Nick Liu shows off some culturally promiscuous cooking at the preview dinner for his new restaurant, GwaiLo

Nick Liu shows off some culturally promiscuous cooking at the preview dinner for his new restaurant, GwaiLo

A proud Nick Liu before the second of his GwaiLo preview dinners (Image: Renée Suen) 

Earlier this year, chef Nick Liu left Niagara Street Café to launch GwaiLo, a modern Asian brasserie-to-be with business partner Christina Kuypers (Splendido, Drake Hotel, The Black Hoof). The name is a bit of Cantonese slang for foreigners that translates roughly as “white devil”—a term both Liu and Kuypers grew up with, but have light-heartedly embraced (they’re both Canadians with an Asian heritage). It’s also a fitting way to describe their new venture, with the cuisine and cocktail list betraying the influence of a wide range of cultures and ingredients. To drum up buzz for the restaurant (which still has no location), the pair threw two preview dinners in Niagara Street Café’s upstairs dining room, the second of which saw a number of hungry guests (including the folks from Khao San Road and Chantecler) feasting on Liu’s contemporary riffs on traditional Asian plates. While the opening date is still up in the air, Liu does tell us that all of the six courses he served will be on his new menu. Check out the entire sweet, sour, salty and spicy feast in our slideshow »