Location: 61 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
Rasta Pasta serves, as the name implies, a fusion of Caribbean and Italian cuisine. It’s a bizarre amalgamation of flavours, but they’ve been a Kensington Market hotspot for years, so they’re obviously doing something right.
Their pasta wasn’t available when I visited, so I kept it simple and ordered the jerk chicken sandwich, dubbed the Vatican.
The sandwich consists of saucy jerk chicken and coleslaw in a soft roll that’s nicely crispified thanks to a panini press. It’s quite good.
However, despite the presence of a functioning grill at the front of the restaurant, the chicken tastes more braised than grilled. It’s extremely tender, and the jerk sauce is flavour-packed and mildly spicy, but the crispy exterior and smoky flavour that you expect from jerk chicken is completely absent.
And yet it’s so tasty that it isn’t particularly an issue. The sweet coleslaw complements the savoury chicken really well, and the crispy roll is the perfect vehicle. It’s a very satisfying sandwich.