What’s on the menu at Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, Janet Zuccarini’s new King West restaurant

What’s on the menu at Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, Janet Zuccarini’s new King West restaurant

Name: Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen
Contact: 104 Portland St., 416-792-8105, chubbysjamaican.com, @chubbysjamaican
Neighbourhood: King West
Owner: Janet Zuccarini (Gusto 101, Gusto 54, Trattoria Nervosa, L.A.’s Felix)
Chefs: Executive chef Elio Zannoni (Gusto 54) and chef de cuisine Donavon Campbell (Angus Glen Golf Club)

The food

“I was a firm believer in using scotch bonnet peppers throughout—until I got to dessert,” says Campbell. His menu is rooted in Jamaican classics (oxtail stew, curry goat, jerk chicken), but a handful of dishes are more Toronto than they are traditional. Updated plates include colourful salads like a papaya-watercress-avocado number, as well as a jerk-seasoned burger topped with mango salsa. And rice—in the rice and peas—can be replaced with quinoa.

Double Dip: Ackee and lentil dips served with micro vegetables and root veggie chips dusted with jerk spice. $15.


Saltfish is poached in cream before being turned into these deep-fried fritters, which are served with a mango-papaya salsa. $12.


Oxtail stew with braised butter beans, served with rice and peas. $18.


Making the jerk chicken at Chubby’s is a four-day process. After a 24-hour brine, the bird sits for another day in a dry rub before its dried and cooked over a mix of ash and maple. $18/half.


This carrot sponge layer cake is served with a vanilla rum gelato and shards of coconut meringue. $9.


Chef Donavon Campbell.


The drinks

Signature takes on classic cocktails (like a red-hued mojito made with sorrel); playful, over-the-top tropical concoctions (including the $23 made-for-sharing Calabash Bay that’s basically a piña colada on steroids), a rum list, a short wine menu and a few “fiyah quenchers” (so, beer). There’s also an impressive selection of non-alcoholic drinks to pick from, including carrot juice with sweetened milk and nutmeg.

My Blossom is made with Tanqueray gin, pomegranate juice, rose tincture, cranberry bitters and egg white. $12.50.


Nana’s Love combines Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum with Crown Royal Harvest Rye, and orange, carrot and pineapple juices. $14.50.


The Rum Bar menu lists seven of the world’s best rums, and serves them 1.5 ounces at a time.


Chubby’s cappuccino is made with coconut milk and Blue Mountain beans. $5.50.


The space

Partisans (the team responsible for Bar Raval) was brought on to transform this 127-year-old three-bedroom home into a 100-seat restaurant. They peeled back the layers, exposing the building’s original beams and rafters, and added a two-storey extension at the rear, all the while preserving the Victorian bones. Wendy Haworth (the designer behind Zuccarini’s L.A. restaurant, Felix) finished the space with hanging plants, pineapple light fixtures and palm tree murals by Komi Olaf.

The main floor dining room and bar area.


Another view of the main-floor dining room.


Here’s the second-floor dining room.


The jerk pit.


The original staircase (which ran up to the attic) is now purely decorative.