At first, it seemed unlikely Toronto would take a shine to Daisho. It’s sandwiched between the cheap, foodie-mobbed Noodle Bar and Shoto, which is, well, number one on this list. Plus, it specializes in family-style spreads of porchetta or short ribs or pork butt you have to pre-order online. Who wants to coordinate a table of six friends to agree on dinner days ahead? It turns out quite a few of us do: the sharing menu is so popular Daisho has added a platter of five Bay of Fundy lobsters sautéed in chili oil. The most pedestrian sounding yet revelatory option is the pile of two broken-down chickens, brined in cayenne-and-thyme-infused buttermilk and cooked sous-vide before meeting the fryer. The pieces are crisp and savoury with an addictive sweetness—the candy of fried chicken—and a steal at $125, split among four. You can wrap them in warm scallion pancakes, along with Chang-popularized condiments like pickled radishes and Tabasco salt, but they’re just as good on their own. The glitzy two-storey room, with its picnic-style tables and panorama of downtown, could be hosting a well-dressed Oktoberfest party. Mountains of food get demolished, fingers get licked, and everyone has fun.
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