The massive Assembly Chef’s Hall is finally open. Here’s everything you should order

The massive Assembly Chef’s Hall is finally open. Here’s everything you should order

Assembly Chef’s Hall, downtown Toronto’s new 18,000-square-foot emporium of all (well, most) things edible, is now open seven days a week, for breakfast lunch, dinner and drinks. The space houses 18 vendors from some of the city’s top restaurateurs, plus a beer hall and a wine bar. Once winter takes a hike, Assembly will even have a patio. It’s proof, at last, that we really can have nice things. The entire space is licensed, so guests can grab a drink from either bar to pair with whatever they want to eat—be it a taco, a bowl of ramen or a birthday-cake cupcake. The grown-up food court even has its own app: diners can use it to order ahead and skip the line, or have their food delivered. Oh, how far we have come.

Here are all of the chef’s hall’s vendors, and a must-order dish or drink from each.

Bluenose Lobster

Chef: Garth Legree (Little Anthony’s).
Serves: Nova Scotia lobster in many forms: bisque, rolls, Thermidor and more.

Chef Garth Legree (left).
Half of a roasted Nova Scotia lobster topped with lobster velouté, fresh herbs and lemon, served with a roll. Market price.


Bulldog Coffee

Barista-owner: Stuart Ross (Bulldog Coffee).
Serves: Unique espresso-based drinks, made using beans from Africa, Central and South America.

Owner Stuart Ross in front of his booth.
Ross’s Toronto-famous Rainbow Latte.
Ross, putting the finishing fiery touch on his Espresso Martini.
The Espresso Martini: espresso, steamed milk, mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce. $6. (An extra $6 for Bailey’s.)


Cherry Street Bar-B-Que

Pitmaster-owner: Lawrence La Pianta (Cherry Street Bar-B-Que).
Serves: Pit-smoked proteins, including brisket, baby back ribs and pulled pork, as well as classic sides (mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans).

Pitmaster and owner Lawrence La Pianta.
BBQ platter: salt-and- pepper-seasoned Texas-style brisket, candied baby back ribs, pulled pork, red cabbage slaw and burnt-end baked beans. $34.



Chef: Elia Herrera (Los Colibris, El Caballito).
Serves: Hand-pressed corn tortillas with regionally-inspired fillings and a variety of house-made salsas.

Chef Elia Herrera (centre).
Left to right: Baja Fish (battered and fried fish, pickled cabbage and vegetables, macha crema, lime); Beef Alambre (60-day aged ribeye, red bell pepper, green onion, garlic, poblano, cheese, chicharron); and Mushrooms al Ajillo (a mix of oyster and button mushrooms, guajillo pepper, garlic, lime). $7.50 each.


The Good Son Pizza

Chef-owner: Vittorio Colacitti (The Good Son).
Serves: Made-to-order pizza pies.

The Good Son team, minus Colacitti.
Spicy Sopressata: San Marzano tomato sauce, fior de latte, grana padano, olives, chili oil and basil. $18.


Little DaiLo

Chef-owner: Nick Liu (DaiLo).
Serves: Asian dishes made using French techniques, like truffle fried rice and Peking duck wings.

The Little DaiLo team.
Nick Liu, offering up some Peking duck wings.
Crispy Peking glazed confit duck wings: fried confit duck wings coated with hoisin-soy glaze, and served with sliced cucumber, green onion, coriander and Mandarin-style pancakes. $17.



Chef-owners: Elena Malkov and Andrey Malkov (Hibiscus).
Serves: Gluten-free, organic, vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Brother-and-sister team, Elena and Andrey Malkov.
The 42 Ingredient Salad: includes quinoa, sweet potato, broccoli, beans, tofu, kale, carrots, beets, kelp, okra and a raw cracker. $13.


Little Khao

Chef: Chantana “Top” Srisomphan (Khao San Road).
Serves: Thai street food.

Srisomphan and her Little Khao team.
Beef khao soi: egg noodles, golden curry, coconut milk, crispy noodles, scallions, coriander and lime. $17.
Pad gra prao: pork, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, fresh green chili, holy basil and fried egg. Served on rice. $17.
Green curry chicken: green curry, bamboo shoots, green bell peppers, Thai basil, fresh makrut lime leaf and coconut milk. $17.
There are also snacks, including collaborations with Millie Patisserie, like this sweet, sour, salty and spicy caramel corn.


Love Chix

Chef-owner: Paul Marshall (Love Chix).
Serves: Crispy fried chicken.

Marshall, in front of his Clayton Hanmer-painted booth.
The Social Plate: fried chicken tossed in honey hot sauce, served with buttermilk ranch sauce and crispy Brussels sprouts. $21.


Mira Mira

Chef-owner: Amira Becarevic (formerly of The Chase).
Serves: Healthy options, including matcha-chia pudding, barbecued okra bowls and honey-kimchi chicken.

Becarevic and her team at Mira Mira.
BBQ okra plate: cauliflower gratin, shishito peppers, coleslaw, sunflower crema and pistachios. $16.



Nutritionist: Kate Taylor Martin (Nutbar).
Serves: Superfood snacks and drinks.

The Nutbar booth.
Savoury toast made with toasted double-fermented organic multigrain bread, topped with house-made cashew spread, watermelon radish and black sesame seeds ($6.50); and the Ultimate Recovery smoothie made with cashews, dates, vanilla, chia seeds, matcha, collagen, blueberries, vegan protein powder and nut milk ($14).


Ramen Isshin

Chef-owner: Koji Zenimaru, not pictured (Ramen Isshin, Kiu, Kingyo Izakaya).
Serves: Ramen.

The Ramen Isshin booth.
Black sesame tan tan noodle: wok-fried pork, spicy chives, bok choy, pork belly and green onions in a miso broth flavoured with Isshin’s black sesame blend. $16.



Owner: Nicki Laborie (Bar Reyna).
Serves: Mediterranean sharing plates and mezze, including charcuterie and pintxos.

Laborie in front of Reyna’s booth, decorated with a mural by Kayla Pongrac.
Charcuterie board: bresaola, serrano jamón, turkey soppressata, chorizo, salchichón, longanisa, chicken liver mousse, manchego, pickled vegetables, olives, crostini and bread sticks. $25.


Resto Boemo

Chef-owners: Ivana Raca (Raca Café & Bar, Ufficio) and Brad Smith (Chopped Canada).
Serves: Contemporary Canadian comfort food.

Smith and Raca in front of the Boemo booth.
Boemo’s Boho Gnoc: handmade ricotta gnocchi with a chorizo red sauce. $18.



Chef-owner: Jackie Lin, not pictured (Shoushin).
Serves: Chirashi sushi, assorted sushi ingredients placed over a bowl of seasoned sushi rice.

Shari’s booth.
Bara-chirashi: This version includes tuna, scallops, octopus, cooked shrimp, salmon roe, egg and cucumber. $14.50.


Short and Sweet Bakeshop

Chef-owners: Ness and Orli Levy (Short and Sweet Bakeshop).
Serves: Handcrafted classic desserts topped with sweet buttercream, colourful sprinkles and Belgian chocolate shavings.

The Levys, in front of their booth.
Birthday Cake: A three-tier rainbow-vanilla cake with a confetti sprinkle core. $50.



Chef-owner: Jackie Lin, not pictured (Shoushin).
Chef: Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga (Kasa Moto, Yuzu, Kingyo, Kaji).
Serves: Sushi, every 30 minutes for eight guests at a time.

Chef Yoshinaga and the Tachi team.
Tachi’s omakase meal includes 11 pieces of assorted nigiri and a hand roll. $45.


Tokyo Smoke

Barista: Ali Dressler.
Serves: Coffee beverages for the sophisticated (cannabis) smoker, as well as treats and sandwiches from Forno Cultura.

The Tokyo Smoke booth.
The Smokaccino: espresso, chocolate syrup, liquid smoke and steamed milk. $5.50.
Beet mint latte: beetroot powder, white chocolate, peppermint extract and steamed milk. $5.50.


Pop-Up Booth

Rotating vendors will occupy this booth near Bulldog Coffee. Currently Popgod X Indulgence Truffles are selling specialty popcorn and chocolate truffles.

Popgod X Indulgence Truffles.


Beer Hall

The DJ-booth equipped beer hall has space to host live events, and TVs to broadcast sports games.

The beer hall.
Pitchers of Tromba margaritas. $44.


Wine Bar

The wine bar serves a selection of wines and spirits. The whole space is licensed, so guests can grab a drink at either bar and find a seat wherever they like.

Seating in the wine bar. Photo by Renée Suen
The bar itself.

111 Richmond St. W., 647-557-5993,