It’s that time of the year again in Toronto. And foodies around the GTA are warming up their bellies to take advantage of the discounted prix fixe Summerlicious menus! I will be covering a few of the places I am going to throughout the ‘Licious festivities.
Tonight, my friends and I snagged a patio seat at Momofuku Daisho, of David Chang fame, for their Summerlicious dinner. Housed on the third floor of the Momofuku complex, Momofuku Daisho offers a less boisterious environment compared to its Noodle Bar counterpart. The high ceilings and tall glass windows creates a sleek space for diners to enjoy the view along University Avenue. As per usual, here’s some quick stats before I dive into the food:
Address: 3rd Floor, 190 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3
Phone: 647 253 8000
Lunch (Mon-Fri) 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner (Sun-Wed) 5:30pm – 10pm; (Thu-Sat) 5:30pm – 11pm
To start, we had an amuse bouche of potato salad, topped with an airy whipped sour cream. Nothing mind-blowing with this dish, but the tanginess of the salad did what an amuse should do and revved up my nom-engine.
We ordered the Philly Bun and the Chicken Karaage Bun. The Philly bun was a creative play on the classic philly cheese steak, topped with a light, spicy, gourmet version of cheese whiz and wrapped in a fluffy bao. My favourite of the night was the Chicken Karaage bun, which is expected since Daisho is known for it’s fried chicken. With a pronounced ginger flavour, the chicken is aggressively seasoned, and packs a flavour punch that compliments the subtle sweetness of the bao. The daikon sandwiched between the chicken and the bao added an extra crunch to the crisp of the fried chicken, which made it texturally more interesting compared with the Philly Bun.
For the mains, we tried the Grilled Trout and the Chicken. The Trout was cooked to a medium, which I enjoyed. Not really a big stand-out of the night, but it was overall a well composed, tasty dish. One would think that the watermelon and the banana peppers would add a bigger contrast to the dish, but that didn’t quite translate on the plate.
The Chicken dish, again, was aggressively seasoned. The sausage stuffing was flavourful, but when eating the chicken alone, I felt that it was heavy-handed with the salt. Perhaps the saltiness was deliberate, because the salt of the chicken intensified the sweetness of the peaches and the orange cherry tomatoes, and made the overall dish work.
To end our meal, we ordered the Strawberry Sponge Cake and the Ice-Cream Sandwich. But before that, we were offered a palate cleanser of blueberry gelee with a dollop of greek yogurt.
The Ice-Cream Sandwich was delightful, a play on the classic s’more with toasted hazlenuts, chocolate sauce and marshmallows atop a thick graham ice cream sandwich. I felt the ratio of cracker to ice-cream was a bit off, and would have liked more ice-cream, or a bit less of the cracker. But boy, oh boy, was the sandwich handsome!
The Strawberry Sponge Cake may not look as beautiful as it’s Ice-Cream Sandwich cousin, but it was my favourite dessert of the night. The only improvement I would have liked would be to intensify the shiso flavour in the dish. The candy-like aromatics of the shiso leaves weren’t allowed to shine under the bold flavours of the strawberry and custard.
Overall, my Summerlicious experience at Momofuku Daisho was good! Although the portion sizes can indeed be bigger, the flavour was there. And in the end, that’s (mostly) what matters!
Momofuku Daisho ($45 Summerlicious Dinner)
peppers, wiz, onion
Karaage Bun (local)
daikon, ginger, nori
Radish Salad (vegetarian/local)
crispy yuba, watercress, sherry vinegar
sausage, tomato, peach
Grilled Trout (local)
banana peppers, endive, watermelon
Somen Noodles (vegetarian)
pea dashi, mizuna, scallion
sponge cake, shiso, white chocolate
custard, popcorn, butterscotch
Ice Cream Sandwich
marshmallow, graham cracker, hazelnut