Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Ku-Kum Kitchen
Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Kū-Kŭm Kitchen
The best appetizer in town is made of edible blooms, lightly macerated woodland berries and a drift of whipped cream that tastes unlike any whipped cream you’ve had before—more floral, almost citrusy. It’s an original distillation of ephemeral, peak-season produce. And that mystery ingredient in the whipped cream? Rose hips.
Rose hips, along with milk pods, cattail hearts, and game like elk and venison, demonstrate how personal Kū-Kŭm Kitchen is for chef Joseph Shawana. Like passionate chefs everywhere, he’s cooking what he knows. Yet what brought him the most notoriety and national attention this past year was a protest, and an ensuing counter-protest, over seal meat, which he sources from the commercial hunt in Quebec and Newfoundland, his way of honouring Inuit culture. Whatever his motivation, I vouch that seal tartare, mixed with quail egg and smeared on a slice of bannock, is delicious.
581 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-519-2638, kukum-kitchen.com