(Image: Caroline Aksich)
Contact: , 416-586-1241, 241 Spadina Ave. , rdspadina.com @RDSpadina
Previously: Strada 241
Owner: Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation, Hong Kong) and Eric Chong (winner of season one of MasterChef Canada)
Chefs: Alvin Leung, Eric Chong and Nelson Tsai (Trump Toronto, Auberge du Pommier)
The Food: More new wave pan-Asian cuisine to add to Toronto’s growing fusion obsession (Chantecler, DaiLo, People’s Eatery, Patois). “I took Eric traveling throughout Asia to create our concepts. His father is from Malaysia and my family came from Hong Kong, so the flavours of the menu represent our roots,” says Leung. Although the MasterChef bad guy earned three Michelin stars with his sometimes-shocking “x-treme” Chinese cuisine, R&D’s menu is devoid of shock-and-awe plates; instead, it’s made up of whimsical riffs on classic dishes. Poutine comes topped with silken tofu and General Sanders’ Chicken pairs fried bird with Sichuan maple syrup and Hong Kong egg waffles. A number of Chong’s MasterChef Canada dishes, including his lobster chow mein, also made the cut.
The Drinks: Playful cocktails with Asian twists, like the Piña Colada Bubble Tea dotted with tapioca pearls and the Red Star Punch made with oolong-infused gin. The punch can be ordered as “cold tea” for four that arrives in a teapot obscured in a cloud of dry ice smoke. A selection of wine, sake and beer is also available (the latter of which can also be ordered “cold tea”–style).
The Place: Faux crumbling walls and oversized U-shaped lights that are meant to allude to China’s vertical growth. The open-concept space is divided into three dining areas and can seat 85; a row of seven stools looks onto the open kitchen. Back dining room walls are splashed with graffiti, one mural featuring Chairman Mao complete with a Paul Stanley–style red star over one eye.
311235 R&D has taken over the space previously home to Strada 241. (Image: Caroline Aksich) https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-01-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-01.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-01.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-01/ rd-toronto-restaurants-01 0 0
(Image: Caroline Aksich)
311238 The umami caesar is made with tomatoes, clams, Brussels sprouts, celery slaw and crispy kale. The clams are steamed in a Shaoxing—that's rice wine—broth and then marinated for up to two days ($15). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-04-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-04.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-04.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-04/ rd-toronto-restaurants-04 0 0
311240 For the ceviche, a mix of quickly cured shellfish (tiger prawns, spot prawns and bay scallops) and shreds of daikon are served on top of mashed avocado. The dish is finished with butter made using jolo sauce, a Chinese pickling liquid ($18). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-06-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-06.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-06.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-06/ rd-toronto-restaurants-06 0 0
311244 The short, five-item dim sum portion of the menu features these chicken-and-black truffle pot stickers, which Chong made for one of the <em>MasterChef Canada</em> challenges ($9). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-10-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-10.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-10.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-10/ rd-toronto-restaurants-10 0 0
311241 When Colonel Sanders meets General Tao, this is what you get: Chinese five spice chicken served with a puffy Hong Kong egg waffle, kung pao sauce and Sichuan maple syrup ($25). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-07-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-07.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-07.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-07/ rd-toronto-restaurants-07 0 0
311250 Beef tongue is brined for 48 hours before being braised for another three. It's then thinly sliced and plated with Chefs Creek oysters from B.C., slices of bird’s eye chilies and Sichuan green sauce ($16). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-16-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-16.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-16.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-16/ rd-toronto-restaurants-16 0 0
311247 House-made ice cream and sorbet (sour cherry, chocolate tamarind and condensed milk peanut butter) are topped with golden hunks of tempura-battered bananas, candied walnuts, coconut cream and macerated strawberries ($14). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-13-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-13.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-13.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-13/ rd-toronto-restaurants-13 0 0
311239 R&D's 510 Caesar mixes vodka infused with black garlic and Chinese mushrooms, chili sauce, hoisin-spiked Worcestershire, lapsang tincture and Mott’s Clamato. It's all topped off with a pepperette "straw" ($14). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-05-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-05.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-05.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-05/ rd-toronto-restaurants-05 0 0
311248 The Red Star Punch: oolong-infused Beefeater gin, hawthorne berry and mandarin syrup, lemon and rhubarb bitters ($12). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-14-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-14.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-14.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-14/ rd-toronto-restaurants-14 0 0
311243 When a group orders the punch, it's served cold tea–style along with traditional cups. Dry ice put in a chamber ball within the teapot makes for a dramatic presentation ($45). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-09-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-09.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-09.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-09/ rd-toronto-restaurants-09 0 0
311236 https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-02-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-02.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-02.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-02/ rd-toronto-restaurants-02 0 0
311245 https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-11-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-11.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-11.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-11/ rd-toronto-restaurants-11 0 0
311237 Chef Alvin Leung having a tea break. https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-03-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-03.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RD-toronto-restaurants-03.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-rd-chinatowns-new-alvin-leung-eric-chong-co-production/slide/rd-toronto-restaurants-03/ rd-toronto-restaurants-03 0 0
20 thoughts on “Introducing: R&D, Chinatown’s new Alvin Leung and Eric Chong co-production”
Get a life.
C.M., I think you should heed your own advice. Your childish comment says more about you than anyone else.
you wasted energy to say nothing? darren is actually posting something that some are finding interesting, or at least amusing. you on the other hand…
Toronto Life is narrow in its work and has a reputation for pandering to certain areas. Darren is proving that. Why does that bother you C.M.? And don’t you have something a little less cliched and hollow than ‘Get a life’?
I’m beginning to think that Darren is completely incapable of communicating in English. He never responds when others question why he simply just adds this stat to every restaurant listing here. He just gets his goons to defend his actions for him as those below. Yes, TL is biased toward the west end. We get it. Why not offer suggestions to restaurants that you think should be included in the magazine?.
how many times do you need the same thing explained to you? why do you need darren to do anything more than what he IS doing? you keep droning on, this same complaint which is somewhat ironic because your complaint is that he keeps doing the same thing? why is a simple stat such a hardship in your life? and how do you come to the conclusion that anyone who disagrees with your petty whining are his “goons”? even you agree that tl is biased towards the west. maybe keeping it simple will get them to open their eyes to something? but i guess you’d prefer others to do all the work for them so they continue to not bother putting any effort in.
You sound like an idiot drama queen. Gets his goons to defend his actions? For one, how do you figure he gets people to do anything? And two: You say people defend his actions as though he’s perpetrating some big crime. I don’t understand what your big complaint is. And apparently this is a routine you do a lot?
goons! too funny. i like when trolls call other people names.
hey two cents, didn’t you ramble on a couple of times about how the east has nothing to offer, that it’s uninspired, not worth writing about. and then did a 180 the very same day? why do you need darren’s attention so bad? we get it: you don’t like that he’s not doing toronto life’s job for them. get over it and stop pretending it hasn’t been explained to you. there mere fact that you get so upset about him not saying anything is all the more reason to continue it.
There’s nothing better than getting in someone’s head. And he did it with nothing more than numbers. My No Sense is getting owned.
And for the record, a big story about Descendant Pizza opening in Leslieville soon. Big enough for Now and BlogTO and many others. But on that same day, and 2 days after, Toronto Life was still focused on Queen West. And Queen West. And Queen West. I like seeing the stat and find it fascinating that there’s THAT much of a disparity. We all knew it but to actually see it just in numbers is very funny. I’m with others, I don’t get why you get so pissy about it.
Funny, but when I noticed there were 15 comments already about this article, I thought at least a few of them would relate, you know, to the restaurant? Silly me.
In the interests of getting on topic, I think this is a neat concept, and it says something for Alvin’s belief in his “Masterchef protégé” that he’s been front and centre putting his name on this new restaurant, given his reputation and Eric’s general lack of “pedigree” as a chef. I wish Eric great success and hope to get the chance to try it out soon.
you know what sucks ?
having a severe shellfish + fish allergy.
good luck with your new venture !
Congratulations to Eric & Alvin for their co-production R&D Restaurant. I cant wait to dine & absolutely will recommend this to my family & friends.
I wish them much success.
“Judy”, until you can prove to me that you (and a few other Darren defenders conveniently using aliases) aren’t just Darren yourself, conversation over. If ‘Darren’ even is the pest’s real name.
To everyone else: just look at this Darren piece of work’s profile and how willing he is to engage in snarky, combative exchanges on countless other posts… yet never to address criticism of his stats. However there is always conveniently a whole fleet of the same phantom accounts who DO chime in… every single time out. In a remarkably identical tone and sharply critical manner as to each other and to him in his other posts. And the only time they ever do seem to show up on Toronto Life forums is to defend their man. Seriously, NOWHERE else on here. Always to voraciously stand behind the stat of an absolute online stranger… again, every single time out. Interesting!
So anyway, that’s that. You can draw your own conclusions.
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