What’s on the menu at Juanmoto, Cold Tea’s new Asian–South American restaurant

What’s on the menu at Juanmoto, Cold Tea’s new Asian–South American restaurant

Name: Cold Tea
Contact: 60 Kensington Ave., no phone, @juanm0t0
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Cold Tea owners: Oliver Dimapilis, Matthew LaRochelle and Stacey Welton
Juanmoto chef: Leemo Han (Pinky’s Ca Phe, Hanmoto)

The food

Han’s already proficient in Korean-American (Oddseoul), Japanese-American (Hanmoto) and Vietnamese-Cambodian-American (Pinky’s Ca Phe). At Juanmoto, his dishes have both Asian and South American influences. There are snacks made for sharing, like ceviche, chicken wings and steak tartare, as well as a couple of sandwiches, including the Sloppy José, made with chipotle miso–grilled beef, guac and American cheese. Juanmoto will operate in the space Monday to Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. On Sundays, however, the bar turns back into the Cold Tea of yore (so, foodless and not open until 9 p.m.).

Saint Simon oysters topped with tomatillo-garlic salsa, ponzu jelly, wasabi tobiko, ikura (salmon roe), tobiko, uni and puffed rice crackers. $12 for three.


Leche de Tigre Ceviche features a mix of avocado, scallops, ahi tuna and surf clams. It’s christened with botan shrimp and sided with taro chips. $16.


Steak tartare is presented as a tostada chip and topped with silken tofu guacamole, ponzu salsa, chopped eye of round and wasabi-seasoned octopus, nori shreds, pickled chilies, cilantro, sweet soy-garlic sauce and the yolk from a quail’s egg. $15.


Teriyakitori wings are first brined, then grilled over charcoal and fried to order, before being seasoned with tare and dressed with green sauce. $10 for four.


The Tempura McFly is a messy number that stuffs chicken tempura, tartar sauce, “green sauce” (queso cheese, lime juice, aji amarillo) and shredded iceberg lettuce in a soft Wonder Bread bun. $10.


Alfajores: miso ice cream and dulce de leche between Argentine butter cookies, rolled in arare (puffed rice crackers). $7.


The drinks

Wine, local beer (Rorschach, Halo, Blood Brothers) as well as some from Hamilton (Grain and Grit) and Whitby (Town, Five Paddles), and the cocktails Cold Tea has always been good for. A couple of seasonal signature creations with Asian and/or South American spins have been added to the roster.

Grace Park: sochu, St-Germain and Thai basil. $14.


La Flama Blanca is a mix of chili-infused tequila, pineapple juice and mint. $14.


The space

After seven years, this seemed to be a natural evolution for the not-so-secret bar. “It’s been such a joy to collaborate with Leemo,” Welton says, “We talked about opening a place together before, so this worked out really well.” Dimapilis and Welton are behind the room’s new design. They brightened up the bar and added a feature wall for rotating art. The 42-seat space will double its capacity when the back patio (which will also undergo renovations later this spring) opens up.

The dumpling cart is still there…but the dumplings are not.


Rows of lucky cats welcome guests into the bar.


There’s a mounted display case opposite the bar for rotating art installations.


This collage by Jeff Garcia (@mango_peeler) has been with Cold Tea since the beginning.


Some more new art.


The entrance is still as sketchy as ever. (When the red light is on, the bar is open for business.)