Birthday Dinner: Momofuku Shōtō

Sunday, November 16, 2014
My 28th birthday could only be described in one word: delicious. My friends Ronsee and Cynthia took me out to Momofuku Shōtō last night for two-and-a-half hours and ten courses of culinary delights. Their tasting menu changes every day based on market availability, and guests are seated along a huge counter that surrounds an open kitchen. Here, last night's offerings:

Oyster with homemade sriracha and fresh baked bread

Root vegetable soup with chicken sausage

Pork fat grilled rice with nori

Fluke sashimi with pickled cherry bomb pepper, myoga, and black bean

Mackerel tataki with red onion jelly, black rice, and fresh yuzu

Fish balls, fresh uni, and crispy onion in mussel-infused kale broth

Cauliflower salad with black truffle, egg yolk, and black walnut

Buckwheat fettuccine with white truffle and smoked albacore tuna shavings

Seared scallop with matsutake mushrooms, sunchoke, pineapple, and razor clam chowder

Poached pear, Riesling gelée, and cashew brittle with shaved foie gras

Slow smoked beef cheek with fresh sour cream and baby Brussels sprouts

Cranberry sorbet with roasted pumpkin, hozon, and spiced milk

Danish æbleskiver with toasted oat ice cream, crabapples, and granola

Flavours and textures were well-thought-out, and dishes were beautifully executed. Even the bread at the beginning of the meal was gorgeous. Highlights include the fish balls and uni in kale broth, the cauliflower salad, and the beef cheek. The only dish that was somewhat of a flop for me was the pear and cashew brittle with foie gras shavings. I actually think the foie gras overwhelmed and confused the rest of the flavours of the dish. (Also, I'm not a huge foie gras fan.) But I had a truly fantastic time at Momofuku Shōtō, and despite it being expensive, it is also inventive, leisurely, and ridiculously delicious, and is really a one-of-a-kind experience in Toronto. There are no servers, really, as the chefs present the dishes directly to you, but there are a couple of very nice, well-informed hipsters (complete with glasses and beards) that walk around to guide you through the drink lists, answer questions about your food and/or the restaurant (and the Momofuku empire as a whole), clear the counter after every course, and re-fill your water (no goddamn water fee here). The restaurant as a whole borders casual and carefree with pretentiousness... but it works. I had an amazing time, and I whole-heartedly recommend coming here for a special occasion. One of the best dining experiences I've ever had in this city. Really. 

Momofuku Shōtō
190 University Avenue
Third Floor
Toronto, ON M5H 0A3
(647) 253-6224
9 comments on "Birthday Dinner: Momofuku Shōtō"
  1. I am so jealous. There is absolutely no place like that here, in the middle of freaking nowhere. It's a good thing I ate my heart out a few weeks ago in Seattle. Sigh. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DENISE.

    1. Thanks, Larie! Your turn to turn 28 soon. ;)

      There aren't too many places in Toronto that do this, really. Lots of upscale restaurants do tasting menus, but they don't usually do a different menu everyday like this place does. It's quite popular in NYC, though, which makes sense because Momofuku started in NYC. Either way, it's a great experience, so I hope you get to try something like this soon!

  2. So glad you had a delicious birthday! And I've missed your food posts that makes me drool all over the keyboard. :)

    Let's reschedule that momofuku noodle bar outing! I really need to experience at least a little bit of the momo deliciousness now.

    1. Haha, thanks! I'm trying to rectify the food post situation here. To be honest, I just haven't been bringing my camera out that often these days because I don't really go out that often. When I do eat out, it's not usually that exciting. :P

      And yes, please! Do you prefer a weekend or a weekday? I am off the 23rd (Sunday) and 27th (Thursday), if you're free?

    2. Either works for me! Do you still want to go downtown? I'll email you.

  3. those tasting menus don't look like much but after 10 of them you're stuffed! david took me one such place when i was in vancouver a year or so ago. it was such a treat and so yums. this one looks so good! i've only tried their noodle bar (which was sort of meh in my books) but if i had the $$ i might want to dive into this. looks so yummy and i'll happily help you finish your fois gras next time lol

    A Beautiful Zen

    1. Totally! The portions are so deceiving. I think my most lavish tasting menu (and the most filling, like I felt like I was gonna explode and die an untimely death) was at Per Se in NYC. Again, the portions weren't huge, but the food was so rich. No regrets, though; it was an amazing experience. I am actually really intrigued to try the noodle bar, as well as their other resto, Daisho. I know Momofuku is overrated in general, but I wanna see what makes them so popular, you know?

  4. LOVE tasting menus! I wish more restaurants did this, because I always want a little bit of everything anyway :)

    Glad to see you had a lovely birthday, Denise. HAPPIEST TO YOU!!


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