August 20, 2014
Aug 21, 2012
12:33 PM

First Look: House of Moments, a new art gallery, lounge and Japanese fusion restaurant in the east end

The spicy beef maki, $17 (Image: Hamid Kouchak)

Most people don’t pay attention to the doors when they walk into a restaurant; they just want to get through them. At the newly opened House of Moments on Carlaw Avenue, it’s worth taking a moment to admire the $700,000 worth of ancient doors that founder and artist Hamid Kouchak brought in from India. He’s even thinking of applying to the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s most expensive coat check door; his rings in at $50,000.

When asked why he has such a fondness for doors, Kouchak replies, “I like to imagine how many people have walked through them.”

House of Moments opened in May as an art gallery; a place for Kouchak to display and support what he’s so passionate about. And as of earlier this month, the stunning 12,000 square-foot art space and events venue is now also a restaurant and lounge. Chef Daniel Park has come from Korea to head up a sushi-heavy Japanese fusion menu.

The Red Velvet maki ($16) combines cucumber, avocado, shrimp tempura, sesame seeds, tuna, tomato, unagi sauce and garlic sauce. The popular spicy beef maki ($17) marries thinly sliced beef, avocado, unagi sauce and spicy sauce. Fresh fish is purchased from a supplier who brings the fish from Japan, along with another who sources locally.

If you’re on the hunt for new and emerging artists, Hamid displays the artwork of two to three artists and changes all of it every 25 days. You might walk in for sushi and walk out with a piece of art, as some guests already have. This is one-stop shopping at its best.

With TIFF parties on the horizon and a rooftop patio and pool in the works, it seems there will be many more people walking through these doors.

House of Moments, 105C–388 Carlaw Ave. 416-901-6003

Pay Chen is a TV host, writer and producer who loves eating and writing about food. She is often asked to share food, entertainment and beauty trends as a lifestyle expert. Pay will eat off your plate, but also shares her fries. Follow her on Twitter at @PayChen.

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