Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Uncle Mikey’s

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Uncle Mikey’s

Uncle Mikey's

Michael Kim was born in Seoul and raised in Vancouver, and studied classic French cooking at New York’s Inter­national Culinary Center—one of the best places to do so outside France.

The low-budget, handyman interior of this, his first solo showing, belies the worldliness and polish of what he delivers to your table: lettuce wraps of grilled flatiron with nori, fermented soybean paste and citrusy yuzo kosho; a mapo tofu of silken soybean cubes, the slow-build fire of Sichuan sausage and a tangle of garlic shoots; brioche-like beignets that get their sweetness from a roll in a powder of wheat grass and carob; and, my top pick, Parisian-style choux gnocchi, tossed in a nutty sauce of soybean paste–braised oxtail.

Kalbi-marinated flatiron steak, with lettuce and condiments for DIY wraps.

One night, I started with a plate of peppery baby radishes dipped in salty cultured butter. It was dead simple, a snack from childhood, upgraded with an ingenious dusting of finely chopped dried seaweed. By the way, there’s a story to the restaurant’s name: looking to his family for suggestions, he went with his kid nephew’s.

1597 Dundas St. W., 416-537-8973, @unclemikeysinc

Vegan mapo tofu made with silken tofu, shiitake mushrooms, garlic shoots and Korean chili oil, in a sauce thickened with eggplant. It’s served with a packet of Sichuan peppercorns on the side, for those who like it hot(ter).