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Takeout Diaries: Where Eataly Toronto chef Rob Wing gets to-go Thai curry, fried noodles and chorizo tacos

By Tiffany Leigh| Photo courtesy of Eataly
Takeout Diaries: Where Eataly Toronto chef Rob Wing gets to-go Thai curry, fried noodles and chorizo tacos

It may be November but it feels like March all over again—our numbers are going up, it’s cold and grey outside and, once again, we can’t eat inside restaurants. But there’s always takeout or delivery. In this new series, we’re asking Toronto chefs to name their go-to takeout spots from throughout the pandemic. First up: Eataly Toronto executive chef Rob Wing.

During the pandemic, Wing has ensured that Eataly can offer seamless takeout and delivery for people missing the brand’s Roman-style pizza, house-made pasta and gianduja-filled bomboloni. “When you’re ordering takeout or delivery, you’re doing way more than just supporting the restaurants and their staff,” says Wing. “With every order you place, you’re also supporting the local farmers who grow the ingredients, the truck drivers who deliver them, the wholesalers who sell them, the winemakers and brewers, and so many others who work behind the scenes.” When he’s not snacking on Eataly’s edibles, these are his favourite spots for delivery and takeout.

Pai Northern Thai Kitchen

18 Duncan St., 416-901-4724, paitoronto.com

The menu at Pai—just one of chef and co-owner Nuit Regular’s many Thai restaurants—focuses on the dishes from the northern region of the country, where Regular grew up. “These are the dishes remind me of all of the flavours that I missed from when I was living in Asia,” Wing said.

Go-to item 1: Massaman curry Dish description: Tender chunks of braised beef and potato in a peanut-tamarind sauce are topped with crispy shallots and served with fluffy jasmine rice.

Go-to item 2: Chiang Mai soup Dish description: Braised beef and rice noodles float in an aromatic peanut-tamarind-lime broth. It’s finished with roasted peanuts, which not only provide a textural contrast but nicely echo the broth flavour. It’s like a bear hug in a bowl.

Go-to item 3: Pad gra prow Dish description: Holy basil is wok-tossed with ground pork, crispy pork, chicken, beef or tofu. (Wing always goes for the ground pork.) Other components include jasmine rice, a fried egg and nam prik nam pla—an essential Thai sauce that Wing says offers a perfect balance of heat, sweetness, tang and salt.

 

Rol Jui Seafood Restaurant

472 Dundas St. W., 416-971-8885, roljuiseafood.ca

“During the opening of Eataly Las Vegas, I worked with a friend who had spent many years living in Hong Kong. He introduced me to a lot of his favourite regional Chinese restaurants in the area, and the dishes from Rol Jui remind me of some of the places he took me to.”

Go-to item 1: Fried noodles with shredded pork Dish description: Wing says this dish is a must. A bed of crispy-crunchy egg noodles comes topped with a pile of tender shredded pork and mushrooms.

Go-to item 2: Sautéed string beans with spicy minced pork Dish description: Crisp beans mingle with rich minced pork, pungent garlic and spicy chili oil in a minefield of flavours and textures.

Go-to item 3: Eggplant with shrimp in spicy garlic sauce Dish description: Tender and sweet eggplant is tossed with plump shrimp and fired up with a nice hit of spicy garlic. Chef tip: Order a big bowl of rice on the side to soak up all that extra sauce.

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Latin World

1229 Bloor St. W., 416-603-3311, latinworlddelivery.ca

“There’s a very large Mexican community in Chicago, so when I was working at Eataly Chicago I had plenty of opportunities to eat delicious Mexican food. When I moved to Toronto, I asked some of Eataly Toronto’s team members where to go for really good tacos in the city. They told me about Latin World and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Go-to item 1: Tamales Oaxaqueños Dish description: Enriched with lard, these masa pockets are stuffed with chicken, pork or veggies, then drizzled with crema and topped with cheese.

Go-to item 2: Cochinita tacos Dish description: This slow-roasted pork gets its orangey hue from its marinade of citrus and annatto seeds. It’s wrapped and cooked in banana leaves to help retain its moisture, so it’s super juicy. The pulled meat comes topped with fresh onions, cilantro, guacamole and a squeeze of fresh lime.

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Go-to item 3: Chorizo tacos Dish description: Wing likes to complement the minced chorizo in these tacos with cilantro, fresh chopped onion and a generous drizzle of their house-made hot sauce. Tip: Latin World is equal parts restaurant and bodega, so it’s a great place to stock up on house-made condiments or to pick up ingredients and products imported from Mexico.

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