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Kiss the Chef: DaiLo

August 12, 2016

A recipe from DaiLo guaranteed to get you some.

Photos by Ishmil Waterman
Words by Nicole Pimentel

In a time when the food scene is on a high, Toronto Chef Nick Liu opens up about being the “bad-ass big brother” of pan-Asian cuisine and what it takes to standout in the restaurant industry today.

DaiLo, in its literal translation, comes from Cantonese origin, meaning ‘Big Brother’ which is used as a term of endearment to show love and respect to an elder. It is also interpreted to mean “Boss, or Bad Ass”, both of which Lui considers a reflection of both his personality and culinary style.

Nick Liu, owner of DaiLo

At the age of 19 and straight out of culinary school, Liu began work at the sophisticated, long-standing Toronto establishment, Scaramouche where he cut his teeth for nearly a decade. Fast-forward to 2013, upon his return from world travels, Lui would spend the next 3 years would running Niagara Street Café, which would earn him notable acclaim for his ever-changing menus and creative takes on Asian ingredients. From here Liu began to operate on-trend pop up restaurants throughout the city until he found the space where he would occupy his very own brick and mortar restaurant. Enter DaiLo. The hot new College Street restaurant where vintage photos of Liu’s family adorn the raw unfinished walls, hand painted in detailed chinoiserie style murals. Brass plated filigree screens separate the banquets, while rich teals

Enter DaiLo. The hot new College Street restaurant where vintage photos of Liu’s family adorn the raw unfinished walls, hand painted in detailed chinoiserie style murals. Brass plated filigree screens separate the banquets, while rich teals make up the seating arrangements.

Nick Liu, owner of DaiLo cooking

With his roots in Asian fare and his training in French Cuisine, Lui describes his style of cooking as ‘New Asian Cuisine’ – Asian food that has not yet been created. Travelling the world and cooking in Michelin star restaurants throughout Europe, London, Australia and Singapore, Liu developed his unique culinary style from a collection of flavors and experiences around the world. Finding their way onto the creative menu, Asian-inspired and high-quality ingredients like Ponzu Beef Carpaccio, Truffle Fried Rice, Peeking Glazed Duck Breast, Fried Watermelon and of course, the ‘guranteed to get you some’ melt in your mouth Pumpkin Dumplings.

When pressed on if we could expect something from him in the near future, Liu, with a sheepish grin jokingly replied “yes, but I can’t tell you more than that” as he slowly pulled what appeared to be an architectural floor plan off the table, out of sight.

pumpkin dumplings from DaiLo

Pumpkin Dumplings
with brown butter soy, truffles, almond crumble, white rabbit candy glaze

Makes approx. 4 servings

Ingredients needed:
1 pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2T Veg oil
1/2 ” piece of ginger sliced thin
2 cloves garlic sliced thin
3 sprigs thyme
1T salt
2T rice vinegar
piping bag
1 pkg. wonton skins
1 egg beaten

Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out all the seeds.
Drizzle veg oil on the two halves and sprinkle 3T brown sugar, 1T salt, the sliced garlic, sliced ginger and thyme on the pumpkin as well.
Place on a baking tray and bake at 425 with the skin side down until the flesh is soft and nicely caramelized.
Scoop out flesh and place in a food processor with rice vinegar.
Puree until smooth and season with more salt and brown sugar if necessary.
Put puree in a piping bag and pipe approx.
1T of puree in the middle of 20 wonton skins.
Brush 2 sides of the wonton skins with egg wash and fold over to create a triangle.
Seal edges well.
Brush a small amount of egg wash on one of the corners and connect the two corners sealing them to form a tortellini style dumpling.
Keep dumplings in fridge or freezer until needed.

bar raval fix me a drink

Photographer: Ishmil Waterman
Words: Nicole Pimentel

Bar Raval is known to be the hotspot in Toronto, specifically little Italy. The Sangria is to die for and watching the two owners in action is worth every last penny.

Bar Raval drink #1 Drink shot John Varvatos Blazer $498 / Aviator Nation T-shirt $98

Bar Raval is the place to get a cocktail in Toronto. There is a distinct dynamic between Mike Webster and Robin Goodfellow, Co-owners, and Barmen of Toronto’s much hyped, Gaudi-esque Spanish pintxo bar – Bar Raval. If you have ever had the pleasure of catching these two behind the bar together, you realize the two in action is synonymous watching two dancers effortlessly execute their craft. They move in unison, they’re charming, professional and well, just down right fun to watch.

With countless awards and cocktail competitions under their belt, there is no doubt these two can whip up an expertly crafted cocktail on the fly, to suit any palette. We asked them to make us two of their favorites, and they undeniably delivered two unique and distinctly memorable cocktails. Here they show us how to make The Naughty Nurse and Speak of the Devil.

Bar raval outfit

Right: Individual Blazer $250, Pullin T-shirt $55, Zanerobe Sureshot $125,Outclass Trainer $395. Left: John Varvatos Blazer $498 / Aviator Nation T-shirt $98 / Zanerobe Sureshot $110 / Garment Projects Sneakers $290

Speak of the Devil:

– 1.25oz Godderham and Worts whisky
– .9oz Guerra Dry Vermouth
– .25oz China China

Stir over ice in mixing glass until properly chilled, strain into chilled 10oz
Old Fashioned glass with ice. No garnish.

Bar raval drinks

The Naughty Nurse:
– 1oz Lot 40 Rye
– 0.5oz White Port
– 0.5oz Campari
– 0.5oz Cinnamon Grenadine
– 1oz Lemon Juice
– 2 dash Angostura
– 2 dash Peychaud’s

Shaken with ice until bone cold, served over cracked ice in a Collins glass.