Summerlicious 2014 – Momofuku Daishō

*Sorry I messed up the sizing of the images of this post :( Didn’t realize until the end! I will fix it next time!

What an exciting new addition to the lineup of Summerlicious restaurants. Momofuku is such a well known Toronto restaurant ever since it was brought down, under the name of the incredibly famous Momofuku of New York City. However, the hype quickly died down once the word got out that the Toronto location was pricey yet no match for the great quality provided by the new york location. Therefore, I never went around to trying out the ramen noodles at this place. But when the upper level dining of this place also showed up on Summerlicious, we decided it might be worthy to give it a try!

The Toronto Momofuku houses 4 different types of styles of foods in one location – Noodle Bar (ramen), Milk Bar (cookies and desserts), Daishō (tapas style and asian inspired meals), Shōtō (tasting menu seated in a teppanyaki style with a small group). For this summerlicious, we chose the Daishō part of the restaurant to try out. Situated on the third floor of a fully glass building connected to the Shangri-La Hotel, the location was fantastic and looked beautiful from the outside. We somehow got lost trying to figure out how to get up to the third floor, and later realized you need to enter the Noodle Bar FIRST, then you can get up to the rest of the floors to the restaurants directly from there… don’t go through the hotel side… LOL. Was pleasantly surprised that given its location, price, and marketing, that this place isn’t as fancy as you think in terms of the people that dine here. At least that was the observation during Summerlicious. However, I really enjoyed the interior design and architecture of all the floors that make up Momofuku. In terms of the food, this review will speak specifically only regarding the food for Daishō, but I was quite satisfied and it definitely was above my expectations.
:)

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Inside decor of the restaurant.
Inside decor of the restaurant.
Floor to ceiling windows looking out to the city, with some nice outside sculpture designs along the wall of the building.
Floor to ceiling windows looking out to the city, with some nice outside sculpture designs along the wall of the building.

The menu was unexpectedly the cheapest looking part of all of this… LOL.

Very recyclable menu with the summerlicious menu tacked on to the side xD
Very recyclable menu with the summerlicious menu tacked on to the side xD

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I can’t remember anymore what exactly was in this… other than the fact that the sauce was NOT mayo or mayo-based =P. It was some mix of zucchinis and a very mashed potato-like thing on the base. Whatever it was, I really enjoyed the combination of everything! A very delicate refreshing start to the meal.

Instead of bread, this was our cute pre-meal snack.
Instead of bread, this was our cute pre-meal snack.

Again… that sauce is surprisingly not mayo-based… but it was quite delicious! The radish salad is always the underdog sounding… but this dish came out pretty darn good! It was super crisp and the radish slices were nice and thin. Flavours were bursting and worked really well altogether. Wasn’t bland at all for a radish salad!

Appetizer - Radish Salad
Appetizer – Radish Salad

A very popular dish to order at many Japanese izakaya/ramen inspired locations. Delicious warm meat mixed with a soft puffy bun can never go wrong! The sauce used for this philly bun was absolutely ridiculously yummy and totally perfected the bun’s tastes! A very well done western/asian fusion kind of style I’d have to say. However, I believe that I still enjoy the traditional pork belly fillings the most!

Appetizer - Philly Bun
Appetizer – Philly Bun

The chicken karaage was good as well, but not quite as good as the philly bun in my opinion. A very different take in terms of flavour with the daikon (a crunchy radish popular in asia that looks like a white carrot) and ginger, giving a bit more of a cold and crunchy kind of style. Taste-wise was much lighter compared to the Philly Bun, and a little more dry without the sauces.

Appetizer - Chicken Karaage Bun
Appetizer – Chicken Karaage Bun

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Hmmm… I remember I really really enjoyed the watermelon squares dipped in that yellow sauce~ The fish I don’t remember too much about it (which means it was probably not terrible, but it wasn’t amazing either). I hear that it was tasty and cooked well… but it wasn’t a perfect fish dish. A nice refreshing summer dish overall though.

Entree - Grilled Trout
Entree – Grilled Trout

Mmmm, I love how they add nice fruits to these entrees to give it a lovely summery feel. I recall the chicken to be really tasty and well cooked! It was actually the mix of everything on that dish that complemented one another so nicely, giving the chicken a very unique taste that you wouldn’t normally get from a meal at licious restaurants. I think this was my favourite one of the night.

Entree - Chicken
Entree – Chicken

When this was put in front of me I was like… O___O I ORDERED NOODLES… NOT A SALAD. But I quickly realized that the actual part of the meal was likely under all these leaves… *fingers crossed*. Phew. Hmm… all mixed together this dish was chilled, raw, and refreshing. However, I didn’t find it to be too special in terms of taste. A very very light broth, so it was very healthy tasting. The noodles were a good quality though, just that there was too much uncooked leaves mixed in for me that I felt didn’t add much to the dish. Also, being of asian heritage, this dish seemed a little too simple and easily re-creatable for me at home. But I did very much so enjoy this as a meal.

Entree - Somen Noodles ... under all the leaves
Entree – Somen Noodles … under all the leaves

Ta-da~ How are my mixing skills?

Entree - Somen Noodles after mixing the ingredients in the bowl
Entree – Somen Noodles after mixing the ingredients in the bowl

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Oh ho ho, yes after reading the description of this dessert, I knew it was the one I wanted immediately. A s’more style ice cream sandwich??? Yes please! Boy, was this a good finisher to the meal! A nice block of ice cream between two pieces of graham crackers… melted marshmellows on top with chocolate syrup, then drizzled with nuts. Yes, I did just make you veryyyy hungryyy. This was pretty hard to cut apart to share, but I somehow managed it without making a mess. And licked my part of the dessert right off the plate :9 A very heavy dessert but so worth the calories!

Dessert - Ice Cream Sandwich
Dessert – Ice Cream Sandwich

I loved the taste of this dessert also, almost as much as my ice cream sandwich! The shortcake and cream was very soft and light, while keeping its sweetness. With a bunch of strawberries on the side to give it the extra fruity taste. This was like a strawberry shortcake… but separated apart hehe.

Dessert - Strawberry
Dessert – Strawberry

The sorbet they gave us was raspberry flavour and blueberry flavour. The sorbet was sooo goood, it totally should be added to the menu. So glad I got to try it because it’s top notch sorbet. So soft and smooth without that hard icy feeling. The berry flavours weren’t too sour and tasted so good being cold. I would totally get this again even though I usually avoid sorbets if I had a choice. Sorbet done right is just scrumptious!

Dessert - Sorbet (special non-summerlicious item for dietary restrictions)
Dessert – Sorbet (special non-summerlicious item for dietary restrictions)

At the very end, they added a little extra one bite dessert. Love getting extra unexpected foods at these meals! None of us could really figure out what it was exactly… but I remember it being this soft chewy candy gelatin like piece of thing. Couldn’t recall the flavour but it was subtle.

Post-meal dessert with the bill
Post-meal dessert with the bill

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Very interesting to find that most diners here were dressed rather casually, at most business casual for a weekday work night out. They have a nice patio that you can eat out on as well which I didn’t get a chance to check out. But the bright sunlight streaming in and the wooden decor probably gives this place more of a chic vibe, where you can dress it down for dining.

Dress Style - Casual
Dress Style – Casual

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So my first impression of Momofuku was a very positive one! I would definitely return to Momofuku Daishō to dine again, maybe not at regular price, but definitely for a licious event. They have good quality food with great service and presentation. And a very nice environment that I would enjoy dining in with a small group of friends. Definitely full of asian inspired dishes that bring in popular elements of the Japanese dining. Will maybe try out the Noodle Bar ramen one day, but having very high expectations for ramen and given the price they charge, I’m in no hurry to try it out yet. Would recommend Daishō again for sure if they appear in the licious lineup again!

Itadakimasuuuu ne,
Dreamz*

http://momofuku.com/toronto/daisho/
Restaurant: Momofuku Daishō
Winterlicious: $25 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: A new addition to the list, so wasn’t difficult to snatch a reservation even after the event started. Would recommend making it a week in advance as they did fill up for dinner on a weekday.
Attire: Casual / Nice Casual

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