toronto restaurants

The best things we ate last month in Toronto

The best things we ate last month in Toronto show off our penchant for seafood, as well as familiar comforts. Sometimes you just need to shout out your favourite meal from a local chain, and sometimes you just need to slurp down some oysters.

Here are the best things we ate last month in Toronto.

Salmon aburi oshi sushi

If you've been experiencing sushi cravings of late, travel writer Meg Cossmann has a recommendation for you that goes way beyond the average maki and nigiri.

She loved how charred salmon, jalapeno and the signature Miku sauce all come together for this dish at Minami, creating what she calls the perfect bite.

"I visited Minami for the first time this past month after reading rave reviews about their sushi, and it did not disappoint," says Cossmann. "The salmon oshi in particular was our favourite."

Kushiyaki platter

When social videographer and editor Anton Wong visited Feel90, the thing he was most looking forward to was the charcoal-grilled kushiyaki platter of pork jowl, pork belly, chicken thigh, short rib, quail egg, and bacon-wrapped tomatoes.

"The pork belly skewer, oh boy," says Wong. "It was tender, smokey, and savoury. What more can you ask?"

Japanese musk melon

Food editor Renee Suen was treated to all sorts of delights when she visited Kappo Sato this month, but the thing that actually delighted her most there was a simple (albeit rare and expensive) piece of fruit.

The restaurant serves a wedge of imported Japanese musk melon as one of its final courses in a meal, and the fruit left a lasting impression on Suen.

To the uninitiated, it doesn't look like much, but this melon wedge is a delicacy. Photo by Renee Suen.

"Sitting on its thin, white, vein-rippled green skin is the succulent flesh of the fruit that's pale green but bursts, like a water balloon exploding in your mouth, of juicy, honeyed melon," says Suen. "I can still taste what can be equated to the refreshing flavour of a thousand Melona bars."

Folded cheeseburger

When video host Tiana Atapattu Jayatunga visited Miznon, she wasn't expecting it to be the place she would have one of her favourite takes on a smash burger.

"One thing I never expected was to find a smashburger that makes it on my list in a Mediterranean restaurant. Miznon really surprised me with that," says Atapattu Jayatunga.

"Not just a smashburger, it's a folded cheeseburger in the softest fluffiest pita you can imagine, which unexpectedly works as a great substitute to the classic fluffy bun. That and the tanginess of the inside and the crispy edges of the patty and grilled cheese sticking out of the pita makes for a perfect combination."

French Toast with caramelized bananas

Freelance photographer Hector Vasquez is super into breakfast, so he was more than satisfied by this dish found at Virtu Cafe inside the new Canopy hotel.

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Fancy French toast stole the show at Canopy. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

"It was the caramelized bananas that really tied everything together and elevated the dish. The bananas brought enough sweetness to the French toast even without adding the maple syrup that accompanied it," says Vasquez.

"The blackberries that topped the French toast added a bit of tartness that cut the sweetness a bit. Although we got to try a couple of savoury dishes as well, the French toast definitely stole the show for me."

Half rack ribs and quarter chicken

When it comes to this pick, director of multiplatform content Kris Pangilinan says "Sometimes, you want to go back to what you're familiar with."

He also opted for this classic meal from Swiss Chalet because: "In this day and age, going out to eat is expensive. However, Swiss Chalet has kept their prices reasonable over the years."

Can you deny it? She's a beaut. Photo by Kris Pangilinan.

"The ribs fell off the bone, the chicken was moist with the skin sticking to my fingers and the fries were crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside," says Pangilinan.

Though it's a point of contention even within the blogTO team (food editor Suen finds it abhorrent), Pangilinan also staunchly defends his right to dip absolutely everything in Chalet sauce, saying he'd swim in it and dip whole loaves of bread in it, even quoting Whitney Houston: "I will always love you."

Oysters

On the very last day of the month, I managed to experience a taste combination that really wowed me. 

After years away, I returned to Aloette, a recent Michelin guide recommendation and was delighted by their range of small plates just the way I remembered it being previously.

One of the first to come out was a plate of four precious east coast oysters that were interestingly paired with smoked buttermilk, ramp and lemon. Seafood and dairy are notorious frenemies, but this combination showed just how well they can work together. 

The brininess of the oysters worked surprisingly well with the tanginess of the buttermilk; the creaminess of the buttermilk was nicely cut by the acidity of the lemon and ramp.


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