out well 😉

  2. It’s really awesome that you’re able to re-live your first date! You’re luckier than some. (Having a first date at a student-oriented formal is a tough experience to re-create. Heh.)

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