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Susur opening on Dundas (moved from Ontario board)

foie_yyz Oct 5, 2011 12:05 PM


or will they bring the "ShangShow" to Toronto?


601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

  1. syoung Oct 9, 2011 06:37 PM

    I'm going to dissent wtih those saying Susur is targetng to the younger crowd. Why? He's never done before and while many of the newer top chefs are young, they don't target the young per se. And by young, I'm talking 20-something, 35 max. These young aren't foodies and aren't concerned with fine dining by any stretch as Guu so exemplifies.

    Instead, this looks more like his sons wanting to try out the restaurant business and their father wanting to help out. My guess is this isn't going to be Susur at his finest pushing the envelope. Catering to the Guu crowd isn't what Susur is about. When Susur opens HIS restaurant, we will know about it and it will be high end fine dining. What he does best. My 2 cents.

    14 Replies
    1. re: syoung
      justsayn Oct 9, 2011 07:21 PM

      Yea I agree with syoung because Susur bombed the last time he opened a restaurant catering to the "Guu crowd". Bombed so badly in fact, I can't even remember the name of it let alone what year it was.

      1. re: syoung
        Charles Yu Oct 9, 2011 09:13 PM

        Susur used his forte in 'high end fine dining' in opening up Shang in New York. Unfortunately reviews had been luke warm to border line negative! ( underwhelming, disappointing...etc )http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578348

        Frankly, if he tries to do a repeat and/or resurrection in Toronto, I'm not sure if he will succeed?! Especially when Michelin star wizard chef David Chang will be in town to take away some of the luster and attraction!

        1. re: Charles Yu
          justsayn Oct 9, 2011 09:41 PM

          David Chang coming to Toronto has nothing to do with Susur's future success. Anyway, unfortunately it is widely believed that David is over-reaching.

          1. re: justsayn
            iMarilyn Oct 10, 2011 04:59 AM

            "Widely believed" by whom?

            1. re: justsayn
              Charles Yu Oct 10, 2011 07:46 AM

              Both chefs practicing similar 'oriental/western fusion' cuisine opening up new places in the same city and there's no impact on each other???!!! Furthermore, David Chang is far more 'popular' in the foodie world nowadays and Torontonians haven't seen his cuisine yet! Unless Susur comes up with something really spectacular, patron traffic will flow Chang's way! At least I will!

              601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

            2. re: Charles Yu
              iMarilyn Oct 10, 2011 04:58 AM

              @ Charles Yu: Shang certainly wasn't "high end fine dining". Half the menu was sushi as it is in Washington DC. Since when is Susur Lee known for sushi?

              1. re: iMarilyn
                Charles Yu Oct 10, 2011 07:39 AM

                For ' Modern/fusion Chinese', it is! At least the decor, service, table ware and food presentation all gave the impression it is going that route!

                1. re: Charles Yu
                  ingloriouseater Oct 10, 2011 07:58 AM

                  i hope he brings the duo of fried chicken to toronto....mmmmmm

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    iMarilyn Oct 10, 2011 08:19 AM

                    @ Charles Yu: When did you eat there?

                    1. re: iMarilyn
                      Charles Yu Oct 10, 2011 08:25 AM

                      Visited the restaurant, take a look around and at the menu but did not eat there. Prefer spending my money on other Michelin star restaurants instead!

              2. re: syoung
                dubchild Oct 9, 2011 09:53 PM

                Syoung and Justsayn should read the article in the origin post.

                1. re: dubchild
                  justsayn Oct 9, 2011 10:01 PM

                  Oh I've read the original post, and then some. Frankly I couldn't disagree with you and CY and SY more! It is so easy for the haters to hate because all they have to do is spit.

                  1. re: justsayn
                    dubchild Oct 10, 2011 05:33 AM

                    This topic has taken a very strange twist. I've made an attempt to be thoughtful and considerate in what I've posted. I wouldn't characterize any of it as simply spitting out hate. Calling me a hater who spits tries to undermine all my post as simplistic, irrational and driven by some blind desire to destroy Susur. I have to ask which line did I post allows you to draw this conclusion?

                    601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                    1. re: dubchild
                      Googs Oct 11, 2011 06:17 AM

                      I'd have to concur, dubchild. The knowledge you bring to the table is of great value. I think 'haters' gets tossed out too easily creating a tense tone. The word, if you'll forgive the butchering of the language, is 'disagree-ers'.

              3. c
                crawfish Oct 8, 2011 05:41 AM

                I'd love to know the back story on Le Corner. It was a Portuguese bar which closed, then it was under renovations for years, then finally opened as Le Corner but I never saw one customer in there. Then after maybe a year it closed. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Lee's do.

                1. Googs Oct 7, 2011 08:19 PM

                  If experience has taught me anything, it's that there's zero correlation between age and talent. I wait with an open mind.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Googs
                    TorontoJo Oct 8, 2011 03:44 AM

                    What? You're not going to pre-judge a place before you know anything about it or try their food? And you call yourself a chowhound? I'm so disappointed in you. ;o)

                    1. re: Googs
                      dubchild Oct 8, 2011 06:57 AM

                      The kids aren't cooking

                      1. re: dubchild
                        shekamoo Oct 8, 2011 07:34 AM

                        Hmmm, who said anything about youth and talent and all that philosophical heavy stuff?!?!?

                        dubchild and I were expressing concern about the restaurants aim at a younger crowd, which usually doesnt bode well for quality of food, not about the ownership or the kitchen.

                        If that makes us dogmatic fakehounds who prejudge a place in complete ignorance in the eyes of the authorities, so be it.

                        its a good thing we actually said we were hoping to be proven wrong....

                        1. re: shekamoo
                          TorontoJo Oct 8, 2011 09:37 AM

                          Sorry, shekamoo -- not directed at you. There were a bunch of snarky posts that are no longer here.

                          1. re: TorontoJo
                            shekamoo Oct 8, 2011 01:35 PM

                            Oh I didnt realize that, thanks for the kind clarification.

                            1. re: shekamoo
                              Googs Oct 11, 2011 06:22 AM

                              dubchild, I read the same article and was and am well aware who's in front and who's in back. You and I both know it takes far more than just a talented chef to create success.

                              My comments weren't directed at anyone. I'm merely pointing out that age is no indicator of ability. Some of the most successful people I work with started as teenagers with a passion. Some of the most talented people I work with would, at first glance, appear to be beyond their best years. Until you observe them in action.

                              My hope is that the sons are the former having had their passion lit by the father and able to carry the torch.

                              1. re: Googs
                                dubchild Oct 11, 2011 07:13 AM

                                The word talent threw me off. I usually use experience to describe the front of the house and talent for the kitchen. You are right in that age is no judge of abilty.

                          2. re: shekamoo
                            ingloriouseater Oct 9, 2011 07:53 AM

                            what examples of places can you cite that younger crowds and good food are an impossible pair? Younger crowds tend to overconsume and usually end up paying more....but the drake, gladstone, nyood and whole queen west movement and ossington strip are geared to a younger crowd and some of the locations have some fairly decent eats.

                            I am less interested in the new venture due to susur himself, i am interested to see what the kids can do and what they've gained through genes or osmosis. Who knows-maybe they'll fire their father and find someone new at some point. I'll bet susur wants to help them succeed but hopes they will be able to run it without him.

                            1. re: ingloriouseater
                              dubchild Oct 9, 2011 08:46 AM

                              The excitement of Susur opening a new place is that somehow he will return to his former glory, a promise, so to speak, which has not been delivered on his venture in NYC or with his recent reno. Several posts have expressed this hope with words like "this could be great", "he should push the envelope", or more oddly "he might get a professional manager and re-target at adults", which seems to suggest pushing the kids aside.
                              What Shekamoo and myself are expressing is that the writing on the wall is saying something else and that is that it will be basically a bar/lounge. That isn't to say it will be a disaster, only that it's not what some of you may be hoping for.

                              601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                              1. re: dubchild
                                Charles Yu Oct 9, 2011 02:08 PM

                                Totally agree!!
                                I hate to say it, but nowadays, when restaurants around the world are gathering Michelin stars with 'relatively young' chefs in their late 20's - early 30's at the helm of their kitchen. Susur, with side effects resulting from his 'Shang's' failure in NYC, is IMO, losing his touch, his interest and ' getting old'??!!

                                601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  dubchild Oct 9, 2011 02:50 PM

                                  The mental and physical demands of working in fine dining at 53 cannot be easy for any chef. Staying interested in a business environment which demands meeting certain numbers must be artistically draining. Susur, at least in Toronto, is still somewhat of a brand. His name, as proven on this board, still draws interest. The game plan is to capitalise as much as possible on that brand.

                                  601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                  1. re: dubchild
                                    Charles Yu Oct 9, 2011 04:08 PM


                                    1. re: dubchild
                                      ingloriouseater Oct 10, 2011 03:21 AM

                                      Like Wolfgang puck frozen entrees, cookware & airport licensed food kiosks? I can't wait for susur cheeseburger spring rolls to appear at my local 7-11

                        2. c
                          childofthestorm Oct 6, 2011 11:50 AM

                          Could be really good. But please Lee family, if you're reading this, spare us the frigging cheeseburger spring rolls.

                          1. Bobby Wham Oct 6, 2011 07:12 AM

                            Cool! I'm excited to see this, I love how his kids are involved

                            1. d
                              dubchild Oct 5, 2011 09:00 PM

                              Who knows what Susur and family will give us, but I think the telling line is that they are targeting a younger audience. To me that means lower prices and lots of cocktails. If Susur didn't make magic happen in NYC or with his recent reno, I wouldn't expect it for a shop he is setting up for his, barely out of their teens, sons. I hope he proves me wrong.

                              601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: dubchild
                                shekamoo Oct 6, 2011 07:46 PM

                                agreed. keyword: Younger Crowd. hope to be proven wrong as well.

                                1. re: shekamoo
                                  estufarian Oct 8, 2011 01:43 PM

                                  And just maybe, Lee will get a professional manager and re-target at adults!
                                  We all win.

                                  1. re: estufarian
                                    justsayn Oct 8, 2011 01:55 PM

                                    Or....just maybe they will simply do an awesome job the way they have set out.

                                    Younger crowd does not = crap food
                                    Novice front of house does not = failure

                              2. y
                                ylsf Oct 5, 2011 04:05 PM

                                Write up on Blogto about this too:


                                Not sure if it offers any new info from your links, didn't get a chance to read them yet.

                                1. miketoronto Oct 5, 2011 12:56 PM

                                  Don't get me wrong, could be great. But that's a big move.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: miketoronto
                                    justsayn Oct 5, 2011 02:12 PM

                                    I just hope he is going to really push the envelope!! HUGELY! SHOCK US SUSUR!!!!

                                    If it is the same ole Susur I personally no longer have an interest. I am still bummed out about the Lee expansion instead of the new concept that was supposed to arrive!

                                  2. miketoronto Oct 5, 2011 12:53 PM

                                    Well that sounds like a nail in the coffin for Dundas W cool.

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