- Address: 794 Dundas St W, Toronto
- Visited: 10/14/2015, Dinner, 3 people
- Cuisine: Fusion
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.patoistoronto.com/
I’d been holding off from visiting Patois, a Jamaican-Asian fusion restaurant, for one main reason. I really wanted to order “The Whole She-Bang” (the whole regular menu serving 3-4 people) but didn’t have the time to organize an outing. This was caused in part by scheduling challenges but mainly laziness. My desire for Patois’ pineapple bun burger however, was ever-growing and I finally got my hands on the fusion creation mid October.
Atmosphere: Two weeks ago, I met up with two girlfriends at Patois to catch up. We arrived at 6:30pm and had our pick of tables. The decor was playful and industrial. I felt like the beach was around the corner and I was grabbing a bite along the shore after an afternoon sunbathing on one of the colourful pool floats. Lighting was dim and intimate. Patois was a cozy spot to spend the night chatting about love and life over cocktails and fried chicken.
Service: Our server was lovely and attentive, almost to the point of excess. We lingered at our table for a couple of hours talking and picking at the last two dishes, which prompted the server to check in on us several times trying to clear plates. She was looking out for us and doing a great job, but I couldn’t help feeling rushed. I know this wasn’t her intention and she said as much when we settled the bill, inviting us to take our time. Again, I just couldn’t help feeling gently smothered.
Food: After settling in with cocktails, we began to analyze the menu and decided not to order “The Whole She-Bang” or a similar set option. This was because dinner features were not included and I had my eye on the Jerk Chicken Chowmein. Between the three of us, we ordered the Kimchi Potstickers, a full order of the O.G. Fried Chicken, the Chinese Pineapple Bun Burger (at last!) and the Jerk Chicken Chowmein.
I loved the potstickers. Wrapped using wonton skins, cooked to a crispy bottom and topped with caramelized onions, bacon, kimchi and sour cream, it was love at first bite. I now have to convince my mom to start topping her dumplings in a similar fashion. Each potsticker was a burst of meaty flavour and started meal on a high note. Next up was the O.G. Fried Chicken and watermelon pickle. My mom used to pickle watermelon rind so the concept was familiar. At Patois, the watermelon pickle balanced sweet with a subtle sourness that was addictive. Ok, I’ll admit, I had to Google O.G. because I’m old. Whatever. What I did know was that the Fried Chicken was good. Our tray had four pieces of battered and fried, juicy dark meat. Each piece was crispy with bits dropping off and the texture of the skin reminded me of Korean Fried Chicken, not at all oily. If Patois sold just fried chicken, I’d line up.
The Chinese Pineapple Bun burger was hard to split, and in the process we lost most of the crunchy sweet topping. All of us scrambled to save what we could of the topping. The patties were juicy, had a nice beefy flavour and were pretty big. With each bite there was sweetness from the bun, salt and crunch from the hickory sticks, umami from the oyster sauce mayo and plenty of savoury from the beef. The Jerk Chicken chow mein was the most Asian dish of the night. Presentation was similar to many Chinese restaurants with crispy egg noodles doused in a brown sauce with chicken and bok choy. While the dish was good, I didn’t find it special.
Somehow, we still had room for dessert and ordered a Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast. The small decadent pastry was filled with creamy mango cheesecake, rich, sweet and best shared.