Showing posts with label soft shell crab maki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soft shell crab maki. Show all posts

CLOSED: Pick 6ix (Toronto)

Pick 6ix is Drake’s latest hospitality venture in collaboration with Montreal’s Chef Antonio Park. Having lived in South America, Canada, and Japan and coming from a Korean background, you can see Chef Park’s multi-cultural influences on the restaurant’s menu. In a single dinner I sampled dishes from all the countries!

He seems proficient in creating recipes from each of the geographies as the three stand-out dishes, for me, varied from Korea, Argentina, and Japan. The best was the 8-hour braised kalbi style short rib ($38), which I’d expect from Chef Park’s background. The slightly sweet soy marinade is bang on in terms of flavours and thickened to form a glaze on the meaty rib. It was moist and tender, but you could still taste the beef.

Pick 6ix’s beef empanadas ($18) reminds me of a meatier Jamaican patty in an empanada shell. The filling is lightly flavoured with Argentinian spices and goes especially well with the chimichurri sauce, which adds a tangy herby bite.

The spicy salmon maki ($12) was simple but delicious: the rice thinly layered and brimming with salmon with a significant dollop of spicy kewpie on top. So flavourful that you wouldn’t need the house-made low-sodium soy sauce.

Although the soft-shell crab maki ($18) was still good, I would have thought there would be greater interest with so many ingredients - avocado, tobiko, mizuna (a Japanese mustard green), and pickled radish. In reality, all I could taste were the leafy greens until the soft-shell crab kicked in, at the end.

The fried rice ($26) combines the Chinese staple where the chicken and shrimp is presented almost teppanyaki style, layered on top. Everything arrives in a hot stone bowl with a fried egg and sauce drizzled over top, a nod to bibimbap. It was decent and a good option if you just want a main meal.

We didn’t know what to expect with the choripan asiatico ($18) but all the dishes elements – sausage, guacamole, kimchi, mustard slaw, salsa creola and crispy shallots – sounded enticing. Look out traditional American hot dog, the choripan asiatico is an extreme version of one. Through all the crunchy textures the spicy sausage heat shone through, the heat further amplified by the gochujang spiked ketchup accompanying the fries. It is a rather heavy sandwich, so this is best for sharing.

The pork gyozas ($16) were fine but seemingly plain compared to the other dishes. While the meat filling was tasty enough, it could have incorporated an unusual element (perhaps kimchi) to give it more interest. Moreover, they’d be even better if they were pan fried (instead of deep fried) as I love the contrast between the chewy dough and crispy crust, a small nit-picky personal preference.

Although beef carpaccio ($19) is known for being thinly sliced beef, it would help if the kitchen overlaid the slices for this dish as with the dwarf peaches, olives, puffed quinoa, crispy wild rice, carrots, and plum emulsion the beef became lost; all I could taste was crispy rice with sauce. Overall, aside from this one miss, the other dishes were as I expected: good interpretations that were satisfying but not out-of-this-world.

Similarly, the décor was swanky, as anticipated, in a cool retro way. While the furnishings look great, the tables aren’t exactly designed for dining – the large booth style ones along the sides makes sharing plates difficult and the small ones in the centre have so little room that sharing would be impossible. Oh well, maybe none of that matters… after all, the city loves Drake.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 33 Yonge Street

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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!

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