Betel leaf wrap

In advance of the premier food and hospitality industry’s Terroir Symposium 2015, we were lucky to get the opportunity to talk to Trevor Lui, co-owner of the new Kanpai Snack Bar in Cabbagetown.

We also got the chance to participate in the collaborative Terroir Dinner Series at Beast as documented by John Tan and the Kanpai 6-course dinner described below on May 13th, 2015.

The special menu was designed by Trevor Lui in collaboration included Chef Nuit Regular (famous for Toronto’s Pai, Sukho Thai & Sabai Saba) and Chef Tawfik Shehata (The International Centre & Foodland Ontario) drawing inspiration from their travels in Asia, specifically the Taiwanese street food scene.

It was a night of good snack food company hosted by Trevor Lui and New York City based food journalist, Jim Poris of Food Arts.

It was also a nice surprise to see Vivian Hatherell (of Metro Wine Sake) who provided crisp locally-made Izumi Ontario sake and Dave Mitton who slung stiff Old Fashioned cocktails for all the guests with Lot 40 Canadian whiskey, both are my favourite! Everyone was happy with the fine spirit pairings, especially me.


And let’s not forget the fine Samuel Adams craft beer that was flowing all night, especially welcome to wash down the spicy courses.

I won’t talk about each of the 6 amazing courses one-by-one but highlights include pork belly on fluffy bao packed full of flavour and melt in your mouth texture.

Betel leaf wrap paired with Samuel Adams beer

Betel leaf wrap paired with Samuel Adams beer


The TFC is definitely a mainstay on the menu that you should try right now at Kanpai Snack Bar. It’s crispy fried chicken with a lemon wedge served in a humble takeout box. On my first visit to Kanpai it was already sold out so I was glad to finally try it.

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA paired with Kanpai's Taiwanese Fried Chicken (TFC)

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA paired with Kanpai’s Taiwanese Fried Chicken (TFC)


The ever-smiling Chef Nuit Regular came over to our table and mentioned that she picked out the lychee from the market earlier that day. She’s a sweetheart that you definitely must meet who’s made a big impact in the food scene in Toronto with Sabai Sabai, Pai and Sukho Thai.

Chef Nuit Regular with fresh lychee that she picked out earlier that day

Chef Nuit Regular with fresh lychee that she picked out earlier that day



From my interview with Trevor Lui about the collaborative dinner, I asked about what he hoped from his experience this year with the Terroir Symposium and the Terroir dinner series.

The dinner series is a perfect example. We have assembled a diverse cultural mix of chefs that have their own experiences and life stories through food journeys. Our goal is to transplant this on to plates collaboratively and serve it to the consumers so they understand the unique styles of cooking, eating and most importantly inspiration.

The only way to measure inter-industry collaboration is to be able to share that with those that are willing to hear and learn from these stories; and these are the dinners. It’s an exciting opportunity.

It was definitely an exciting and spectacular night of flavours, fine food and company with some all-stars in the food and beverage scene.

Be sure to visit Kanpai, and Nuit’s restaurants and also as mark your calendars for next year’s Terroir 2016 collaborative dinner series.

I myself am already making a plan to visit Kanpai again soon for the TFC with some friends very soon.

For more info about Kanpai Snack Bar at 252 Carlton Street (on the corner of Parliament Street), visit them on Twitter at and instagram.

For more info about Terroir visit

Photos by Nick Lee

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