Richmond Station is the highly anticipated first restaurant from last season’s Top Chef Canada winner, Carl Heinrich and Ryan Donovan of the well-loved West Side Beef. The duo, who both left their respective positions at Marben earlier this year, have refreshingly modest aspirations; to be the neighbourhood restaurant in a neighbourhood that needs one. “This is isn’t fine dining,” Heinrich tells me, “it’s buying good food, cooking it properly and putting it on a plate.”
The space, formerly occupied by Asian-fusion restaurant, Yulla looks totally new inside. The dining room is relatively unadorned letting dark woods contrast with prominent white subway tiles and off-white walls that display oversized prints from the Toronto Archives. Upstairs, in the smaller dining room, we claim front row seats at the kitchen-facing chef’s rail and have the opportunity to watch the kitchen staff at work and to chat with Heinrich – who is clearly comfortable in front of an audience.