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Daisho

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Haven't seen much talk about Daisho so figured I'd share my experience. I went for the fried chicken dinner and it was a lot of fun. Just an FYI for those thinking it's the same as the NYC location, it isn't - you only get one type of chicken (Southern style), not two. It was a bit disappointing since I'd been totally convinced we'd be eating two types of fried chicken (and if they were only going to do one I'd rather see Korean style) - but it's still a really fun night out with a big group of friends.

We had six people, ordered three additional sides and were almost able to finish everything. The chicken comes with scallion pancakes, two sauces, radishes, pickles and herbs. Our additional sides were corn, brussels sprouts and rice cakes with pork. Our table pretty much all agreed that the brussels sprouts were 'super-awesome! best!', the corn was 'good! so smoky!', and the rice cakes were 'ok, tasty...maybe not so exciting'. At the end, we were all overstuffed but managed to clear the table of everything except one piece of chicken and a spoonful or two of the rice cake dish.

A friend of mine who went for a la carte said that she thought Daisho was pretty good but expensive and I think I'd agree with her. Momofuku's price points in general are a bit high for me, but we were happy with our order and the dishes were all interesting. I think Daisho is going to be one of those places where I like the food but it's a special treat instead of a routine stop. And really, it's just so fun that I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we're back for another large format dinner. While we were there, we saw all of the large format dinners come out to various tables and my friend already has his eye on the bo ssam (MASSIVE). I'd recommend going with as many people as possible for the large format dinners, it's really a lot of food.

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  1. agreed with you on the chicken. did you feel that you get "less" chicken compared to Noodle bar?

    The brussle sprouts was amazing. we also tried the wild rice, grits and potatos. all really good.

    definitely going to be a nice treat visit every so often, i'm already trying to recruit a group of guys for a bo ssam dinner!

    1. I pretty much had the same impression. Went as a group of six for the fried chicken. Was pretty disappointed by only one type of chicken (thought it'll be two as well). Didn't order any side dishes outside of a seasonal pickle jar. They gave us another one free which was nice. A gallon growler of beer was surprisingly not overpriced at all, at least 2 pints each for the 5 of us who were drinking. 5 of us were really stuffed after while the last guy (who wasn't consuming alcohol) was just fine.

      I came away feeling like it was both overpriced yet just the right pricing at the same time. As if comparing to other meals, I was a lot more satisfied with this than other occasions at the same price point yet comparing it to fried chicken at a lower price point, the value wasn't there at all. I do want to try the bo ssam in the future though.

      3 Replies
      1. re: PhilH

        yeah, i dunno. $125 for two fried chickens and some sides? i love fried chicken, but that sounds more than a bit steep, esp. since in my experience quality of fried chicken has no discernible correlation with cost. i'm not saying that the chicken at daisho is bad -- never having had it -- but rather that even quite inexpensive fried chicken can be sublime, so it's hard to see, from a miserly point of view, why one would pay 3x more unless the chicken is truly spectacular and unique. at the moment, it sounds like one is mostly paying for the atmosphere, decor and location.

        1. re: PhilH

          Was the seasonal pickle jar different than the pickles that come with the chicken? We got a jar with carrots, onion, radishes and a shiitake mushroom.

          I actually never had the chicken dinner in New York, it was always too hard getting a group together - that's why i jumped at booking the one here. From the photos I've seen, it seems to be the same amount of chicken. That's partly why I was so confused when it was only one type of chicken (in my mind, a magical second platter of Korean chicken was going to appear any second). They should maybe clarify this on the website.

          Yeah you're definitely paying for the whole experience as opposed to the food itself. It's ironic - I feel like the a la carte menu items are really good and interesting, and I'd rather eat those. But it's just way too fun having a giant platter of meat appear and I will always feel compelled to order large format even though I totally agree with PhilH's value assessment.

          1. re: ggom1

            No, it wasn't! I guess the other one was the one that comes with the chicken then. My friend just randomly ordered a jar at the beginning, hah.

        2. If the bo ssam is the same as in NYC, then... well 8 people is a good start. I had 8 and we still had 2lb of meat left over (three of us had just eaten at EMP for lunch though, so...)

          5 Replies
          1. re: jlunar

            From the pictures I looked at from TorontoLife I thought 6 people was too much!
            http://www.torontolife.com/daily/wp-c...

            Then again I'm also the one who has said he could easily eat two Kaji $120 dinners in a row.

            1. re: radiopolitic

              I guarantee you 6 people could not finish the bo ssam. Unless they were professional eaters or really big dudes.

              If you have women in your party almost guaranteed you could not finish it. We left with close to half of the shoulder packed up to go.

              The problem is that the pork is so rich and fatty that it starts getting overwhelming and you turn to the rice, beer or whatever is around to cut it, which just fills you more.

                1. re: radiopolitic

                  hahaha I would love to be there to see it!

              1. re: radiopolitic

                Hrmn. I'm comparing my shot to theirs, and the chunk of pork I had looked bigger, but it's hard to tell on the angle. Also, size will differ. I remember them saying it was an 8-10lb? roast, so the size does differ. Still, ours could have been smaller and we'd have been just fine!

            2. It's funny I went last night as was just thinking there wasn't anything up on chowhound. Having gone to all three concepts now, I think Daisho best represents what Momofuku is really about.

              I had the Bo Ssam last night, with only 6 people...what a mistake! It is an enormous amount of food. The pork was moist and tender, and the bo ssam sauce was awesome. There's nothing quite like this in Toronto. It is so much fun to go with a good crew, get a growler and just start crushing the meat and oysters. I wish they would have refilled our lettuce a bit quicker (and they were muttering that they might be out of lettuce which is ridiculous) but everything else was great. The brussel sprouts were tasty, but I prefer mine a bit less caramelized/burnt.

              Cant wait to try the fried chicken next week, although I cant for the life of me understand why they wouldnt offer the korean style, which from what I read is usually the favourite.

              I think the noodle bar has not reached its full potential yet and is actually a bit disappointing. Shoto is a great experience, with some fantastic dishes, but for close to $600 having one small piece of lobster followed by quail as the most expensive ingredients is a bit disappointing. Not sure the value for price is there, but the food was creative and tasty, although not transcendent or meriting pantheon status. We paid nearly that much at Alinea for example....

              I will say the wine pairings were great and very creative, but dont bother if you are not a fan of whites.

              1 Reply
              1. re: themiguel

                Ah I think we saw your table...we were amazed those few people were going to try eating all that meat lol.

              2. How does one go about making an reservation? Every time I check the web site I'm told that there are no reservations. Also me and a friend are visiting Toronto the weekend of the 19th which is why I'm trying to make a reservation. It's only just the two of us but we want to try the fried chicken. What are everyone's thoughts on this? I know it's a bit expensive but we can take the leftover food home right?

                1. Good Day All: My girlfriend and I are eating at Daisho on the 15th and I'm guessing we will be seated at the counter. Does the counter overlook the kitchen like the Noodle Bar downstairs?

                  1 Reply
                  1. Resurrecting this thread because I'm going tonight and getting mixed reviews online. Any standouts besides the rice cake/sausage dish?

                    I went last year and had a great meal, but now people seem to be consistently disappointed. If you have go to's I'd love to hear them.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: miketoronto

                      My go to is not choosing spots based on Yelp.

                      1. Went last week and had a reaffirming Momofuku experience.

                        Ordered:
                        - pretzel bread
                        - razor clams
                        - chitarra pasta
                        - roasted rice cakes
                        - sides - carrots, corn
                        - peach pie and crack pie for dessert

                        Pretzel bread was perfect bread. The texture of the roasted rice cakes has that addictive glutinous chew. My favourite dish there. Carrots were roasted to the point of real savoury/sweet transformation with a rich herbaceous sauce. Razor clam dish was heavy handed with butter and not very balanced, but was still sublime. Chitarra pasta was nice but not life altering (would probably skip it next time). Desserts were great - crack pie is everything it should be, peach pie was perfect but the accompanying coconut ice cream was a bit of a disappointment. Too much suntan lotion, not enough coconut milk smoothness.

                        We had a beautiful meal, although things weren't 110% perfect. Food was beautifully presented, rich, aggressively seasoned (sometimes too much). We had perfect service but did notice some minor issues at other tables. I think we could have made slightly better selections as there was some overlap in flavours but everything was truly memorable.

                        Glad they're still putting up great food. We got there at 7 and was surprised as to how empty it was, but by mid-meal it was bopping full with Bay St and Queen St alike.

                          1. re: Michael N

                            Yup! BEST THING EVER I'VE EVER HAD. But - I would say maybe split it, or else you'll fall into a food coma at your desk (a wonderful, well-deserved food coma)

                            1. re: canadianbeaver

                              Oh man. But apparently it's only a lunch thing, and they only serve lunch Monday to Friday, and I work in Mississauga. Urge to kill... rising...