For the longest time this place has been haunting my mind. You know what I'm talking about right? That elusive song in your head, that for the life of you, just can not recall the name of it. That oppressive heat at the T&T Asian Night Market was just pounding on my body and cooking my brain. Even the lake shore breeze could not save my appetite from being cooked well done. I know there were some places that I really wanted to try. In retrospect, I must have taken those pictures to remind myself later to search them out. One of these places did not come full circle until I read the article from The Grid and reinforced by Cheap Dude's post.
It took a few tries before I finally got to their brick and mortar location near Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue. I wanted to order everything but there was no way I can finish it all myself. After some hard thought I whittled down the selection to one sandwich and taco. The place is pretty spartan but functional. This is still a soft open when I was there so it is understandable why things look almost barren. I couldn't help but notice the really nice burberry coat and boots this attractive girl was wearing. I have to distract myself some how before the food arrives. ;)
After reading those articles I decided to get pork belly banh mi and kalbi tacos. I can't say no to pork belly. What else would go with an Asian taco except naan bread! Quite often I have naan bread that are dense and takes an effort to bite or tear off. To my delight these were softer, thinner and lighter that made eating it much more enjoyable. The kalbi taco was dripping with sauce which is not a bad thing at all. This kimchi still had a bit of a crunch and maintained a spicy heat that nicely matched the slightly sweet kalbi sauce. Those pickled vegetables inside didn't have the harshness from their vinegary soak. I find that is the biggest sin when the marinade is so strong that all the other flavors are lost. Everything is made fresh ,and mostly in house, in case you haven't taken a peek at the links especially the bread!
Polishing off the taco, I didn't think the banh mi could be better. Boy was I wrong! The pork belly worked its magic again. I'm pretty sure I didn't see him put any butter on the bun. My mind was really boggled where this rich and smooth texture was coming from. Then it dawned on me as this creaminess must be from the pork fat literally softening into a buttery spread from all the long hours of of braising. Gone will be the days of the margarine and unknown pate between the buns. Speaking of buns I have had enough experiences where there is confusion between a nice crust and day old bread. That hard and jagged feeling is bruising the roof of my mouth. Well that didn't happen here so I thank them and my mouth thanks them too. You can see the the nice crust and feel it yield as you bite in to reach the soft bread underneath.
This was so good it is worth going back again and again. As a person that is leaning heavily as a meataterian I would have liked just a bit more meat. Pricing wise it is higher than the street version you get up a bit on Spadina. The quality here is worth spending that little bit extra. Next time I think I will get 3 tacos since it doesn't feel like I ate as much bread although I could be completely wrong. Food only get better when it is nice and messy. Excuse me while I off and practice a few sets of Triple D Hunches before I go back for another round.