Thursday, May 26, 2016

Breakfast with Family & One of the Best Meals We've Ever Had

On Sunday we met up with my cousins Sara and Janine and their husbands (and Janine's ridiculously adorable, lovable, cutest little two-year old boy that I'm slightly obsessed with) for breakfast at The Drake Hotel.

We visited over many, many coffees, I got some sweet snuggles, we got some Toronto tips, and to top it all off, the food was delicious.

I had the eggs benedict, which totally hit the spot.  After our visit, we definitely want to come back to the Toronto-area again, perhaps Hockley Valley Resort, where my cousin's husband is head chef.  It sounds like a beautiful place, and right up our alley.

Since we weren't able to hit up Hockley Valley for dinner on this trip, my cousin steered us toward DaiLo in Toronto, which after one meal, completely blew us away.  We went to DaiLo for dinner on Sunday evening and had one of the best meals of our lives.

To start out, the service was excellent.  We were offered complimentary still or sparkling water, which was a nice surprise, as sparkling water never seems to be complimentary.  We were really tempted by the tasting menu, which is what we usually do, but there were just too many dishes on the menu that we absolutely had to try, so we decided to order a la carte.

The server recommended three-four of the smaller sized plates, along with two of the larger sized plates.  First up, we had the crispy octopus taco, which also had braised pork belly in it, and a jicama shell.

This was out-of-this-world good; even if you are scared of octopus, or don't think you like octopus, I'm convinced anyone would love this dish.  The jicama taco shell is such a creative idea, and it paired so well with every other aspect of the taco.

Our next dish was fried watermelon (with bean sprouts, basil leaves, pickled melon rind, and pork floss).

Wow.  Wow.  Wow.

Everything about this dish was #wow.  So creative, so refreshing, savoury, slightly-sweet, crisp, juicy, fresh, amazing.  I will be thinking about this dish until we have it again.

The third appetizer-sized dish was sizzling sisig, which is a Filipino pork dish, with pig-head meat, quail egg, pickled onions, and mustard seeds etc..  It was served with chicharron and sambal aioli.

This was our first time having chicharron (fried pork rinds).  We loved the crunch of them, and thought they went really well with the sisig.

It was a fun dish to eat, with the perfect amount of spice, and a wonderful combination of textures.

The first larger-sized plate we ordered was the truffle fried rice.

Get a look at those truffle shavings ...

We had the gorgeous rice alongside two massive, dinosaur-sized, Korean beef ribs.  The ginormous ribs were served on top of Kimchi mashed potatoes and an Asian pear salad.

There had to have been about six ounces of meat on each rib; I've never had anything like them.

What an incredible meal!

We don't normally order dessert, but we were so impressed with the menu, that we had to see what they could do with dessert.  We ordered the sake poached pear, which (surprise surprise) is fantastic.

We sipped on some tea while raving about how much we loved DaiLo.

This restaurant came it at #15 of Canada's 100 Best Restaurants.  On this trip we dined at the restaurants that took the #9 and #15 spots.  I'm really curious to try the others that topped the list.

Do you do any restaurant research before you travel?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yum, that meal looks amazing. It's nice that the 'small plates' were actually fairly substantial. Sometimes I feel like small plates are just waaay too small!

I do research restaurants before traveling, unless we are meeting up with a friend that knows the area and can make reservations.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ahem, I mean recommendations, not reservations (haven't had coffee yet!!)

Anonymous said...

I think I just need you to pick for me whenever I go out to eat. Everything that you guys choose looks amazing!

My go-to is Frommer's for research. Not original, but I'm not really a foodie, so I usually find that their recommendations are solid.

I am now craving eggs benny!