Chef Duncan Ly (Raw Bar, Yellow Door, Chef’s Table) and Roy Oh (Anju.2) recently laid down a kick ass dinner for Chinese New Year. The talented pool of chefs included sous chef Jinhee Lee and pastry chef Karine Moulin.
Tickets were $60.00 a person, and included three appetizers, a main course, dessert and a cocktail. Complimentary sparkling water was also included, which I thought was a nice touch. The first dish was Duk Guk, an oxtail consomme. The broth was hot in temperature, strong in flavour and salty. The dumpling wrapping was perfectly al dente, stuffed with soft, oxtail meat. I really enjoyed the addition of the chewy rice cakes, and raw, slivered green onions.
Following the soup, was a smoked duck leg croquette, packed with soft meat, seasoned with a touch of cinnamon, licked by a pool of spicy aoli. These crunchy puppies were so good, I could have easily downed another half dozen.
Next up were the east versus west beef tartar. Both versions were delicious, though I preferred the traditional beef tartar served with potato like chips, while L enjoyed the soya and sesame beef tartar with Korean pears and won ton crisps.
The last appetizer was Chinese spiced roasted pork, squid, papaya salad with Asian hot mustard and garlic sauce. I loved the cold clean taste of pork, chilled squid and refreshing medley of papaya and I think, daikon threads. The spiciness of the sauce really kicked the salad up a notch. Honestly though, all the appetizers were killer – I couldn’t pick a favourite.
For our main course, we each picked the Korean braised short rib, with kabacha squash puree, broccolini, and daikon kimchi. The main course was phenomenal. L and I never ate short rib with meat that was so tender and rich in flavour. The puree was velvety smooth, the broccolini was crunchy and sweet, while the kimchi was cut in long luxurious ribbons. L and I enjoyed all the contrasting textures in each dish.
For dessert, we dined on coconut and tapioca pudding, with puffed crunchy wild rice and tamarind ice cream. My favourite element of the dish was the crunchy wild rice with the milky subtle sweetness of the pudding.
At the end of the night, Chef Duncan Ly took the time to drop by to say hello and to inquire if we enjoyed our meal. L and I did, immensely. We will be back on a Thursday night, when Raw Bar serves its modern Vietnamese food, paired with live music.