Gourmet Ja­maican

Two haute cui­sine takes de­signed to el­e­vate the clas­sic patty

Richmond Hill Post - - Food - by Karolyne El­la­cott Antler, 1454 Dun­das St. W., 647345-8300; Pa­tois, 794 Dun­das St. W., 647-350-8999

Chances are, you’re familiar with the Ja­maican patty. The most well­known ver­sion of this cheap ’n’ cheer­ful snack sees a cres­cent moon pas­try stuffed with spicy ground beef. At Antler and Pa­tois, two very dif­fer­ent DuWest restau­rants, this clas­sic item has been trans­formed.

GET YOUR GAME ON

Chef Michael Hunter is mak­ing a case for oft-over­looked game meats at Antler. Need we men­tion that his name is too well-suited to his chefy en­deav­ours? Thought not. Al­though in his spare time Hunter puts his money where his name is (i.e., he hunts), his new restau­rant dishes out farm-raised game meats (red tape from the gov­ern­ment pre­vents him from serv­ing food he has hunted him­self).

DEER IN THE HEAD­LIGHTS

Hunter’s ro­bust twist on the Ja­maican clas­sic sees the flaky crust en­rob­ing a cen­tre of moist veni­son.

“At home I use veni­son in place of beef for ev­ery­thing,” he says. “It’s just a red meat.” Red deer sourced from Que­bec is ground down and blended with chef’s se­cret spice mix be­fore be­ing par­celled into the pas­try. For the dip­ping sauce, red pep­pers are cooked down and blended with a Scotch bon­net purée, pro­vid­ing some ex­tra oomph for those who can never have too much heat.

“I wanted to have fun with our snacks and show­case what Toronto is to me: a re­ally mul­ti­cul­tural city,” Hunter says.

HOW TO HAVE FUN

Mean­while, at Pa­tois, it’s all about the fun fac­tor. Rain­bow-hued pool tubes hang from the ceil­ing; seats are fes­tooned with trop­i­cal flo­ral prints; and up­lift­ing tunes bounce across the space. J’eat yet? Craig Wong’s menu runs in step with the decor, with his ap­proach to the food en­sur­ing all is sprin­kled with a cheeky twist.

FAST-FOOD REV­O­LU­TION

With his Ja­maican-Chi­nese back­ground, the in­clu­sion of a patty was al­most a given. “It re­ally comes from be­ing a naughty kid,” Wong says. “I would al­ways play with my pat­ties and my par­ents would get so mad!”

Wong’s Ja­maican patty sand­wich ($7)— a play on the in­dul­gent KFC Dou­ble Down — sees not-toocrispy ba­con, a gooey Swiss cheese sauce (ba­si­cally a mor­nay) and a squirt of Sriracha stuffed be­tween two minia­ture beef pat­ties. A beef short­en­ing crust — flavoured with turmeric and curry pow­der — holds the trad beef fill­ing, jacked up with oys­ter sauce, soy sauce, Scotch bon­nets and more.

And there you have it: two clas­sic grab ’n’ go eats gone gourmet.

From top: Pa­tois’s patty ’wich; Antler’s veni­son take

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