Newcomer DaiLo might best be described as a Chinese bistro. Chef Nick “Ninja” Liu draws on the dishes of his Hakka ancestors, building them out from local and sustainable ingredients and French techniques, and augmenting them with his own flair. Creations like Mongolian grilled lamb neck with sambal pickle, cucumber, celery, chili, chive pancake and hoisin, or whole fried trout from Jim Giggies’ Oceanwise farm with nahm jim, green curry aioli and soy glaze, belong in their own chapter of the Toronto dining repertoire. Liu is reunited with former employer Anton Potvin (Niagara Street Café), one of Toronto’s most admired wine personalities and now DaiLo’s GM and beverage director. Drawing from the four corners of the wine world, Potvin has established an eclectic selection of deftly chosen wines to manage Liu’s inventive, intensely flavored cuisine (truffle fried rice with Terre Nere’s Etna Rosso, or sweet-and-sour pork hock with Champalou’s Vouvray, for example). Lo Pan upstairs serves outstanding cocktails and an edited menu.
503 College St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
John Szabo, MS, has been traveling to Hungary since the late 1970s—first to visit relatives, and later to start J & J Eger Wine Co., where he makes kékfrankos with partner János Stumpf. But his day job is writing about wine and researching the world’s best wine bars.
This story appears in the print issue of August 2016.
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