Eater's Digest: Toronto 6

Previously on Adam Riff™:

September 2019
le swan / smoke bar and kitchen / short and sweet / reyna / r&d / the daily dumpling wonton co. / wvrst / guu izakaya / convenience / bang bang ice cream / sara / grand cru deli / seoul shakers / death in venice / donut monster / chen chen's hot chicken / sud forno / centrale bergham / bang bang ice cream / té / bake shoppe / the clubhouse / quetzal / wong's ice cream / holy chuck / maker pizza

Beer Ramen (Guu Izakaya)
cold ramen noodle, wakame, sweet corn, scallion, menma, naruto, in sapporo big mug

^ Cold ramen that looks like beer. Big mug is big. Sweet corn is odd.

(R&D): Fool me twice, shame on me. And I had to pretend the food I ordered was good because my server was the executive chef!

French Onion Spring Roll (R&D)
beef short rib, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, beef jus
—Tasted foul.

Chili Crab Okonomiyaki (R&D)
soft-shell crab, savoury japanese pancake, r&d chili sauce, yuzu aioli

^ "Where's the chili sauce?" I wondered.

Sichuan Osso Buco (R&D)
fermented chili, sichuan peppercorns, cabbage, shiitake, lo mein

^ "Where's the fermented chili and Sichuan peppercorns?" I wondered.

Squid Chŏn (Té)
pan-fried savoury pancake made with squid and chives, served with a vinegar-soy dip

Kimchi Falafel (Té)
kimchi-spiked falafel and hummus drizzled with housemade tahini, served with toasted naan wedges

Toasted Kimchi Ravioli (Té)
handmade jumbo ravioli squares with a kimchi-spiked ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan filling; panko-crusted and finished with honeyed wasabi pesto

Fish and Taro Chips (Té)
tempura battered haddock fillet, homemade taro chips, and kimchi slaw; served with a trio of housemade tartar sauces: original, kimchi-spiked, and japanese-style barbecue

Didn't try (Té)'s kimchi deviled eggs or kimchi-spiked tomato salsa.

Roast Kimchi Chopped Cheese (Seoul Shakers)
chopped ground beef patty, roasted kimchi, pickles, sauce, lettuce, onions, yellow cheese

Among Leemo Han's Toronto dining ventures, (Oddseoul) > (Hanmoto) > (Seoul Shakers) > (Pinky's Ca Phe).

Mongo Squid Yukhoe (Seoul Shakers)
beef tartare, sliced mongo squid, korean pear, egg yolk
—The squid didn't add anything. Nori is a poor vessel for tartare.

Hwe Dup Bap (Seoul Shakers)
albacore tuna, yellowfin tuna, salmon, sweet shrimp, mongo squid, tobiko, ikura, scallops, fresh mixed vegetables, red chili pepper house sauce

^ Fame this bowl.

Tempura Salt Cod (Seoul Shakers)
nanban sauce, green sauce, tartar sauce, lime

(Le Swan) is boring food done well. Among Jen Agg's Toronto dining ventures, (The Black Hoof) > (Le Swan) > (Grey Gardens)

Corresponding dishes

Onion Rings (Le Swan)
—With a mysterious sweet liquid drizzled on top.

Frites (Le Swan)

^ Go through a labour-intensive two-day process involving a brine, two blanches, and freezing overnight before flash-frying to order.

Hand-Cut Crispy Fries (Holy Chuck)

Ketchup Curly Fries (Grand Cru Deli)
—Ketchup chips, but curly fries.

Tater Tots Bravas (Smoke Bar and Kitchen)
tater tots, manchego cheese, spicy tomato aioli
—Patatas bravas, but tater tots.

Sweetbread Nuggets (Grand Cru Deli)
gribiche, honey mustard
—Popcorn chicken, but thymi and pancreata.

Poutine Le Rouge (Centrale Bergham)
french fries, poutine sauce, cheese curds, and tandoori chicken

(Centrale Bergham) is a Montreal chain. The soda fountain at the one I visited didn't have an ice dispenser.

Sandwich Supreme (Centrale Bergham)
marinated chicken thigh topped with kebab spices and merguez

^ Halal sub.

Mortadella Meatball Hoagie (Grand Cru Deli)
marinara, mozzarella, peppers

Carolina Cubano (Smoke Bar and Kitchen)
hogtown pulled pork, house bacon, swiss, carolina yellow sauce, dill pickle, flatbread

"Melon" Ham and Cheese [The Meloumi] (Smoke Bar and Kitchen)
smoked watermelon "ham," grilled halloumi, avocado mayo, peppery greens, mint, potato bun

^ I don't get the pairing of watermelon and halloumi.

Reyna's Famous Lamb Baklava (Reyna)
kataifi, lamb shank, saffron, burnt honey aioli

Duck Sausage (Wvrst)
maple, foie gras

Jerk Turkey/Chicken Sausage (Wvrst)
scotch bonnet, all spice

(Sara)'s $55 Monday prix fixe "Journey" meal is worth seeking out.

Squash Latkes (Sara)
smoked salmon roe, chive cream, kombu maple

French Fries (Sara)
schmaltz, kewpie mayo, kimchi, bonito salt

^ Grated russet potatoes confited in duck fat.

Crispy Squid (Sara)
mango slaw, nuoc cham, garlic peanuts

Chopped Salad (Sara)
kale, fennel, celery, grapes, mint, thai basil, quinoa, poblano cashew cheese, wasabi peas, nori, tamarind vinaigrette

^ "This is on par with (Rasa)'s chopped salad," I thought, not realizing that (Sara) is from the people behind (Rasa).

Shaved Rib Eye (Sara)
corn, mushroom, wild greens

^ "This is on par with (OMAW)'s hanger steak," I thought, not realizing that (Sara) is from the people behind (OMAW).

Among The Food Dudes' Toronto dining ventures, (Sara) > (OMAW) > (Rasa).

Miso Pot de Creme (Sara)
bananas foster, butterscotch, sesame tuile

Frank's Best Pizza (Maker Pizza)
caramelized onions, goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, rosemary, sea salt, organic honey, sesame crust

^ I have been chasing this pizza since I tried it.

Tostada de Atún (Quetzal)
yellowfin tuna, salsa macha, mole verde, pickled shallots
—Raw fish and mole? Works!

Empanada Oaxaqueña (Quetzal)
smoked chicken, mole amarillo, cilantro, crema, salsa cruda

Prohibition Nacho (Convenience)
bourbon root beer pork, spiked habanero lemonade, sour cream, tequila salsa, avocado crema, pickled red onion, grilled pineapple
—Sweet and sour nachos. Not sure how the lemonade was used.

Peanut Butter and Bacon Sliders (Convenience)
beef slider, peanut butter, house pork belly, sweet chili mustard, onion
—Peanut butter and bacon burgers are sublime.

Venus My Nutty Cow Burger (Holy Chuck)
a single patty on a gluten-free bun topped with warm nutella
—Nutella on a burger doesn't work as well.

Nutella Bomboloni (Sud Forno)

Nutella and Cookies Gelato (Death in Venice)
Pistachio, Yogurt, and Baklava Gelato (Death in Venice)
Black Garlic Vanilla Gelato (Death in Venice)

Sour Cherry Chocolate Gelato (Death in Venice)

Banana Puddin' Ice Cream (Bang Bang Ice Cream)
Matcha-Genmaicha Tiramisu Ice Cream (Bang Bang Ice Cream)

Chocolate Yuzu Ice Cream (Wong's Ice Cream)
Boozy Egg Tart Ice Cream (Wong's Ice Cream)
Condensed Milk Pineapple Bun Ice Cream (Wong's Ice Cream)

Peach Earl Grey Fritter (Donut Monster)
chunks of fresh ontario peaches with an earl grey glaze


Lobster Mountain (Fishman Lobster Clubhouse)

^ 52 pounds.

Big Slice (Lamanna's Bakery)

^ 24-inch radius.

The Unicorn Poutine (The Enchanted Poutinerie)
fresh rainbow quebec curds, multi-colour gravy

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