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May 24, 2012 05:38 AM

David Chang on his TO Outposts

Can't tell if he's coy, clueless, confused or confident behind the iffyness.

Dunno but I'm sensing some major glitch(es)--money, construction, partnering, concept--stalling the oft-postponed launch. Your takes?

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  1. Some people thrive on chaos. David seems to work well with concepts, but relies on his team to finish up the job.

    1 Reply
    1. re: andyhkng

      It doesn't seem any different from any other opening to me.... There are changes, there are delays. If everything was already set in stone, then i think there would be a problem.

    2. they cant really open until the hotel building is opened.. or else there will be constant construction noise and dust throughout the restauarant... and from what I see the building is still a while off from being complete so I would not blame Chang... yet...

      3 Replies
      1. re: ParkerQ

        It sounds like a pretty standard restaurant opening for Chang. It's not like he doesn't know what he's doing. Last time I checked he has a pretty good track record so I'm not sure how opening in Toronto is any different than the other locations or concepts. It's a little premature to be sounding the death knell.

        1. re: ParkerQ

          Actually the restaurant building and the hotel building are adjacent but physically separate.

          1. re: bytepusher

            But have they done the ground work outside? Do you want to walk across construction to go for dinner? Do you want to be eating as there are trucks backing up Beep Beeping?

            Restaurants are about comfort not dodging construction...

        2. Nah he's always this way in interviews, and admits to being a total stress-case. He changes his mind constantly, part of what makes him fairly brilliant I think. Toronto is really lucky to be getting such an ambitious Momofuku undertaking, his spot in Australia is the toughest reservation in the country since it's the Ko concept with only 14ish seats and a tasting menu served by chefs. At least the Toronto location will have other more accessible concepts..

          8 Replies
          1. re: childofthestorm

            Where does he say anything that references an issue with money, construction or partnering? And has the launch been 'oft-postponed?"

            1. re: jamesm

              From previous posts, one can gather that the OP is betting on Momofuku Toronto being a failure for Chang. I think it's going to be the exact opposite.

              1. re: childofthestorm

                Gimme a break. Try actually reading the linked article, pal, instead of me, OK? Its author is simply asking some obvious questions. Chang's success or failure is utterly inconsequential to me.

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  The article you linked made no mention of "major glitch(es)--money, construction, partnering, concept--stalling the oft-postponed launch" that was all you... we are just asking where you got this "sense" as no article or interview seems to give that sense to anyone else...

                  1. re: ParkerQ

                    Really? Purely a speculative exercise.Simply asking the local wise-arses how they'd decode this obvious vagueness from Chang and his handlers, e.g.,

                    "A few weeks ago, Chang announced that Toronto’s Momofuku branch—which he has said will be known as Momofuku Daisho—would be opening up on July 28th, but his public relations staff later walked back on that date, saying instead that the restaurant will be opening at some point in August."


                    "Last week, following a story in The Grid that looked in some detail at the meaning of Chang’s impending Canadian debut, Momofuku’s publicists reached out to local media with offers of phone interviews with the chef himself. The offer came with a warning that Chang would not be able to talk with any specificity about what the Toronto location will be like. With roughly three months until its expected opening date, Daisho—or whatever it ends up being called—is, despite its mounting hype, still almost completely up in the air."

                    My guess is as good as yours. OK, so what's yours?

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      6 week delay on a restauarnt of that size does not even count as a delay... sometimes these projects get delayed years....

                      Chang is known to be a total control freak and will say stuff just to get a rise out of people (like the F-bombs at the end of the article).. He also is known for not wanting to give details that are not set in stone as then media and "chow hounders" start second guessing the reasons (oh he went from 30 seats to 60 seats he must need money, oh he went from 60 seats to 30 seats he must not be able to afford the project...) he hates that kind of BS... so he does not tell anyone what his plan is..

                      I say it will open for TIFF parties then open fully sometime in late September... and they will have seats and serve great food... and I will go there to eat and I will be happy...

                      1. re: Kagemusha

                        Yeah I don't get any of the stuff you mentioned in the OP from those quotes at all.

                        1. re: Kagemusha

                          I think its all hype. To which sum, you're contributing nicely. Well done.

              2. I thought Ravinsky - of 416 Snack Bar - showed a level of immaturity and jealousy with his comments in the gridto link from the article. As someone who just ate at Robuchon Vegas (which I"m sure Ravinsky would call a "franchising cash grab") it's clear to me, that when done properly, top chefs opening restaurants in other cities can be a great thing. Ravinsky may not be happy about it, but I know plenty of diners that can't wait to get into Chang's new place here...