Introducing: Le Ti Colibri, Kensington Market’s first French-Caribbean joint (complete with tiki hut)
Le Ti Colibri is the latest little restaurant to make a go of it at 291 Augusta Avenue, the little nook that previously held Spicy Grill Indo Pak Cuisine. The French Caribbean restaurant is the first venture of Kristel Procida, who came from a marketing background and Mattias Laurin (Urban Herbivore, Fressen), a chef with over 15 years of experience. After meeting in France, the couple reunited in Toronto, a city they have come to love and call home. They told us they admire the cultural curiosity of Torontonians, which was part of the reason they chose Kensington Market to open their restaurant.
After some round-the-clock renovations, the small counter-service restaurant now has a fresh new tropical feel inside and out (the small backyard patio even has a tiki hut, which Laurin built, to complete the look). With zouk (a rhythmic music originating in the French Caribbean) playing in the background, Procida explained the menu as a riff on the couple’s experiences growing up in the French Caribbean; she was born in Guadeloupe, while he’s from Martinique, and while the differences are subtle, she assures us each does have its own culinary specialties.
Those dishes include saltfish fritters (made of cod) served with homemade hot sauce and a side salad, in a house cantaloupe dressing ($4.25). The bun for the popular bokit sandwich ($7–$9) is made with freshly rolled dough that’s then deep fried. Inside, there’s a choice of fillings like saltfish and avocado (known as féroce in Martinique), tuna, egg or cheese. For drinks, there’s an exotic virgin punch ($3.50) and for dessert, a coconut flan ($5). The food is served take-out style, and there are plans to expand into delivery as well. With any luck, it’ll stick around longer than the previous occupants of its space.