Thursday, August 14, 2014

OPENING | Much anticipated DaiLo (not GwaiLo) opens on College & Bathurst with #sickasianfood

Ever since my first bite of the Big Mac Bao I had at YumChaTO earlier this year, I was intrigued by Chef Nick Liu's way of cooking "New Asian Cuisine." With a bunch of pop-ups and participation in various events in the Toronto food scene, Nick Liu is well know to many foodies. When it was announced that he will finally have a basecamp, a kitchen to call his own, we were eagerly awaiting the opening. DaiLo is located on College St., a block West of Bathurst St.

Photo Credit: Mauricio Calero, MJCPHOTOGRAPHY 

The restaurant is divided into 2 separate areas: DaiLo - the bar and dining room on the ground floor and LoPan, a more casual cocktail & snack bar upstairs (also with a separate entrance).  The decor in both area is authentic, elegant and welcoming with Chinese influences.

LoPan showcases floating dumpling or fortune cooking shaped creating a fun and playful ambiance, true to what the upstairs bar is to its restaurant counterpart downstairs.


We started the night with cocktails and dim sum at LoPan:

Pastrami Spring Rolls ($4.00) - with Asian slaw, pickles and yellow-mustard aioli

Big Mac Bao ($5.00) - pork, beef, pickles & special sauce
Tom Yum Booze ($14.00) -  lemongrass, lime, chili & galangal

Hakka Wonton ($9.00) - shrimp, pork & house XO sauce

After the teasers at LoPan, we were moved to the beautiful main dining area downstairs. There's plenty of seatings, whether it's for twos, threes, fours or larger groups at the bar, against the exposed brick walls (painted white), booths to benches against the side wall.  I loved that there's different "areas" within the dining room, each with their own characteristics but as a whole, fits together like a puzzle.

After being seated at the table with the gigantic wok light fixture, we were in for a treat! It was time for the restaurant opening ceremony, the traditional way - with a Dragon Dance!


It wasn't long until we were served the eagerly awaited menu at DaiLo, created by Chef Nick Liu. Let's just say my mind was blow, well more like my tastebuds. One of the best tasting menu's I've had this year!

Smoked Trout Betel Leaf ($4.00) - served with peanut sauce

Eggnet Salad ($12.00) - green papaya, pomelo, beansprouts & coconut caramel dressing

Left: Five Spice Dark & Stormy Cocktail with Samuel Adams Ginger Beer
Right: Chef Nick Liu, the creative chef behind DaiLo's magical menu

Crispy Octopus Fresh Roll ($13.00) - red braised pork, Asian garnish & sambal mayo

Sweet & Sour Pork Hock ($13.00) - po po's original sauce, crispy shallot, garlic & nuts

Singapore Curry Cauliflower ($18.00) - purple fingerling potato, garlic scapes, raisin & nuts

Whole Fried Giggi Trout ($30.00) served with nam jim, green curry aoili & soy glaze

DaiLo's menu features family recipes amplified by Nick Liu's signature flair, a perfect balance of old and new. Traditional Chinese dishes are updated to please Western palates and the demand for sustainable ingredients.

I couldn't pick a favourite of the night - it's impossible! Each dish showcased the ingredients to its fullest in terms of flavour and texture, not to mention that the presentation is a feast for the eyes. It's no wonder why Nick Liu's is know for his #sickasianfood! You all need to do your tastebuds and belly a favour and head to DaiLo on your next dinner out.

PS. They're also working on a Sunday dimsum menu.

-Our meal at this event was complimentary but opinions are our own-

DaiLo on Urbanspoon

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