YoBlo wel­comes buzzy Lao­tian resto

Plus a Peru­vian-via-Mon­treal trans­plant and a noted restau­ra­teur’s new space

Bayview Post - - Food - — Ja­son Fine­stone

LAO­TIAN HOS­PI­TAL­ITY

Sabai Sabai has en­tered into its sec­ond in­car­na­tion with a move to the Yonge and Bloor area, a dou­bling of its ca­pac­ity and a re­newed fo­cus on Lao­tian hos­pi­tal­ity and prepa­ra­tions.

Own­ers Ja­son Jiang and Seng Luong re­turned from a few weeks vis­it­ing their home coun­try with the goal of “bring­ing back the essence of Laos.” Chef Nuit Reg­u­lar (part­ner in the busi­ness and chef-owner of Sukhothai and Pai) has helped to trans­late some of Jiang and Luong’s per­sonal recipes as well as in­fuse her clas­sic north­ern Thai essence along­side some new Lao­tian spe­cial­ties into the menu.

Green pa­paya sal­ads ($11) are mixed by mor­tar and pes­tle, in­cor­po­rat­ing sweet and salty Thai blue crab, crisp long bean and house-made fish sauce, called padaek, done with fer­mented fresh­wa­ter fish and shrimp paste.

No oil is used to sauté the minced pork laap Lao let­tuce wraps ($12), in­fused with an aro­matic bou­quet of fresh herbs like Viet­namese fin­ger mint, co­rian­der saw­tooth mint, lemon grass, lime leaf, ginger and shal­lot.

An 11-item ve­gan menu is also avail­able daily, with clas­sics like the tom ka soup ($7.50), egg­plant stir-fry with Thai basil and red pep­per ($10), as well as the slen­der mixed rice noo­dles that form the base for co­conut mee kati ($13) with tamarind sauce, king oys­ter mush­rooms and tofu, in­stead of the chicken and egg thread op­tions found on the main menu (Sabai Sabai, 81 Bloor St. E., 647-748-4225).

IT’S ALL ABOUT PERU

Mochica, a Toronto out­post of one of Mon­treal’s Peru­vian restau­rants, now oc­cu­pies the space at 614 Col­lege St. The ad­dress, near Bathurst, had been home to Pisco 1641.

The restau­rant’s name refers to the Moche civ­i­liza­tion that pre­dated the In­cas in the nar­row strip of Peru be­tween the Pa­cific Ocean and the An­des.

Co-owner and chef Martin Oré, who is orig­i­nally from Tru­jillo, opened Mochica in Mon­treal 12 years ago to pay homage to his roots.

Sabai Sabai’s pork belly Lao sausage

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