LEE 601 King W, at Portland, 416-504-7867, susur.com.
More than any other local chef, Susur Lee has put Toronto on the international foodie map. And though he's known for such East-meets-West dishes as his legendary foie gras three ways and radical cheeseburger spring rolls, it's Lee's sensational Singapore slaw that best demonstrates his culinary genius.
"It's based on something the Hakka serve at Chinese New Year," says the ponytailed Lee. "But I changed it up a little."
We'll say! Imagine a great tangle of long, long rice noodles strewn with 19 ingredients including scallion, cucumber, jicama and a topknot of deep-fried taro threads dressed with edible flower petals and crushed roasted peanuts, all in a salted apricot dressing ($20 for two). They say it's his signature. Surely, after all these years, he must get tired of it?
"Never. People tell me they have dreams about my slaw. With all the different textures, it's like a party in your mouth!"
Watch for Mr. Lee to return to TV's Top Chef Masters as a contestant come January.
Dinner Monday to Saturday 5:30 to 11:30 pm. Bar till close. Closed Sunday, some holidays. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor.