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Jul 22, 2014 12:34 PM

Patois - Who's been?

I see someone saying they were gonna go, but no one who's been. The chef's early years caught my eye.

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  1. I've been 3 times since they've opened like a fat slob.

    The food is great and I really enjoy his reference points/sense of humour. Other's may not, and I can't speak for everyone but Patois definitely hits a soft spot in my heart/lower intestine.

    I would sort of lump it in with other second and third generation asian kid's restaurant's, that grew up in Scarborough, or NYC for that matter and listened to rap and grew up cooking with their parents etc.

    Places like Baohaus, Oddseoul, Chantecler, and even Momofuku to a certain degree all have a certain self awareness and wit at play although the food obviously differs from place to place.

    Everything I've had there was good and I've had everything except for his take on the double down. I'm saving that for a day in which I feel especially sorry for myself.

    My favourites have been the fried chicken and the Spaghetti Vongole which like steak tartare, I will automatically try at whichever restaurant I'm in. The dirty fried rice is also really great as is the Ackee and Salt Fish. Really liked the Waldorf salad and the burger as well which is a griddle style burger served in a pineapple bun. The one thing that I felt didn't stand up to the rest of the food was the Jerk Chicken. It wasn't bad at all but I just didn't enjoy it as much as the rest of the slop.

    The skateboard wheel/truck lazy susan is hilarious.

    It's a comfortable space which, like the food has it's own sense of wit about it. The family table is great. I would reserve that if possible.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

      Going to trust you on this one. I find that a lot of these restaurants get buried in wit and reference - Baohaus was never good, Oddseoul never as good as what you got in K-Town, and Chantecler has dumbed itself down (but I still like it) - and tend to forget that Momofuku wasn't just about reference and wit but was about obsessive quality and attention to detail. Humour was a by-product of good cooking.

      That said, strong resume, strong support from a trusted poster, this means I'm going to have to part with some money here sooner rather than later...

      1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

        You may find that this one gets buried in wit and reference as well. Although the reference is all from the chef inward as opposed to outward food or pop culture references.

        I see where you're coming from but come on. You've never been wasted and smashed the chicken adobo bao? Hits the spot.

        I tend to treat Oddseoul as separate from K-Town. Two totally different things, both of which I appreciate. I can't get Ja Jyung Myun at OS and I can't get a Loosey in K-Town.

        I may have to disagree with you about Momofuku, slightly. For example, how the Brussel Sprouts came into being had less to do with precision and more to do with humour execution wise. A happy accident if you will.

        I mean, if you don't like it, don't hold me accountable. Different tastes and all that, but I always like to hear what a diner with a point of view has to say about a chef with a point of view so by all means, report back. Just keep in mind that my reference point may be different from yours.

        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

          Won't hold you accountable at all - your recs are usually good, so it's making me reconsider my own bias.

          Momofuku is all happy accidents and when it's not an accident, they seem to struggle. That said, the execution at its best was a cut above. A little more serious as opposed to referential - the best dishes were clever, not dumb and obvious.

          Point taken about Oddseoul v. K-Town. I find it too obvious and referential, but it's not actively bad. And it is fun.

          1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

            Yeah for sure re: Momofuku. The perfect blend of happy accidents and finesse.

            Hmmmm, I'll have to go back to oddseoul sober to reassess. Bahahahahaha hahahahahahaha, who am I kidding. Never going to happen.

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

              I was thinking that - who goes to Oddseoul sober?!?!? ;-)

      2. re: Notorious P.I.G.

        Thank you for the review.
        Many dishes look interesting. Dirty rice, O.G. Fried Chicken & Watermelon Pickle, and Spaghetti Vongole will def be my dishes to try.

      3. highlights for me were the fried rice and the sweet & sour sauce thats served with the fried chicken.

        - khao san road

        1 Reply
        1. For me, this was another place that was 'good, but'!
          Food and prices are reasonable, and if it was local I'd probably drop by regularly. But just not worth the hassle of a special trip.

          Service is 'very casual' - the dishes seem to come out randomly (e.g my dirty rice was the last dish to arrive by a noticeable margin; also erratic times between dishes - and they weren't full). Flavours were good, but not complex enough to make me sit up and take notice.

          Fried chicken was a generous portion with excellent batter and sauce (although I prefer more kick in my sauce - this one was at the sweeter end of the scale), although I didn't think the chicken itself was out-of-the-ordinary.
          Wine list was uninspired (although the not-by-the-glass selections were more interesting).
          For me, it gets lost in the crowd - although if in the area it's a good choice.

          1. My soul food group went on Friday but I was sick so had to bow out. I trust their food opinions: they said the potstickers were the highlight and everything else was average. They would return for apps and drinks only.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Food Tourist

              Wait, wait, belong to a soul food group???

              This is genius of course, but how does one sustain a soul food group in Toronto? I refuse to believe you're eating at basically only Harlem all the time.

              EXPLAIN TO ME!!!

              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                its like a spirit club that can enjoy the odd trappist beer.

                - khao san road

                1. re: KhaoSanRoad

                  It's a bunch of people who care about their spiritual journey but who also care about really, really good food and how eating builds community. Hence, my other thread on religious food.
                  We are not limited to Harlem-style food, thank goodness! One time, at a polenta party...

                2. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                  I actually drove all the way to the real Harlem to eat chicken and waffles and candied yams at Amy Ruth's. THAT'S HOW WE ROLL.

                  1. re: Food Tourist

                    You role PROPER.

                    I'm also so glad you didn't go to Sylvia's cause eff that place.

              2. Googs, went to Patois and short answer is its good but could be better. I think they're playing it too safe to please everyone and the flavours aren't bold enough for something that's supposed to be Caribbean.

                The fried chicken was delicious - but you really can get fried chicken at many places. The jerk chicken was extremely juicy and tender but definitely not flavoured enough for my taste. The dirty rice was perhaps my favourite thing and if all the other dishes were like that the experience would have been better.

                In the end, worth a try and the prices are reasonable but personally think they need to customize the menu (perhaps let customers choose spice levels) to bring it to the next level.

                If you care to read about my experience in detail -