http://www.dailoto.com/ (647) 341-8882 $$ dinner 5pm-2am, closed sun & mon
Out with the old, in with the new; Grace restaurant has come and gone, and now Dailo has the spotlight. Love the wicker patio furniture and the kitschy interior décor reminds me of an old Chinese tea shop with an odd edge to it. Chef Nick Liu (Niagara Street Café) has created a nice concise menu: three sections, five dishes in each all seeming thoughtfully put together. But then, they have this large wine list, with few wines by the glass that confuse me – if you want to have a lavish wine list make it accessible. Read below for details but here the rundown: the dishes seemed mismatched and unbalanced: maybe I expect too much. I don’t buy the “just opened, give us some leeway”. It has been two weeks already. Come for the patio, foot traffic and something new. I wouldn’t focus on the menu.
A somewhat sour Manila Galleon (Milagros Blanco tequila, Aperol, rhubarb, ginger,lime) starts me off in an underwhelming way, love the garnish but it’s just empty. Tom yum booze is better, summery with Tanqueray “Rangpur” Gin, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and galangal syrup and coconut water. Big Mac Ba (lettuce, special sauce, crispy potato )is cool, dense and tastes like it was warmed up to order. Pass on that.
Jellyfish slaw (napa cabbage, lime soy vinaigrette, sesame seeds) is juvenile, heavy on acid and lacks length in seasoning. Beef tartare “kare kare” (90 day dry aged rib eye cap, peanuts, egg yolk) lacks seasoning, even when eaten with the salty pork rinds and dark brown (not chewy or crunchy) roasted nuts; every element seems stolen from another planet and locked in a room together. Special of the day, BBQ Korean short ribs (Kimchi grits, deep fried tomatoes) are on the cusp of being amazing – all the elements are there though none work together.
Sweet and sour pork hock with PO’s original sauce, crispy shallots, garlic, almonds best dish of the evening – melts in my mouth like sweet candy – I’d come back here just for it. And then I can’t help myself but order a take home the black truffle fried rice with egg, heirloom carrots, edamame, and xo sauce – looks gorgeous but deceiving: under-cooked rice cracks your teeth.