Dinah Koo’s Fusia Dog a winner
Miss Piggy is not in the kitchen with Dinah.
Dinah Koo serves only kosher all-beef or Rowe Farms chicken wieners at Fusia
Dog, her new gourmet hot dog stand in the Entertainment District.
Even better than the dogs’ provenance are Koo’s inventive toppings.
Not for nothing is the hard-working chef/caterer/restaurateur known as one of
Toronto’s original tastemakers, opening fine-food emporium Dinah’s Cupboard in
1972 and until last year running Dinah’s Kitchen on Mt. Pleasant Rd.
The namesake dog ($6.95) is a case in point, fusing the flavours of multiple
Asian countries into a cohesive whole that will ruin street meat for you
“I’ve been following hot dog ideas for years,” says Koo, referring to
Vancouver’s Japa Dog.
“The Fusia Dog started as an hors d’oeuvre for a catering job and I just
played with it.”
It comes in a banana-leaf boat on red checked paper. Instead of a bun, it’s
wrapped in an imported paratha, a sturdy griddled Indian flatbread barely able
to contain the toppings.
There’s a mild Korean napa cabbage kimchi, a Vietnamese-style garnish of
grated daikon and carrot dressed with rice wine vinegar, plus enough wasabi mayo
to sting your nasal passages. Raw cucumber slices bring the crunch, cilantro the
There are only three stools in the Duncan St. storefront. Staff offer
customers samples of chipotle potato salad or the so-called “power slaw” -
chopped veg, cheddar, raisins and pumpkin seeds – while waiting.
Many would follow Koo to the gates of hell for a taste of her food.
This destination is a lot more savoury.
Fusia Dog, 65 Duncan St. (south of Queen St. W.), 647-341-7391, fusiadog.ca.
Open Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
to 8 p.m.
Credit: Amy Pataki Toronto Star