These unexpected combinations will have you coming back for a second (and third) serving.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there is no city on earth that can do fusion cuisine as well as Toronto can. It is in our DNA. We are a city powered by the pulse of a beautifully diverse population, who absolutely love food.
I am all about the mixing, and mashing-up of foods and culture and have a list of some of my favourite fusion-style restaurants across Toronto. Fusion food gets you across the globe twice as fast, so buckle your seatbelts, and let's go for a ride. Here are my favourite six fusion-style foods in Toronto.
When most people hear the term “K-Pop” they instantly think of boy bands, like BTS and start humming “Butter” or “Dynamite”. But not me, I head over to St. Clair West, grab a table at Atomic 10, and order their K-Pop Tacos.
These are music to my mouth, flavorful and aromatic piles of perfectly seasoned Korean BBQ beef short ribs, inside of warm tortillas, topped with all of the fixings. But this isn’t where the fusion taco train stops. Atomic 10 is also serving-up Pad Thai battered fish tacos, and there are rumours of a very polarizing new fusion dish being cooked up in the kitchen as we speak.
Descendant Detroit Style Pizza
Now not only did Descendant Detroit Style Pizza bring my personal favourite style of pizza to Toronto, but they have also perfected a pie that injects flavours not usually associated with North American or Italian pizza.
I’m talking about the Sri Lankan flavoured and expertly executed Jaffna. Topped with kothu roti, mango chutney, cilantro cream and coconut sambol, the Jaffna screams Sri Lanka. This is an incredibly authentic nod to a culture that not only is home to delicious food but has deep roots within the city’s restaurant scene. I can’t think of another city where Detroit-style pizza (which is a “descendant” of Sicilian-style pizza) could be perfected by giving it a splash of Sri Lankan ingredients.
The Kathi Roll Eatery
The Kathi Roll Eatery bills itself as an “Indian Mash-Up Eatery”, so you know you're bound to find more than a few bites born of fusion all over the menu. For my tastes, there is no better place to start than with the dish that put them on the map, their butter chicken mac and cheese.
The story goes like this: they were taking part in the Mac & Cheese Festival, and knew that in order to stand out amongst the other participants, they had to do something special. So they perfected their butter chicken mac and cheese recipe, and it was a big hit with festival-goers. The butter chicken mac is now a staple on their menu, and the rest is, as they say, “food fusion history”.
Pro Tip: If you are super hungry, you may want to order some of their Tandoori Fried Chicken to go with that mac, and double down on your fusion feasting.
In Jamaica, when congratulations are in order, they say “Big-up yourself”. Well, Toronto big-up yourself, because we just became home to North America’s first Caribbean-infused pizzeria.
Thanks to Caribbean Slice, one of the globe’s most loved foods (pizza) is getting a West Indian makeover. We are talking hot, cheesy slices topped with Caribbean favourites like braised oxtail, Jamaica’s national dish ackee and saltfish, or jerk pepperoni.
But if you want some, you better head over to Caribbean Slice fast. There was such hunger for this delicious pairing, that they completely sold out of everything on their very first day. Other fun fusion bites on the menu include Garlic Butter Festival Fingers and Caribbean-flavoured loaded fries.
I think that the beautiful thing about Rasta Pasta is that they have created a menu that allows you to enjoy three unique gastronomic experiences. Authentic Jamaican like Ackee & Saltfish, authentic Italian like Fettuccine Alfredo or a delicious fusion of both cultures.
Have you ever had Jerk Chicken Lasagna or Shrimp Linguine tossed in a coconut and cream curry sauce? If the answer is no, head down to Kensington Market and check out this mecca of marrying of cultures.
Even Toronto’s most savvy fusion food aficionados may not be familiar with the term Mexiterranean yet. Well, Casa Madera is about to make it a household name. How? By fusing together Mexican and Mediterranean flavours and ingredients, and flipping classic dishes like carnitas tacos by swapping out pork for duck confit.
Located inside of the ultra-stylish 1 Hotel, Casa Madera is run by someone who was born knowing a thing or two about fusion — Executive Chef Olivier Le Calvez, who is half French, half Mexican and fully committed to providing patrons with a truly memorable dining experience.