Notorious P.I.G.'s Profile

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restaurants that don't take reservations, that will seat you before the rest of your party has arrived

Jack Astors.

Sri Lankan in Toronto/Scarborough

Since New Devi at Lawrence and Pharmacy closed, Bread master bakery at the back parking lot of Malvern Town Center would be my go to. Probably my favorite mutton kottu roti. Good Vadai as well.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Right? I wish I was eating this right now.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Smoke signals BBQ is back with their first pop up of the season. I don't know of anyone else in the city doing Central Texas BBQ right except for these guys so check it out if that's the kind of cue you like.

http://www.torontolife.com/daily-dish...

Toronto Ramen Roundup?

I should have mentioned that my brother went the other day and said pretty much the same thing you did about Sho Ryu Ken. Much better noodle options in that area like Mot Na Son's hand pulled noodles, wiki star cafe, and even sugar marmalade across the street.

Toronto Ramen Roundup?

Yeah, I think we're lucky to have Soba Tuesday's here. Just based on the soba noodles themselves I think they stand up to places in NYC like soba ya, Cocoron, and Ootoya. I leave Soba Koh out because they use more buckwheat in their noodles so it's kind of a different beast.

Toronto Ramen Roundup?

I'm not giving it a total thumbs down, I just think shops are resting on their laurels a little. We have a ton of shops here that made their way to middle tier ramen and declared that as good enough.

I don't know any shops here that would treat bones as they do in Japan, no. Although I think A-OK was doing some interesting things in their broth with Duck Confit before they closed that was interesting.

Another huge problem that I haven't touched on too much but will now, and this pertains to North America in general is our health practices, and lack of ingredient availability.

I know Ivan Ramen in NYC and Bassanova had huge problems sourcing niboshi that was of any quality whatsoever. I think a lot of places are reduced to buying the over salted packaged niboshi and washing the salt off which also takes away the Umami. Miso variety here is mostly of middling quality and a lot of guys in Tokyo/Hokkaido are mixing up to 24 varieties together to end up with a great miso ramen which we obviously just don't have the access to doing. Aged vinegars is a huge thing that we don't have access to here which is a really big reason along with rice variety that we just will not ever have decent shari. No access to good Katsuoboshi either.

Our health practices is another thing that hinders what guys can do with ramen here. Without going into too much detail we just can't do to the pork bones here what they do to them in Tokyo to get that funk.

Toronto Ramen Roundup?

So, in revisiting this topic I've got to say over the past couple of years things have gotten a lot better here regarding the ramen choices that we now have...

...except it would seem that they've also hit a ceiling. Things got turnt up for a hot second and before anyone produced a truly great bowl, things kind of hit a plateau.

I'm sad and disappointed that nobody is really innovating and experimenting with their ramen here except for maybe Momofuku. You can go to Santouka, or Kinton, or Isshin and have a decent bowl of Tonkotsu but so what? Tonkotsu is the easiest, most accessible, pedestrian bowl of ramen that you can make pretty much. It sells itself which makes it a go to for most ramen Ya and leaves us stuck with Santouka which is at best a decent bowl but really in the big picture it's a mediocre chain that just happened to beat Ippudo, Tsujita, and smaller shops like Ivan Ramen and Bassanova over the pond making it popular by default and lack of competition.

My point is that if places like Santouka are the best we have to look forward to and nobody is bothering to up the ante and create some variety then what's the point? The difference between all of these bowls that these shops here are producing is negligible at best. You may as well do a bottled water roundup. There is no bowl here in this city that when you try it, you would think that the taste could revive the dead. They are all one note.

Ramen should have at least two things, and we can wax poetic about the romanticism of ramen and what a microcosm in a bowl it is, but primarily if it's innovative and punches me in the face with flavour I am happy. Can anyone honestly say these shops in the city are doing that?

To the people above saying that our scene is comparable or better than NYC's I would have to whole heartedly disagree. You have places like Yuji (RIP?) doing Monkfish liver miso ramen, Ivan Ramen's Shio with Rye Noodles, Bassanova's green curry ramen (before Keizo left) and even Ippudo's Kogashi Miso Ramen (from it's sister resto in Tokyo "Gogyo") and you're going to tell me that Toronto's one note Tonkotsu with Nishimoto noodles is going to compete with that?

The thing with all of this is that it would be so easy to add little touches here and there to push the quality of our bowls. Take for example the common problem people seem to have with Tonkotsu, it's too salty and too rich. By the time you get to the bottom of the bowl you have palate fatique. How hard would it be to take a note from a place like Hokkaido Miso Senmon (there are lots but I'll use HMS as an example) and put some Yuzu (or Lime) zest in the bottom of the bowl with the Tare? Apparently very hard because people making ramen here aren't using their GD heads.

We're halfway there. These shops have gotten people eating ramen. They've done it using the most uninspired, basic broth but they have people's appetites. Why such a long period without evolution? People are hooked, transition to better bowls. Not evolving your bowl of ramen is very much outside of the spirit of ramen. It's like the Horseshoe Crab: 445 Million years old - unchanged.

ISO Sake Carafe with Ice Pocket

Sweet! Glad that worked out for you!

Now if the LCBO would just get some good sake to put in that carafe...

Chowhound's top 10 in GTA- 2015 version

I have 3 Asian eateries on my list.

Chowhound's top 10 in GTA- 2015 version

1. Bar Isabel
2. Dr. Laffa
3. Breadmaster Bakery
4. Spence's
5. Rap's
6. Cafe Brasiliano
7. Le Ti Colibri
8. Mot Na Son
9. Silk Road
10. Wonton Hut

Dandylion

Jay Carter is a mean chef and this has been a long time coming. Happy to hear that people have been enjoying his food. Haven't been yet but it's at the top of my list.

What is a place you frequent that you wouldn't expect to ever see mentioned on chowhound?

Breadmaster Bakery in the back of Malvern Town Center. Sri Lankan Bakery. If you get there at 10am they're bringing fresh Dosa's and string hoppers out along with the usual mutton rolls and Vadai.

The Kottu Roti here is my favorite now that New Devi on Lawrence has closed.

Someone needs to do a hood food list. Maybe i will...

What is a place you frequent that you wouldn't expect to ever see mentioned on chowhound?

I loved Camto cause they had personal portion sized Tangsuyuk and great YukgaeJang.

Octomore Whisky

Bahahahahahaha!

Octomore Whisky

Sounds like the Octomore has brought out your flare for poetry.

The regular stuff is great and he has created a greater metric as far as peat measure is concerned but he's also found a way to sell 5 year old juice for $200 per bottle. Two birds with one stone I guess.

At that price, I don't find it to be that much better (or peatier) than some limited Ardbeg's. The Octomore's peat is so round and gentle it doesn't come off as something 3x greater in ppm than a lot of the standard peated Scotch out there.

The Octomore Orpheus however, is something else, age statement be damned. It's finished in Chateau Petrus wine casks and is just about some of the best Scotch I've ever had.

You can find the odd bottle floating around Buffalo from time to time and is worth seeking out.

Octomore Whisky

Tastes like BBQ pork. Love it. (I assume you're talking about the 5.1 and later generations)

The PPM level isn't all that crazy to me despite how high it may be. It doesn't come off all that much stronger on the palate than a laphroaig or an Ardbeg. (Very similar to the supernova actually which I prefer as the whisky is a little older)

Have you tried any of the other expressions like the 10 year or the Orpheus? They're great and superior to the regular octomore offerings to me.

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

The good old days.

Pappy on the shelf, free pours of Rathskeller...

Nov 25, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

Yeah, in taste I feel like there is definitely some difference to them but I'm just talking quality versus price. For the most part it's drinkable stuff except for a couple years/batch's that are critically panned.

Agree about pappy vs. Weller 12 although I feel like in some states the frenzy for weller 12 is growing as well.

Nov 24, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

Yeah, pretty much any bourbon or rye over 12 years is gonna be scarce for the most part from now on especially limited edition stuff.

Makes the hunt a little harder.

Nov 24, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

It's another good one as well!

Yeah, just waiting for the BTAC to drop here in Canada. Should be any day now.

Nov 24, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits

Whiskey

Judging by his taste profile which seems to be toward the more mellow side of Whisky I would maybe stick to bottles that favour his palate. Weller 12 would be a good somewhat fancier bottle that fits your price range. Bit more punch than what he normally drinks but it's super smooth as well. Kind of a good balance between a premium whisky and your Pop's palate. I would stay away from anything cask strength and definitely don't get him any Scotch.

Nov 21, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits
1

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

The Pappy is good but nothing to write home about. I actually almost prefer the Weller 12 to it but they're also a bit different in taste profile.

The Old Forester is pretty much always consistent. Did you get this year's with the green tab?

The Midwinter is probably my fav of the bunch. It really does taste like christmas.

Another one to look out for would be the Maker's Mark Cask Strength. I think it's in wider circulation these days. It's also great stuff.

Nov 21, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits

High West A Midwinter Nights Dram

This is great stuff. If anyone here is from NYC it's been popping up around the city. Astor has like 5 cases of it.

Nov 21, 2014
Notorious P.I.G. in Spirits

How Good Was Susur Lee's "Susur?"

Well done. Very well done.

How Good Was Susur Lee's "Susur?"

No. No way.

What would the restaurant equivalent to rap-rock be?

How Good Was Susur Lee's "Susur?"

He tied Flay which is basically a loss.

Seriously Curious about Sushi Yasu. Any reports?

If anyone's going to Yasu tonight, I'm pretty sure they have hairy crab (Kegani) on the menu. A rarity and my favourite!

Schmaltz Appetizing

Baha!

I feel bad for the people working there that have to hear the R&D comparisons from every single person that walks in there.

I wish they had Cel-Ray.

Schmaltz Appetizing

Without a doubt if Schmaltz was in NYC it wouldn't last long enough to see the lawsuit from R&D.

There's homage and then there's Schmaltz. Schmaltz definitely falls into the stepping on toes category.

Agree on Mile End, it's partly Canadian owned and bringing Montreal style Deli to NYC. Didn't they poach a slicer from Schwartz???

I feel like R&D was always hip. It was an institution in the LES way before shitheads saw it on Louie.

All that said, it'd be nice if someone was really pushing the game forward instead of just copying a very well known institution but I ain't that mad at being able to get a Super Heebster at Dupont and Bathurst.