Friday, November 2, 2012

GwaiLo Pop-Up at Senses

For a limited-time on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from November 1st through to November 24th, chef Nick Liu (@Ninjachefnickof GwaiLo will be offering a 6-course tasting menu at Senses Restaurant (@Sen5esTO) in the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. From GwaiLo Pop-Up's press release:

"GwaiLo Pop-up takes guests on a culinary tour of tastes and textures from delicate bite-sized morsels to robust and deep-flavoured dishes. While the form of the menu is set, the dishes will vary from week to week. Guests will begin with an exquisite amuse bouche, followed by four courses, a palate-cleansing pre-dessert, and then round out their meal with one of Chef Liu's whimsical dessert creations."

Over the course of the pop-up, GwaiLo (Facebook: GwaiLo Asian Brasserie,Twitter: @GwaiLoToronto) will also be hosting Sunday School, six industry nights with seminars aimed at bar service professionals and spirited guests. Cocktail seminars will be led by GwaiLo co-founder Christina Kuypers (@deKuypers). 

I was invited to GwaiLo Pop-Up's (#GwaiLoPopUp) media dinner yesterday night :)

The 6 course GwaiLo Pop-Up tasting menu went something like this:

Amuse - Korean shrimp salad, fried green tomato, iceberg lettuce

General Tso's Sweetbreads - Jellyfish slaw, scallion, chili, coriander

Japanese Bolognese - Beef tataki, handmade soba, tomato consommé, parmigiano, mushroom crisp, basil, truffle pearls

Seared Scallop - Smoked cherry tomato, honey mushroom, pickled carrot, basil, tom yum beurre blanc

Braised Korean Short Rib - Kimchi pommes purée, asian pear bbq sauce, panko egg yolk

Ginger Consommé - Fennel gelée, goji berry, mint oil

Shochu Poached Pear - Peking duck brittle, elder berries, star anise chantilly

Tea leaves, recipes and fortune cookie from GwaiLo Pop-Up's takeout box :)

From my fortune cookie. Cute!

Like always (and as expected) chef Liu's food never disappoints. The "eat it like a taco" amuse was fun and tasty, an excellent start to the night. With a sweet and slightly spicy sauce, the General Tso's sweetbreads were absolutely divine. I wanted more! The Japanese bolognese, which I had the pleasure of having previously at chef Liu's last service at Niagara Street Café, was just as good as I remembered it to be, except this time, chef Liu added *gasptruffle pearls on a mushroom crisp! Yes ! Truffle pearls! :D Everybody at my table really enjoyed the smoked cherry tomato with the seared scallops, and the same could be said for the panko egg yolk (once I broke the thin panko crust, the egg yolk slowly trickled down, coating the short rib with its clever and pretty!) As for the dessert, the peking duck brittle together with the star anise chantilly really elevated the otherwise simple poached pear to another level.

GwaiLo Pop-Up Details

Each evening will offer two seatings beginning at 6pm. Dishes vary from week to week.
6 courses for $75 + taxes + 18% gratuity. Wine and cocktail pairings $45 pp.
Reservations are pre-paid and can only be booked online at

GwaiLo Pop-Up Cocktail Menu

Gov. Dawsonne - Hendrick's, green chartreuse, ginger, jalapeno, cucumber
Scooter - Pisco, maraschino, guava, lemon juice, boker's bitters, lemon, cherry
1910 - Don julio blanco, averna, pineapple, mango, lime, chili, orange
Normandier - Calvados, pressed cider, spiced apple, angostura bitters, orange
Paper Crane - Mekhong, aperol, amaro nonino, lemon
Velvet Glove - El dorado 12, cynar, amaro montenegro, flamed orange

Related Posts:
Death Row Meals - Taco Edition
Chef Nick Liu's Last Service at Niagara Street Café
GwaiLo's Sneak Preview Dinner