I’m continuing my love of The Depanneur (1033A College St.) Corner store by day, dinner establishment by (some evenings), brunch spot, commercial kitchen space, and all around nice stop in Dufferin Grove. We’ve gone several times in the last few months, once to Emily Z’s French Lentil Soup day, Kalmplex’s Hearty Jamaican Soup, Len’s made-vegan risotto and more.
Every week or so, we get an email from them about the dinners that are happening. If you’re in Toronto, I’d recommend signing up for it, just in case any of the dishes tickle your fancy. Or connect with them on twitter or facebook, specials and events are posted on there too. There is nearly always something for everyone.
It was Chef Emily Zimmerman’s turn again this week. She made these fabulous Okara “Crab” cakes. Okara – if you didn’t know – (I didn’t know) – is the flavourless textureful by-product of tofu making. Somehow this flavourless by-product of tofu making became this umamilicious crispy texture filled nugget of greatness. The nuggets had that perfect texture of crispy exterior, and a slightly dense but flaky interior that broke up the moment your tongue put a little extra pressure on it. I didn’t get a “seafood flavour” or “crab flavour” to it (in spite of two types of seaweed) which I’m happy with, but it was truly something spectacular.
Add to that, these okara nuggets were put in an organic french-style roll, baked in-house by Sara Lapell (of Nice Buns), topped with a vegan remoulade, and sitting on a very fresh crispy leaf of lettuce. A root veggie slaw and potato chips on the side just made us both feel happy and satisfied at the end of the meal.
Every time I eat at The Depanneur (or as I’ve started calling it, The Depp,) no matter who is cooking, it’s like a home cooked meal in the best possible way. The food has the got the heart and soul that some other restaurants are lacking. The chef’s seem to love the food they are making, and the taste of the food reflects that.
Start: Green Gazpacho with avocado and French sorrel, new peas in the shell with sea salt.
Star: Organic blue corn tortillas with all kinds of things to stuff ’em with: asparagus stir-fried with garlic scapes and ginger, green jackfruit in BBQ sauce, cashew queso sauce, chili-lime tofu, Ontario grown popcorn rice, and more.
Sweet: Light and silky pink-lemonade chiffon pie in a macaroon crust.