Eat: Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen

There were a few news about culture appropriation when Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen opened, with what started was the owner (whom is white) said that the city needed an “amazing Jamaican restaurant”, I’m not going to delve into whether Chubby’s is authentic or not, or that the opening of the restaurant is “hipsterizing” Jamaican food. I went, I ate and in the end, I thought it was just ok. There is always better elsewhere. Also, my experience will be different than yours; as always, go, try and have your own experience.

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When we arrived at the restaurant, I thought the decor was nice; it has a resort feel to it. However, where we were seated in the upper floor, it was dark — it’s the candle-and-mood-lighting-on-the-wall-doesn’t-help kind of dark. I can’t quite see the food and I can’t quite see what I’m eating. This would be terrible for someone who has terrible vision in the dark.

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Gin and Ting ($12) – Dillon’s Gin and Ting (Carribean carbonated drink).
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 Likkle Jamaican Patties ($10) – tamarind beef, curry turkey, curry shrimp and coconut greens (one of each). Slow-Baked Jerk Wings ($15) – wild honey, scotch bonnet dust, lime zest festival
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Jerk Chicken with Chubby’s Slaw (quarter $14, half $18 whole $31). Jerk Pork ($16 1/2 pound) – Buckeye, pork belly, sauteed seasonal greens
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Oxtail Stew ($18) – braised butter, beans and herbs, rice and peas.
Extra side of rice and peas ($6.50)
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Saltfish Fritters ($12) with mango-lime papaya salsa at the top.

I was looking forward to the jerk chicken, but I did not enjoy it because it was painfully spicy for me (I’ve had jerk chicken where it was spicy, but bearable). Also, it’s quite expensive ($18 for half with slaw on the side, but no rice and peas, which is extra cost).

The Saltfish Fritters were (ironically) too salty and while some flavour of the patties are decently good, the pastry was doughy.

Saving graces were the Slow-Baked Jerk Wings (fortunately not painfully spicy), the Oxtail Stew and the service.

Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen
104 Portland St.
Toronto, ON
M5V 2N2

 

 

 

 

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Eat: Cold Tea x Juanmoto

Cold Tea is one of those (secret) bars that you don’t want to tell anyone else about. Especially now that it’s renovated and the food is by one of the Han brothers (of Hanmoto and Oddseoul fame).

Cold Tea is located in Kensington Market, inside a somewhat sketchy mall and marked on by a red light above a door of graffiti. Prior to what it is now, it was a grungy bar.

The food serve at Cold Tea are small sharable plate of Asian-South American fusion. My brother and I came here after our session at Mahjong Bar; I would have liked to order more food at Cold Tea, but there always next time.

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Leche De Tigre Ceviche ($16) – avocado, taro chips, scallops, tuna, surf clams, prawns, tobiko. Love ceviche? Can’t go wrong with this.

Teriyakitori Wings ($10, 4 pc) – charcoal roasted chicken wings, tare, green sauce. These were a tad spicy. Good with beer.

I would come back here in a heartbeat. But, I’m bias because I love the food the Han Brothers make.

Cold Tea x Juanmoto
60 Kensington Ave.
Toronto, ON
M5T 2K2