Best of broth worlds: ranking canned soups (Photo by Pablo Diaz)
• ’Tis the season for warm, hearty food—even canned soup. New York’s chief restaurant critic, Adam Platt, does a blind taste test of two dozen store-bought varieties. His discerning palate can tell right away which one is Campbell’s (“It’s immediately synthetic and metallic”), and his favourites remind him of childhood (“It makes me want to crumble up crackers in it, watch Leave It to Beaver, cry, punch my brother and stay home from school”). The winner: Wolfgang Puck Organic Classic Tomato With Basil.[New York Magazine]
Two weeks only: Susur's back on King Street (Photo by aser)
After making news—some good, some bad—with his new restaurant, Shang, over the past four months, Susur Lee is bringing the menu of his Manhattan venture to Toronto for a brief cameo. The celebrity chef will offer his newest creations at both of his satellite restaurants, Lee and Madeline’s, with a special prix fixe menu. For the first two weeks in April, Torontonians will be able to sample a three-course Shang offering from Monday to Wednesday for $35 and $1 corkage, as well as a five-course Shang menu from Monday to Saturday for $60.
• The recent rat fiasco at Loblaws’ Dupont location raised awareness across the city about food safety issues. Here, CTV’s detailed (read: gross) look at what can go wrong when rodents invade. [CTV]
• Underground supper clubs are more common in Toronto than we would have guessed. Apparently, the lawless establishments aren’t just for the rebellious; tight patron regulations ensure that they’re for the discerning foodie, too. [BlogTO]
The verdicts are starting to trickle in for Susur Lee’s three-month-old Manhattan venture, Shang. New York magazine sent local legend Adam Platt to sample the wares, and his review is far from a rave. From the “generic club music” to the “scraggly sprays of cherry blossoms” and “lanterns made of what look like rumpled old stockings,” much about Shang appears to have left Platt unimpressed. He denounces the spiced beef cheeks as “curiously flavorless” and the oxtail dumpling soup as tasting “bland as dishwater.” Giving it two stars (out of five), he is most concerned about the restaurant’s prosaic setting and its remote location.