Toa Toa Dim Sum, Toes and All
A trip to Toa Toa was my first to Sunrise in awhile, where roads and strip malls plaster over nature, the struggling palms a half-ass reminder.
Inside Toa Toa, tables were a growing commodity. No carts snaked the aisles, though I was charmed by the chit menu. "Oh, they have chicken feet," I said.
One of my favorite chefs from home at CityZen, Eric Ziebold --former sous to Thomas Keller when he opened French Laundry-- told me a New York story where he and his friends went on a chicken feet promenade, devouring them like natives, spitting nails in bowls. I was certain I would not mimic that flourish, though I was curious to see what the hell's the fuss.
Silky rice noodles like crepes blanketed crispy shrimp, a textural contrast and a simple flavor interplay. On another plate, sticky buns cradled pork meatballs, a satiating starter. Mustard greens reminded us we're not eating them enough, and why the hell not since they're so good? Clams and black beans ushered silence as we devoured the dish. "Are you going to leave those? said my friend of the couple remaining. They could not go to waste.
The chicken feet were another story, a handful that arrived in a steamer atop the nail bowl. I pulled at the skin, earthy and crisp. Ziebold was right. They were delicious, though I was hesitant and tweeted such. "Just pretend you're sucking someone's toes, if that helps," @Frodnesor answered.
I know that's what I'm supposed to do, but I could not. Most dishes are less appetizing upon closer examination, whether it's the composition or the plating that breaks a craving. Such was the case of chicken feet with crispy skin that jiggled. I was too disturbed by the architecture of bones underneath.
Serving dim sum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. consider going today. Maybe skip the chicken feet.
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