Markham didn’t know it needed another fusion spot, but it got one. And it’s delicious! NextDoor is the baby sister of Smash Kitchen and Bar and opened last month at the historic Planing Mill on Unionville Main Street.
NextDoor’s website describes its food as Canadian, but dishes such as the Char Siu Pork, Mushroom Gyoza, and Singaporean Chili Crab give the menu an Asianic vibe.
Breaking the norms of Canadian restaurants, the dishes are made for sharing: the flat iron steak is precut, the torched salmon comes in multiple mini fillets, etc… The dinner menu isn’t divided into appetizers or entrées, instead it’s “Nibbles” and “Large Plates.”
The Fried Brussels Sprouts ($8) are a favourite. There is no doubt that NextDoor will make you love this notorious vegetable. Made with a maple balsamic vinaigrette and double smoked bacon, the dish’s aroma is a love song to your nose the moment it hits your table. The mayo dipping sauce provides enough fat to cut through the natural bitterness of the sprouts.
The torched salmon ($15) is an unexpected delicacy. The fillet is mostly raw, with an exception to the sears left by a blowtorch. It has the texture of sashimi which pairs well with the crunchy puffed wild rice sitting underneath the fillets.
Among the Large Plates, Pork + Pancakes ($14) is a winner. The pancake has the savouriness of Chinese green onion, but the fluffy and decadent texture of a gourmet brunch pancake. The pork is NextDoor’s take on char siu, a Chinese-style barbeque pork. The restaurant removes some of the deep oriental flavours of traditional char siu to emphasize the pork’s own flavour.
The grilled octopus ($16) is tough and lacks flavour on its own; however, the star of the dish is the Nduja, a spread made from pork fat, herbs, and spicy peppers. The nduja provides the dish with not only a tangy heat, but also the fond memories of an Italian deli.
NextDoor’s bar menu features drinks such as their signature Sangria ($9) and a Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned ($12). The spot also has an extensive brunch menu that carries many Asian-inspired dishes.
Address: 139 Main St Unionville, Markham