Drake One Fifty x Momofuku Present Twilight Tuesday

Drake One Fifty and Momofuku heralded the almost-end of summer with Twilight Tuesday. Nestled in the parkette between Richmond and Adelaide on York Street, Twilight Tuesday was an intimate celebration of food, drinks and music. While the air got chilly as night fell, the air was just right inside the crowded mini night market. 

Despite the enthusiastic turn out, the line for food was never too long thanks to a simple ticket system and smart, experienced chefs who understood how to cook and move a lot of food fast. Each dish cost a ticket, and tickets were purchased for $5 each at the entrance. 

It was clear the organizers selected food places in the neighbourhood that would provide a variety of interesting and delicious street food options.

Pork belly was the unofficial food theme of the night. The highlight was the incomparable pork bun from Momofuku – cradled in the soft steamed bun is just enough hoisin sauce, cucumber and scallions to adorn two thick slices of pork belly that literally melts in your mouth. The Gabardine’s crispy taco salad was dressed with Columbian chicharrone (fried pork belly) and sprinkled with crumbled pork rinds.

Tundra gave the theme a gamey spin, bringing a wild boar belly pastrami sandwich as well as cured rainbow trout with chocolate mayo on a cocoa nib baguette. The chocolate mayo was augmented with cumin, making it less sweet than the name would imply, and more like a fluffy mole sauce.

A few dishes did sell out quickly, including Thoroughbred’s veal tongue pastrami and Smoke Signals Bar-B-Q’s beef brisket and jerk chicken. Pit master Nick Chen-Yin explained that the meat starts oxidizing the minute it’s cut, so it’s important to serve fast. Their Frito Pie was chili served on top of fritos made from the burnt ends of brisket – end pieces of brisket that are fatty, smoky and crunchy. 

A surprisingly delightful dish was the twice-baked potato from Richmond Station. The meat of the potato was scooped out so that the skin could provide an edible bowl filled with soybean hummus, sweet corn salad and summer herbs. When instructed to eat the potato lengthwise like a hot dog, the result was a controlled crunchy explosion of texture and taste. 

Drake One Fifty also did not disappoint. With the advantage of having their kitchen right next door, they were able to pump out dish after dish of generously portioned food. Did the fried chicken run out? Not a worry – just substitute with fried kalbi beef. Their pulled pork bun was an impressive full-sized burger. 

Drake also provided the drinks – along with Grolsch and soda for sale was a white sangria made with watermelon, lime and agave syrup. Summer in a cup, and dangerously delicious.

With gourmet street food accompanied by Canadian indie musicians performing street-side, Twilight Tuesday was a distinctly Torontonian tribute to summer, and it created a cozy oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle that is the Financial district.

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