If you’re dining solo at Patois or with one other companion, you may be invited to sit at the bar and “join the party.” It does feel like a celebration here, with the music cranked and tropical cocktails in things like inflatable flamingos and flaming pineapples—the scent of extinguished sparklers mingles with jerk spice. This is the second incarnation of Craig Wong’s Asian-Caribbean kitchen, one of the city’s most unique spots. The original closed after the store next door caught fire, only to rise from the ashes like a charcoal-grilled phoenix—or, in this case, a chicken, fried and served with pickled watermelon and sweet sriracha. And the Dirty Fried Rice—a pile of rice chock full of egg, veggies, sweet lap cheong and Hong Kong–style red sausages—is a must. A recent visit involved a free shot—a mouthful of gin, chased with Ting. Join the party indeed.
100 Essential Restaurants to try before you die. Check out Patois at
“Dundas West flocks here for pineapple bun burgers and OG fried chicken served with watermelon, sriracha and pickled jalapeno.
GO HERE: for Asian-Caribbean hybrid cuisine from chef and owner Craig Wong. While Patois was closed, Wong kept busy with Jackpot Chicken Rice, a raucous room in Toronto’s Chinatown specializing in his interpretation of Hainanese chicken rice: boneless, boiled, amazingly flavorful soft poached chicken served over schmaltzy rice. But Patois is his flagship, and its return means more time for teapots of strong rum punch and bourbon lemonade and Wong’s spicy culinary mashups.
ORDER THE: jerk chicken, either in the chow mein or as a whole bird, where it’s served with a creamy garlic “shawarma” sauce laced with throat-scorching Scotch bonnet peppers. The Jamaican patty double-down seems like a gimmick borrowed from 2010, but the concept is delicious all the same, with two beefy patties sandwiching strips of bacon and oozing Swiss cheese fondue and Sriracha. And the jaw-dropping Prosperity Jerk Lobster, a whole chopped-up lobster tossed around in a wok with more of that sweat-inducing jerk seasoning.
THE VIBE IS: low-key with a solid groove, backed by lots of small groups who come in for the order-the-full-menu option (designed to feed parties of four) and the communal teapot cocktails.
Patois - One of the 10 Must-Visit Toronto Restaurants That Are Reinventing Fusion Cuisine
Chef Craig Wong is third generation Chinese-Jamaican. At his restaurant Patois, he cooks some of the best curries, doubles, and Chinese noodles in Toronto. Jerk chicken chow mein is his signature dish.
SWEAT THE CITY ADRIANNE HO INTERVIEWS PATOIS TORONTO CHEF CRAIG WONG.
Chef Craig Wong : De la Jamaïque à la Chine
À l'image de Toronto, Craig Wong est un chef cuisinier aux cultures multiples. D'origine chinoise et jamaïcaine, il est né ici à Toronto, mais a aussi étudié aux côtés du grand chef français Alain Ducasse. Dans sa famille, on ne parle pas le mandarin mais plutôt le patois, d'où le nom de son restaurant Patois qui se spécialise en cuisine fusion. Situé à quelques pas du quartier chinois et du marché Kensington, Craig Wong n'a pas à se rendre très loin pour trouver l'inspiration! Un reportage d'Andréanne Baribeau.
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