Introducing: Patois, a new destination on Dundas West for Asian-Caribbean street food
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Contact Info: 794 Dundas St. W., 647-350-8999, patoistoronto.com
Owner/chef: Craig Wong, who trained in Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred restaurant Fat Duck and spent a decade cooking for Toronto’s elite at Luma and Senses before deciding he was bored with fussy food
The Food: Wong draws upon his Jamaican-Chinese heritage for inspiration, but his menu doesn’t stick exclusively to Caribbean and Cantonese flavours. There’s also roasted Portuguese chicken with jerk spices, pierogi potstickers doused with kimchi sour cream and “dirty fried rice,” which adds a Cajun kick to the Chinese takeout staple. On the lighter side, a classic Waldorf salad gets a Pacific makeover with wakame (i.e. seaweed) and sesame.
The Drinks: General manager Alyssa Luckhurt adds tropical panache to standard cocktails. Trade Winds, a Dark and Stormy variant, gets a jolt from simple syrup infused with Chinese five spice.
The Place: Between the turquoise bar and waggish decor, the 65-seat space (previously a flower shop) resembles the set of a Wes Anderson flick. Inflatable pool toys adorn the ceiling, sections of concrete floor are painted with black-and-white chevrons and countless curios are affixed the walls. Subtle touches of black, green and yellow allude to the Jamaican flag.