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Best of the City 2012: four of Toronto’s top takes on Asian street food

Best of the City: Asian street food INARI

Yours Truly
229 Ossington Ave., 416-533-2243
Inari Traditional Japanese inari pouches are dead simple: thin fried tofu wrapped around balls of sushi rice. At Yours Truly, chef Jeff Claudio upgrades them by adding tangy Portuguese salt cod and grace notes of toasted seaweed and sesame seeds. $6.


Swish by Han
38 Wellington St. E., 647-343-0268
Mandoo At Swish by Han, brothers Leemo and Leeto Han serve elegant upgrades of Korean classics. An order of mandoo brings six pan-fried Berkshire pork dumplings. Spiked with chives and a squiggle of chili oil, they hit that perfect Korean food nexus of spicy, savoury, sweet and fiendishly addictive. $7.


Hawker Bar
164 Ossington Ave., 647-343-4698
Hawker Bar’s outstanding deep-fried bananas are sheathed in crisp, bright green batter (from the essence of pandan leaves), drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with red bean ice cream. $6.


Banh Mi Boys
392 Queen St. W., 416-363-0588
The peculiar alchemy of cucumbers, cilantro, five-spiced pork belly, bracingly sour pickled vegetables and chewy baguette has fans lining up at Banh Mi Boys on Queen Street every day at noon. The Vietnamese subs measure 11 inches, but with all the fresh herbs and veggies, they’re lighter than a pork sandwich has any right to be. $6.

By Denise Balkissoon, Ariel Brewster, Andrew D’Cruz, Bronwen Jervis, Emily Landau, Signe Langford, Jason McBride, Mark Pupo, Peter Saltsman and Courtney Shea | Photographs by Emma McIntyre