Review: Momofuku daishō, Toronto

After enjoying a few sips and nibbles at Momofuku Nikai, Amanda and I whisked our way past Milk Bar and climbed another set of stairs where we found ourselves hovering on a cloud in the daishō dining room. Chef David Chang’s Toronto fine dining concept offers stunning views over University Avenue via floor to ceiling glass which really do make you feel as though you are flying in slow motion.

The sun was just beginning to set across the city as we sat down at a two top overlooking the bar. The food geek in me was as excited as a Sci-Fi nerd enroute to a Star Trek convention. It had been years since the city was abuzz that David Chang and Co. would be opening up shop in Toronto right beside the Shangri-la Hotel and I had been following along with construction plans and opening announcements every step of the way. I visited the Noodle Bar a few times after it opened in the Fall and smacked my lips after reading high praise for daishō and Shoto in the pages of Now and Toronto Life.

We both scanned the menu and hoped to sort ourselves out with a memorable feast. Amanda started off with a beautiful platter of La St. Simon Oysters while I plopped spicy cucumber pickles in my mouth. The crowd here was a nice mix of families, business meetings (a few tables full of men decked out in dress shirts and ties) as well as couples (we’ll throw ourselves into that category for the evening, shush no one knows!)

Over the course of the next two hours Amanda and I demolished our dishes, “OMG I want to scream right now this is so good,” bite after bite. Each plate offered a unique Chef Chang signature experience with a clear focus on local and seasonal flavours which were highlighted by his unique Momofuku Asian aesthetic. I was impressed with the local beverages proudly being featured in cocktails (Ontario Spring Water Sake Company from the Distillery District) as well as beers from Muskoka Brewery (Cottage Country) and Oast House Brewers (Niagara). The wine list also plays proper respect to local Ontario VQA wine makers while the food menu pays homage in (brackets) to the farms where beef, chicken and pork are procured. The fact of the matter is Momofuku could have plopped itself in downtown Toronto and served up Asahi and Sapporo but instead have integrated themselves into the culinary scene by making an effort to showcase our best local talent from farm to fork. Bravo!

I sent out a thousand hearts to Momofuku daishō that evening! I started by stuffing my mouth with traditional Korean style bibb lettuce wrapped hanger steak which melted in my mouth, slathered with a touch of kimchi and fried onions. The 65 dollar pork chop was a revelation that had Amanda and I laughing when the mammoth dish arrives on our table. Fred Flintstone would have been alarmed! Sweet and crispy pork paired well with fresh corn tossed in nori, chanterelle’s and lemon. Generous scoops of spatzle with fava and leek zoomed into my open jaw.

No Momofuku meal would be complete without a sweet finish. Of course we had to order both of the offerings (even as we groaned while dabbing the pork grease from our lips with white napkins). The Crack Pie is a must and tips a hat to the newly launched Milk Bar (where you can now purchase these pies whole to take home). The final morsel that made it to my mouth was a deep fried strawberry pie which is best enjoyed after dipping in the accompanying vanilla ice cream.

I was so impressed with my meal at Momofuku daishō that it now sits on my Toronto Top Restaurant List. I rode my bike home, a little Buddha belly resting on my handlebar. Bliss.

The Feast:

Spicy Cucumber Pickles

 La St. Simon Oysters

pickled watermelon, basil

Hanger Steak

kimchi, onions, bibb lettuce

Pork Chop

spatzle, fava, leek


nori, chanterelle, lemon


vanilla, spiced sugar, cookie crumb

Crack Pie

#496 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Momofuku Daishō on Urbanspoon

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.