DZO Viet Eatery
I follow a lot of food stuff on Instagram. I read a good amount of food blogs on Toronto. So, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve got a pretty good (actually top notch but being humble) idea of what looks good and where I want to go when it comes to food, at least in my city.
When me and some of the boys were looking to hit up a new spot I knew I had to come correct. Remember, we haven’t really been out in how long. If I’m making the trip, it better be worth it boy. DZO Viet Eatery popped up straight away. I had seen them on my feed and their insta is clean as hell. It made me curious, and that in itself gets me excited about the spot. I’m obsessed with pho and I love Vietnamese food, so off we went.
The spot itself is dope as hell. Dude, the sign wraps around the corner of the front. 10/10 for signage. You walk in and it’s lowkey like you’re in a lantern festival. We went at night, so I kind of got this night market feel, with the exposed brick, the road-side stop Asian stools, and the scooter on the wall. I’m stepping in here and already invested.
We ordered a bunch of stuff. A lot of stuff. Many things. I wrote about the ones that stuck out to me. Enjoy.
People have an obsession with poutine, and it clouds their judgment. Don’t get me wrong, I can put in work on a good poutine. It’s everything I would want in a meal. Healthy. But the amount of annoying ass cry baby purists saying that poutine should be one way and never changed is BORING. You are boring. If someone wants to add pineapple on their pizza then why do you give a fuck. Don’t eat it. If Dzo is making a pho poutine, I’m going to try it. Especially when the waiter tells me it’s the most popular thing and the table beside us makes sure we know how good it is. I couldn’t care less that the cheese curds aren’t squeaking.
The Photine Dac Biet is pretty much how I would imagine it would look like if pho and poutine came together. The fries are soft and warm, and the cheese is melted and gooey. The beef is grilled and spiced, and the gravy is sort of in the same world as a pho broth would be. These are the two things that remind me most of pho, and the green onions, bean sprouts, and fried garlic add to the party to constantly bring you back to the fact that this is poutine, but also something more.
Open up your minds people, and for the love of God stop complaining about dumb shit. Put gummy bears in your hamburger, I don’t give a fuck. Enjoy.
Chicken wings are my vice. I could have chicken wings at any point and be happy. The only way I avoid them is by not having them around me. The addiction is that real.
So, when the waiter was giving us a run down of the menu and he mentioned that the wings are a really good seller I already locked in. Your boy had read and decided which wings the table was ordering in 0.23 seconds. Like a seasoned vet I asked for the grilled coconut wings and the grilled Saigon wings, you know, for the culture.
Grilled and appropriately seasoned, the wings stand strong as their own unique dish in a menu where everything is aggressively flavored. The coconut wings particularly stood out to me because I was hit with that iconic coconut flavor, but I was spared the sweetness. Oftentimes savory dishes with coconut end up being sweet, which takes away from the entire thing. Not here though. The grill gives char and some crunch, and the coconut mellows out the bite so that I’m always reminded that I’m eating Vietnamese wings, and nothing else.
When it came to the mains this dish sparked my interest because I’ve been experimenting a lot with pork belly on my own. Of course whenever I make something that becomes the standard because I’m that good (sarcasm people, laugh). I was genuinely curious though, so we picked up the caramelized pork belly clay pot to round it out.
This was the most home-y dish out of everything I ate. Eating this made me think that I could easily have this at home and it wouldn’t look out of place. Some dishes you only have in the restaurant because they’re just way too exotic to have anywhere else. This didn’t feel like that at all.
The claypot is important here because it cooks the pork low and slow. Traditionally in viet cuisine, it turns the pork belly into this super soft and warm bite that fills you deeply with flavour. It’s served with pickled cabbage, hard boiled egg, herbs, and steamed rice. There’s really nothing crazy in this one. Nothing that’s out of the ordinary, or really that surprising. It’s just a strong dish that is simple in concept and executed well. Wouldn’t look out of place in my kitchen, believe that.
I really did have a great time here. The vibe was great, the look was its own (which is important in Toronto where you can find so much of the same thing), and the service was bomb. Let me make that a point here. I always say that I judge a restaurant on much more than just the food. When I go out to eat it’s about the experience I’m given, because I can always order takeout and skip everything else. The servers here were friendly and very helpful, walking us through the menu and telling us things straight up. I appreciate that, because they will always know more than I do about their spot. They checked on us a bunch of times, referred us to drinks that we would like (definitely did like them, maybe too much), and made the night even better. I'm a fan of DZO Viet Eatery, and I’m counting down the days of when I’ll be back.