What’s on the menu at Roywoods, a new Jamaican spot on Ossington with a chef from Allwyn’s Bakery

What’s on the menu at Roywoods, a new Jamaican spot on Ossington with a chef from Allwyn’s Bakery

Name: Roywoods
Contact: 198 Ossington Ave., 416-546-2941, roywoods.ca, @roywoods_ossington
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Owners: Regis Jay and David Isaias
Chef: Donald Simpson (Allwyn’s Bakery)

The food

Regis Jay grew up eating jerk sandwiches from Donald Simpson’s popular North York lunch counter, Allwyn’s Bakery. And even after he moved to King West, Jay would trek to his old neighbourhood just to satisfy his patty cravings. Rather than continue braving the DVP, Jay decided to bring a taste of uptown downtown by opening a shop that would serve his favourite Jamaican eats—made by his favourite Jamaican chef. This is Jay’s second Roywoods location (the original is in CityPlace) but it’s the first to serve booze and brunch.

The jerk wings are marinated in the kitchen’s top-secret spice mix. $10.


Cod fritters are served with a scotch bonnet mayo. $13.


The jerk shrimp is cooked with pineapple and flavoured with scallions, allspice, scotch bonnet pepper and a hint of basil. $14.


This coco bread lobster sandwich is one of the restaurant’s best-sellers. $17


Fried chicken, topped with tomato and onion on a coco bun. Served with wedges and slaw. $10.


The drinks

Super-potent tropical cocktails—like the Sugar Pie made with coconut rum, amaretto, butterscotch schnapps and soda—that go down way too easily. On weekends, the kitchen closes at 11:30 p.m., which is when Roywoods becomes more bar than restaurant.

The Racy Tales punch combines Wray and Nephew white rum with pineapple juice, grenadine, bitters and orange juice. $14.


The Redd Foxy Ceze is rimmed with a jerk–celery salt blend and flavoured with rum, dill pickle juice and house hot sauce. $12. (Add a jerk chicken wing garnish for an extra toonie.)


Here’s the lot of them.


The space

The 26-seat room is decorated with strings of twinkle lights and vintage furniture finds. The walls of the kitchen were even made from parts of an old New Jersey warehouse (Jay refurbished the steel and put in frosted glass). Jay is currently renovating a room in the basement so he can host pop-up shops on a rotating basis.