Update: A spokesperson for Momofuku emailed The Globe and Mail Friday night to confirm that Momofuku is set to open not just one restaurant in Toronto, but two: a Noodle Bar and a second one called Momofuku Daisho. The restaurants will be in a building next to the Shangri-La Hotel, and the projected opening date is 2012.
A cryptic Twitter message this morning from New York chef David Chang is fuelling online buzz that the culinary superstar will launch a new restaurant at Toronto's Shangri-La Hotel, scheduled to open next year.
Responding to food writer Benjamin Leszcz, who tweeted at Mr. Chang, "Toronto Shangri-la? True story?" the chef answered with the following message: "chris bosh south beach sucks…hello southern ontario > Phaneuf, Bargnani & Bautista > late late 2012ish? via westbank>shangri-la" (The reference seems to be to Toronto's star athletes Dion Phaneuf of the Maple Leafs, Andrea Bargnani of the Raptors and Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays.)
Shangri-La Hotel, which will also house luxury condos Living Shangri-La Toronto by Westbank, has not yet confirmed Mr. Chang will be locating his next restaurant here. But the Twitter message is being met with excitement among local food enthusiasts.
"Holy frickin' moly - that would be AMAZING!!!!" one commenter posted on the online food forum Chowhound.
Mr. Chang's hint at a Toronto opening comes just days after New York chef Daniel Boulud confirmed he is closing his two Vancouver restaurants, Lumière and db Bistro Moderne, after a little more than two years.
Still, if his tweet means what many are hoping it does, Mr. Chang, whose Momofuku and Má Pêche restaurants have propelled him to international stardom, would follow a handful of renowned foreign chefs with outposts in Canada.
Celebrity chef Scott Conant opened Scarpetta at the Thompson Hotel in Toronto last year, acclaimed New York chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened Market at Shangri-La in Vancouver in 2009, and British chef Gordon Ramsay is revamping The Rôtisserie Laurier BBQ in Montreal.
What do you think about David Chang's possible Canadian outpost?