A-OK FOODS 930 Queen West, at Ossington, 647-352-2243, aokfoods.ca. Rating: NNN
Of all the local Momofuku clones, Yours Truly on Ossington is my least favourite, chef Jeff Claudio's Japorean carte more wtf than omg. So, news that the team behind YT have opened a trendy ramen shop around the corner doesn't have me expecting much. Silly me!
Though it gets extra points for making its noodles in-house, A-OK Foods' (930 Queen West, at Ossington, 647-352-2243, aokfoods.ca. Rating: NNN) limited lineup of ramen (all $10.50) isn't the main attraction. Instead, come for witty multiculti mashups like tenderly braised ox tongue on a Greek salad of shredded lettuce, radish and mint dusted with Mexican feta-like cotija cheese ($7) and great slabs of sous-vide pork wrapped ssam-style in lettuce ($5). OddSeoul take note.
Greasy-good chino wings ($8.50) arrive littered with so many whole chili pods that your chest soon feels as if it's been slathered in Vicks VapoRub. Extinguish all fires with glasses of horchata ($3.50), a clear syrupy beverage that tastes exactly like liquefied cinnamon hearts.
Chef Chris Jang might have borrowed the idea of roasting Brussels sprouts till they caramelize from Momofuku's David Chang, but the ex-YT sous takes them in an entirely different direction. After sautéing them in smoky pancetta, he finishes them with sweet Kewpie mayo and shaved bonito flakes that wiggle like worms from the heat ($7). Who says you can't teach an old dog a new trick?