A new restaurant appears poised to introduce Toronto to a type of Caribbean fare this city has seldom tasted before.
A wonderful little restaurant has opened up in Kensington Market. Its owners hope to introduce Torontonians to a brand new type of food: the cuisine of the French Caribbean. Le Ti Colibri at 291 Augusta Avenue serves up recipes from the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, making it the first restaurant in town (aside from the Haitian La Belle Jacmel) to serve the flavours of the West Indies en français.
Opening up in the space previously occupied by the lacklustre Spicy Grill Indo Pak Cusine, the couple behind Le Ti Colibri (which means “the little hummingbird”) have transformed the unused back patio into a slice of beach-inspired island bliss. The romantic slow dance rhythms of the zouk music will have you daydreaming about your next southern vacation.
The food is the type of fare that co-owner Kristel Procida, a former marketing manager, used to buy from food trucks on her home island, Guadeloupe. “We like spicy food and our recipes are influenced by other islands, by South America and France,” she explains. For example, the chayote is a French-style au gratin dish made from a Caribbean gourd ($5.99). Tarte créole is another hybrid creation: a quiche filled with tuna and cooked with coconut milk ($4.99). On the weekends, the restaurant serves coconut sorbet, made with a hand-crank like they do on the island beaches.
Spice City Toronto explores Toronto’s great hole-in-the-wall restaurants and strip-mall joints serving food from all corners of the world.