- The cube [Photo: momolongplay/Instagram]
- Noodle Bar [Photo: Hillaryb/Instagram]
- Noodle Bar [Photo: onecreativesource/Instagram]
- The lines [Photo: adj_94/Instagram]
- The first bo ssam at Daisho [Photo: momolongplay/Instagram]
All four of chef David Chang's new Momofukus are now open in the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. It's been a gradual trickle, starting with Momofuku Noodle Bar a week ago and followed by Shoto, Daisho, and Nikai.
The businesses are housed within a three-floor glass cube that's part of the new luxury hotel: on the ground level there is Noodle Bar, an adaptation of the East Village original with a smaller menu that sticks to buns, noodles, and classics like the rice cakes and chicken wings; the lines to get in have been something to behold. Nikai, the bar and lounge, is on the second floor and does cocktails, beer, wine, and sake. Finally, on the third floor, there's Shoto and Daisho.
One might call Shoto the Toronto adaptation of Momofuku Ko in New York and Seiobo in Sydney, since it is a tasting menu restaurant (roughly ten courses, at $150 per person) and only takes reservations online. See photos of Shoto dishes here and here.
Daisho offers the largest menu and might be best compared to Ssam Bar in New York. Indeed, storied dishes that have been retired from the New York restaurant have resurfaced on the menu here, like the apple kimchi and brussels sprouts with puffed rice. But the vast majority of the menu is new and shows an emphasis on local products. Unlike Ssam, Daisho takes reservations for à la carte. Also interesting: there's a wd-50 dish on offer, and Chang directly credits that restaurant in the description: "chicken (harrison co-op, on) – egg, carrot, mole (wd~50, 2006)." The restaurant also does more large format options than any other in Chang's empire, with fried chicken, beef shortrib, bo ssam, and ribeye all in one place.
Chris Johns, writing in Canadian Business, says that Momofuku mania has taken over the city and that because Chang has approached the expansion with "a lack of braggadocio," it "appeals to Canadians." Says Chang, "I don't know Toronto nearly as well as anybody that lives there...so I have a lot to learn, as we all do at Momofuku."
· David Chang Brings His Momofuku Empire to Toronto [Canadian Business]
· Momofuku Toronto [Official Site]