Food & Drink

Takeout Diaries: Where 7 Enoteca chef Marvin Palomo gets to-go Singapore chili crab, charcuterie and ebi katsu sandos

Takeout Diaries: Where 7 Enoteca chef Marvin Palomo gets to-go Singapore chili crab, charcuterie and ebi katsu sandos
Photo by Bryan Chong

It may be November but it feels like March all over again—our numbers are going up, it’s cold and grey outside and, once again, we can’t eat inside restaurants. But there’s always takeout or delivery. In this new series, we’re asking Toronto chefs to name their go-to takeout spots from throughout the pandemic.

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Marvin Palomo, chef de cuisine at Oakville’s 7 Enoteca, is urging Torontonians to support their favourite restaurants as much as they can, whether that means ordering takeout and delivery or buying gift cards. “If we can do something to prevent restaurants from closing—and not just temporarily, but for good—we should. Restaurants are a huge part of our cultural DNA, and it would be devastating to lose them,” Palomo says.

The pandemic has offered Palomo a bit of a silver lining; it gave him more time to work on his side business, XOXO Sauce. “It’s a Hong Kong–style seafood- and chili-based sauce I fell in love with when I was working in Asia. Every two months, I give back to the community by ensuring a percentage of sales is donated to a different charity.”


503 College St, 647-341-8882,

Palomo says the food is always amazing, and the service sets a high bar when it comes to genuine and thoughtful hospitality—when you’re able to dine in.

Go-to item 1: Fried Watermelon Tasting notes: “Oh man, this his all the right tastes and textures. It’s sweet and salty, yet warm and refreshing, too.”

Go-to item 2: Singapore chili crab Tasting notes: “This is one of my favourite dishes ever because of the layering of flavours: there’s spiciness and umami from the sauce, but then there’s the sweetness from the crab meat. It is simply an amazing combination.”


Richmond Station

1 Richmond St. W., 647-748-1444,

“Richmond Station has been one of my go-to restaurants for as long as I can remember. Everything from the great atmosphere to the honest food. What’s not to love?”

Go-to item 1: Station Burger Tasting notes: “In my opinion, this is the best burger in the city. It’s been on the menu since Day 1 for a reason. Nothing beats the braised meat, the medium-rare patty, and those squishy house-made milk buns.”

Go-to item 2: Charcuterie
Tasting notes: “The charcuterie platter is made up of a very tasty and balanced assortment of cured meats, mustard, pickles, crackers and preserves—all of which is made with care in-house. It’s ideal for those who love to graze, and it goes perfectly with a glass of wine or pint of beer.”


Ikune by Après Wine Bar

1166 Queen St. W., 647-292-3317,

“Après wine bar is one of my favourite spots in the city. I love what Jeff Kang is doing with the New Asian cuisine concept with his Japanese small plates and sushi. He also curates a great list of amazing natural wines—at affordable prices, too—and sakes imported from Japan. And now you can get those bottles to go.”

Go-to item 1: Frank Cornelissen, Terre Siciliane Susucaru Rosato, 2019. Tasting notes: The new era of takeout wine means bottles like this can be picked up with your food order. “This natural wine is light and easy to drink. It’s perfect for the patio, especially considering the amazing weather we’ve had for November.”

Go-to item 2: Ikune kimchi Tasting notes: “Kang’s house-made kimchi is probably one of the best I’ve ever had. From the balance of flavours to the crunchy texture, it’s a stand-out winner. I enjoy this most as a side to go with rice bowls or noodles at home.”

Go-to item 3: Ebi katsu sando Tasting notes: “This is one of my favourite dishes on the menu. The tempura-battered shrimp is light and full of flavour, with a nice crunch from the cabbage. But it’s their tangy-citrusy yuzu kosho tartar sauce that takes it to another level.”



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