Showing posts with label pork belly pancakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pork belly pancakes. Show all posts

Soos (Toronto)

Not everything at Soos will taste like traditional Malaysian food. But then, they’re not trying to feed you typical dishes. Instead, Soos aims to use Malaysian flavours and ingredients in a modern manner, bringing street food to a restaurant environment.

Malaysians are known for their curries, which tends to be eaten as a snack rather than a main course. It’s thinner but still filled with tons of spices and flavours, milder than Indian curries and contains less coconut than Thai.

The curry accompanying Soos roti ($9) uses a base of dhal (a yellow lentil curry) and tops it with crispy fried curry leaf for some extra zing. But, what makes this starter incredible is the hot, fluffy and flakey roti that arrives with it. The lovely toasted airiness makes it so good I could eat it plain and these are truthfully the best roti I’ve ever had. If you’re sharing, one is not enough… get an extra roti for $2.

Meanwhile, the pork belly pancakes ($13) is so rich and decadent that an order can even be shared amongst four people. A thick slab of pork belly, covered in a thick sticky sweet and vinegary soy, is well rendered so the layers of lard aren’t too dense. Yet, it doesn’t just melt-in-your-mouth either – as you bite into it there’s still a chewiness that allows you to savour the flavours.

The crispy taro root pancake the pork belly sits on is fairly delicate, the root vegetable made into a batter rather than the slivers used in “bird’s nest” type dishes. So while the pancake is crispy, there’s still a soft chewiness in the centre. Although enjoyable, the dish could really use something fresh on the side, the small bit of scallions on top isn’t enough.

Something like the prosperity tossed slaw ($16) could work. I don’t generally love salad, but their slaw has some serious flavours and textures. Made with over 20 ingredients there’s refreshing, crunchy, savoury, sweet, and spicy elements all melded into one. There’s also a restraint to their yuzu plum dressing, which adds acidity but doesn’t render the slaw too tangy. Instead, it leaves a savoury taste to the salad.

The dish I’ve ordered on multiple occasions is their laksa ($18). While it normally contains chicken and prawn, Soos can transform it into a vegetarian version by adding extra tofu puffs (great for soaking up the hot and spicy curry broth) and more vegetables - the crunchy leafy gai lan and meaty oyster mushrooms are a great combination in lieu of meat. And really, the laksa is really all about the aromatic spicy coconut broth. Don’t let a drop go to waste … in hindsight, it would be perfect for dipping. Reminder to self: get an order of roti with the laska.

As an aside for vegetarians: while Soos already has a selection of meatless items, if you visit on Tuesday and Wednesday (previously Monday), their sister restaurant Fat Choi offers an entirely plant-based menu.

In general, their noodles are tasty. The char kway teow ($17) spends plenty of time in the wok, the flat rice noodles tossed with soy and their house-made sambal chili sauce so it develops tons of flavour and emits a heavenly smell. The dish is finished with egg, chives, and crunchy bean sprouts all topped with four massive tiger prawns. Even though the noodles are spicy already, Soos provides more of the sambal on the side for those who can really handle the spice. If you don’t use this on the char kway teow save it for the other dishes. Love the sauce? You can even get a jar to go ($11).

A bit of sambal works really well with the rendang beef short ribs ($28) since the heat helps to cut through the richness of the meat. While the rendang curry is blended with spices and Asian aromatics (ginger and garlic), it’s not a spicy sauce. The short rib, like the pork belly, is tender but not braised to the point that it’s melting away, there’s a slightly chewy consistency that allows you to taste the beef.

I just wish the dish had more curry to go with all the jasmine rice and roti. Oh, and of course, you’ll want an extra order of roti to wrap around the beefy short ribs so order it at the beginning or wait the eight minutes (you’ll need the breather).

After all of Soos flavourful and filling dishes, if you’re still hungry, the pisang goreng ($10) is a decent dessert. After all, what’s more Malaysian than deep fried bananas? It’s a surprisingly sweet dessert for an Asian restaurant – the combination of burnt toffee ice cream and candied nuts may be too much. With the ice cream being so sweet, the nuts could simply be toasted. Better yet, a more neutral flavour ice cream (like coconut) would be an ideal choice and leave more of the banana flavours intact.

But then, you don’t come to Soos if you want tepid tasting dishes. Their menu is designed to bombard your taste buds with flavour! And through all the dips, broths, and sauces, the most important side kick is… of course … an extra order of roti. Just get it.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 94 Ossington Avenue 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Soos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato