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Jan 26, 2009 08:46 AM

Susur cooking at Madeline's this weekend?

I've heard that he'll be back cooking in Toronto for a special Chinese New Year dinner - can anyone confirm?

I checked the website and all they have is a $50 prix-fixe that isn't anything like what they usually serve at Madeline's.

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  1. straight from the website it implies that susur will be in town

    Join Chef Susur Lee in celebrating The Year Of The Ox as he creates a $50 5 Course menu featuring his "Chinese Pot Au Feu" of organic braised beef, oysters & oyster mushrooms, along with a selection of dishes from New York. Join us at both Madeline's (416.603.2205) and Lee Restaurant (416.504.7867) for the week of January 26th - 31st, 2009. Please call to make reservations..

    1 Reply
    1. re: CoffeeAddict416

      We haven't seen a review of the New York restaurant by Bruni in the Times, yet.

    2. If I had to interpret CoffeeAddict416's post, I would read it as Susur was designing a menu that would be utilized during the week in his Toronto restaurants. If he were actually in Toronto, I would think they would have emphasized his presence more than through such a cleverly phrased/vague statement. The sentence could be interpreted as saying he just created the menu. That's just how I would read it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BokChoi

        I agree. I believe he's flying back this Friday but that doesn't coincide with the dates listed on the website. So my guess is he created the menu but won't be physically present to prepare it.

      2. You can call and I bet they will tell you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: deelicious

          He is around quite often. When I peer from my balcony, I can see where he parks. His car was around last weekend. Haven't seen him this week yet.

          1. re: Derksen

            The CH intelligence network!
            Susur has said that he expects to spend his time in two cities, and family is here, so it makes sense that Madeline gets some special attention.

        2. Anybody find out if Susur is here in person or just his ghost cooking the menu?

          11 Replies
          1. re: OnDaGo

            as of tuesday i don't believe he was in the kitchen. a friend went for the cny menu and didn't notice him in the dining room. he usually seems to make his presence intimidatingly aware to everyone so i'd assume not.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              I haven't seen his car this week.

              WRT to making his presence "intimidatingly" aware.... do you really find his presence intimidating? I've been a couple times (Susur and Madelines), and never found his presence intimidating. More just a 'peek out from the kitchen to look at the dining room'.

              1. re: Derksen

                perhaps my one experience was an anomaly.... but he stood with his feet shoulder width apart and firmly planted into the ground, arms crossed rigidly, and with an absolutely intense furrowed look on his face as he slowly scanned the room... in the middle of the main entrance way to the dining room. this was no peek, this was practically a showdown.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  I've been to susur when it was around twice and both times he did the cowboy-busting-into-the-saloon-with-arms-folded look. I don't find it intimidating at all! I actually thought it was quite nice that he'd actually come into the dining room. He came around to my table both times to check in as well.

                  1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                    Funny, I see it as a 'Samuri-peering-across-landscape-while-wind-blows-through-hair-standing-on-mountain-top-and-lifts-nose-to-detect-floral-scent-from-valley' type stance (Like his book cover). He has done this when I've dined there. A signature stance perhaps??

                  2. re: pinstripeprincess

                    That's funny; that IS how he usually looks when he's been around while I have dined! But my husband and I had a chance to speak to him when he was making the rounds and he's actually very nice, polite and seemed to enjoy getting feedback from his customers! I always thought he patroled the dining room to make sure that his customers were happy with their food.

                    1. re: Chocolatemama

                      I agree. From my experience/knowledge, he does seem like a nice guy.

                      I've heard the polar opposite about how the kitchen is run (by his hired hand).

                      1. re: Derksen

                        Dominic, the head chef now at Madeline's and former sous chef of Susur, is the one that does most of the yelling.

                        Sign of a successful chef is the illusion he/she creates at the restaurant. That he is hands-on involved in every single item on your plate. I'm sure Susur has been in previously devising the menu w/ the team at Madeline's before the launch.

                        Although I understand why people like seeing him there. Adds to the intimacy of an evening for the paying punter. The consistency will be there if the restaurant has a high standard. I always like to say this , people like spotting Susur everywhere, apparently even knowing the make of his car ( gave me a good chuckle). He's the "Where's Waldo" for Toronto foodies.

                        1. re: aser

                          I agree about the 'illusion' point.

                          Oh, and PS, I spotted 'Waldo's' car 10 minutes ago behind the restaurant. Enjoy.

              2. re: OnDaGo

                I was at Lee tonight and Susur came out in the dining room to talk to people. Looks like he is in town for the weekend.

              3. Susur may have to devote a lot of time to the Manhattan place, at least until the N.Y. Times reviews it

                1 Reply
                1. re: jayt90

                  I've generally heard lukewarm reviews of Shang so far and if Manhattan Chowhounder reviews ( are any indication, Susur might not want Bruni's review until the kinks are ironed out.