A dozen new restaurants to check out right now
Where to eat ceviche, matcha pancakes, fried chicken and Wagyu
420A Wellington St. W., 647-951-3331, mirarestaurant.com
At Mira, ICONINK’s splashy new Peruvian venue off King West, chef Stuart Cameron (Byblos, Patria) serves up Nikkei-inspired dishes including yuca fries, suckling pig on chaufa-inspired fried rice and all kinds of ceviche. To drink: plenty of pisco, of course.
Walrus Pub and Beer Hall
187 Bay St., 416-363-7261, donnellygroup.ca/walrus
Bay Street’s newest place for a pint comes in the form of the Walrus, a 13,000-square-foot, multi-level space complete with 20 big-screen TVs, shuffleboard and a 150-seat patio. If that’s not enough, apparently there’s a beer hall, private dining room and even a barber shop planned for the lower level.
Momofuku pop-up at Pusateri’s
Saks Food Hall, 176 Yonge St., 416-365-3130, @momofukutoronto
Since Daishō and Shōtō closed earlier this year to make way for the newest (and as of yet still secret) Momofuku concept, fans have been able to satisfy their cravings at this pop-up in Pusateri’s Champagne Bar. The temporary menu has a selection of favourites, like the popular pork buns and rice cakes, but also new items, including bing (griddled Chinese flat bread served with dips and spreads).
Kaka All You Can Eat
655 Bay St., 416-979-3288, kakaallyoucaneat.com
While the restaurant’s name might be good for a laugh, there’s nothing funny about all-you-can-eat quality sushi. The Markham-based sushi spot earned its popularity by charging customers only $34.99 for unlimited seafood, including thick-cut sashimi, tataki plated with flower petals and aburi nigiri torched to order.
15 William Kitchen Rd., Scarborough, 647-953-1100, Facebook
The long-awaited Toronto location of this Filipino favourite finally opened in April, drawing thousands of people who waited for up to 10 hours to try the chain’s crispy fried chicken, Jolly Spaghetti and mango-peach pies.
5315 North York, 416-546-5139, meetfreshcanada.com
This Taiwanese brand serves up traditional desserts heaped high with things like taro, boba (chewy tapioca balls), mung beans and herbal jelly (a slightly bitter jelly made from a member of the mint family). To drink, there’s tea (milk, green, black, winter melon), and guests can choose to customize theirs with herbal jelly, taro balls or boba.
1201 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-748-7288, shunoko.com
Roncesvalle’s favourite little sushi shop, Sushi Nomi, closed, moved north and gave itself a new name. There’s way more space at the St. Clair location, but the emphasis on high-quality seafood and friendly service remains the same. Co-owner and chef Jun Kim offers an omakase menu ($90 for 18 courses) and takes delight in introducing people to lesser-known fish like Japanese half beak, horse mackerel, and fluke.
15 Charles St. E., 647-475-4436, constantineto.com
The dishes at chef Craig Harding’s (Campagnolo, La Palma) new restaurant inside the (also-new) Anndore House hotel incorporate Mediterranean flavours: Moroccan, Greek, Egyptian and Turkish (although the menu is dotted with a few La Palma favourites like cacio e pepe pizza), and nearly everything comes into contact with live flames, thanks to a wood-fired oven and a parilla grill.
972 College St., 416-964-0606, giu.ca
Rob Rossi’s successor to Bestellen, his College Street restaurant with a meat-heavy menu, is Giulietta, an Italian restaurant serving thin-crust pizzas and house-made pasta, as well as things like grilled octopus and goat with polenta with truffles and artichokes. “I grew up Italian and I always wanted to have a beautiful, simple Italian restaurant,” says Rossi.
4909 Yonge St., 647-341-6622, tsujiri-global.com
The massive lineups at Tsujiri, a 155-year-old Japanese brand, are owed to their matcha-packed meals, drinks and desserts. Almost everything on the menu is a verdant green, including noodle bowls, soft serve and jiggly pancakes (a new trend for 2018) that come served with brown sugar syrup and a few scoops of ice cream.
892 Queen St. E., 647-812-7747, frankiesyafrankies.com
Long-time Leslieville favourite Lil’ Baci closed and reopened as Frankie’s, an also-Italian restaurant. The menu is made up of shareable snacks and small plates, a trio of daily $10 pasta dishes and pizza made from Lil’ Baci’s 10-year-old mother dough. A negroni list offers a whole bunch of twists on the classic Italian cocktail, including one made with rose hip and ginger.
Shinta Japanese BBQ
280 West Beaver Creek Rd., Unit 37-39, Richmond Hill, 905-597-0305, shinta.ca
What’s better than Wagyu? All-you-can-eat Wagyu, that’s what. Shinta’s regular AYCE menu features things like miso-marinated salmon, Angus Gold kalbi short ribs, lemongrass-marinated organic pork loin and New Zealand lamb racks. The more-baller Wagyu menu gets you all of the above plus Australian Wagyu sirloin and U.S. Wagyu brisket.