503 College St, Toronto
Before going to Toronto, I did a bit of restaurant research, and Dailo was one of the places that I wanted to go to. Located in Little Italy in Toronto, it’s pretty easy to miss. They have a small patio, and is just outside of the busy streets of Toronto.
Dailo loosely means ‘big brother’ in Cantonese, and is a term of endearment to show respect and love to an elder. They serve New Asian Cuisine that is predominantly Chinese fare but with French influences.
Since we were having a bit of a Canadian Staycation, we decided to go all out and do the tasting menu (which is really reasonably priced! $65 per person).
We started off with a couple of cocktails. Mine was akin to an old fashioned, and Jenn’s was a bit on the fruitier side. Both were quite good, though a bit strong. Shortly after our drinks, we were given a couple of Amuse Bouches.
The amuse bouche was similar to the toppings of their crispy octopus tacos, topped with some sambal aioli and fresh peppers. It was delightful and a great start.
Their actual crispy octopus tacos come with red braised pork belly, sambal aioli, on a jicama shell. This was probably my favourite thing of the night. The pork belly melted in my mouth, and all the flavours worked very well together. I could have done with another one of these!
Next was their torched tamari glazed beef carpaccio. This was their Olliffe’s rib cap, sliced thinly and served with a herb salad, nuoc mam, and topped with some prawn cracker. This dish is similar to a beef tataki. Tender pieces of beef went well with the salad. It was really refreshing and great to eat.
Next were their two different kinds of wontons/dumplings. They had a Hakka brown wonton, which was a pork/shrimp wonton, served with toasted sesame oil, their house made xo sauce, and an almond crumble. And their seasonal dumpling, served with local and fresh peas in a fragrant and delicious broth. Chef Nick Liu has Hakka roots, growing up the son of Hakka parents. Both of these were delicious comfort foods and great to eat.
The next dish was an eggplant dish that came with lightly breaded eggplant, served with spring onions, fresh cherry tomatoes, and topped with an inhouse aioli. A very light dish with perfectly cooked eggplant.
Lastly was the truffled fried rice that came with their 90 day-dry aged rib eye that comes with bok choy, radish, pickled mushrooms, black bean bagna cauda. These two dishes came together and the truffled fried rice really complemented the flavours from the beef.
For a little sweetness at the end, they gave us a little bit of ginger sorbet, which was light, not too sweet, and a great way to end the meal.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Dailo. The food was great, and the service was even better. Our server came and asked us what we liked and didn’t liked so they could cater their tasting menu to our liking. There was a good variety of dishes, and I felt like it went a long way. If you were coming to try 3-4 different dishes, I’d recommend getting the tasting menu!