Patois is a small, trendy restaurant and cocktail bar on Dundas West in Toronto. I love this neighbourhood for its abundance of casual, hip little eateries that favour kitsch over glitz. If you’re in the area, I recommend Rhum Corner, Cocktail Bar and Montauk.
Patios describes itself as “Caribbean meets Asian soul food” which is totally reflected in their fusion-inspired menu. Items like jerk chicken chow mein and kimchi pot stickers are bring together classic dishes we all know and love in an unusual and fun way. The restaurant itself is adorably adorned with golden pineapples, brightly coloured chairs and funky murals. We sat at the bar which I didn’t mind at all because there was ample room and a back to my bar stool.
When Ray and I went, we kept it simple and went for the straight-up Jerk Chicken ($19 for full order). It comes roasted churrasco-style with a crispy skin and juicy insides. They weren’t heavy-handed with the seasoning – the chicken was light and not too spicy, but the flavours ran deep! We could taste the jerk goodness from the skin to the bones (even in the white meat!). It was so good! Best jerk chicken I’ve tried. If you crave some heat, the accompanying sriracha-garlic sauce does the trick.
Juicy Jerk up close *drool* PS: how ’bout that serving plate tho? It came with a matching lid that they ceremoniously lifted upon arrival, revealing this beaut…
We also ordered the Jamaican Patty double-down ($7.5), which is 2 baby beef patties filled with bacon and swiss cheese. This was a little difficult to eat (messy) but also quite yummy. The beef was pretty spicy and the bacon added a nice smokiness to the dish. I could have gone for a little more crisp on my bacon though. Would order again!
Now on to the drinks! The cocktails here are SO fun we just had to get the most over-the-top ones on the menu.
Wata Melon Punch ($24) – stoli vodka with fresh watermelon juice, served in a baby watermelon with 2 straws (how romantic) and a little umbrella. This was extremely cute!!! Taste-wise, not the most exciting, but still light and refreshing!
Coconut & Rum ($19 with a double shot of rum) – stick a straw in and you’re done! The bartender was cracking the tops off of these babies all night. I’ve never tried fresh coconut like this, and the water was really cool! Quite sweet and not at all like the faux-coconut (foconut?) taste you find in coconut-flavoured things. There was tons of juice inside this little guy and scraping off the flesh with my straw was the best. We opted for the double shot of dark rum, which we poured inside and mixed all together. It was very strong, but the rum went perfectly with the coconut water!
I would heartily recommend this restaurant for the really fun vibes and cocktails. Definitely get the coconut and the jerk chicken, they are incredible. On another visit, I tried the kim chi potstickers, but they weren’t my thang. Check out their site for the full menu and reservations (don’t even think about walking in without one Thursdays – Saturdays).