At the Bar: Inspired cocktails at Momo San, the new Japanese hot spot


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Momo San’s Jordan Kerr and the kicky Tokyo Hot tipple

Sushi and beyond
At Baldwin village’s Momo San, things have been bustling. The in-demand Japanese eatery has had all the queues since opening shop early this May. The reason for the infatuation? The aburi oshi. Made using a pressed sushi box — oshizushihako — this pressed sushi is topped with slips of fish and blowtorched before being presented to the diner. But it’s not only about the sushi.

Tinkering around
Restaurant manager Jordan Kerr has crafted a cocktail menu to frame the flavours of the aburi oshi. Most of the libations are Kerr’s own, with much of his creative knowledge plucked from his time at Vancouver’s Bambuddha. The recently shuttered modern Chinese resto was known for its cutting-edge cocktail program, and Kerr sopped it all up. “I use a lot of their techniques for infusions, making new syrups and conceptualizing new drinks,” Kerr says.    

Hot and spicy
The Tokyo Hot tipple ($16) hails from the secret drinks menu. When contemplating how flavours from Chinese cuisine are less common in cocktails, Kerr started experimenting with syrups. After three weeks of tinkering, he landed on the perfect Szechuan pepper jalapeno syrup. He opted to pair it with some Japanese ume liqueur for sweet and St-Rémy VSOP brandy for notes of vanilla and oak. “It’s not super spicy,” Kerr says. “It has this tingly mouthfeel from the Szechuan peppers. You can taste the jalapeno, and it’s complemented really well by the ume.” Looks like the secret’s out.

Momo San, 26 Baldwin St., 416-901-8892

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Karolyne Ellacott is senior editor at Post City Magazines. She can oft be spotted at Toronto’s most nostalgic diners wearing glittery heels and pink faux fur. Follow all of her eclectic writing interests on Twitter @kellacott and Instagram @itismekar.

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