Tasty Jerk Chicken at Roywoods

RoywoodsLocation: 65 Front Street West, Toronto (inside Union Station)
Website: https://roywoods.ca/

It’s been a while since I’ve had a sandwich from Toronto Life’s list of the 25 best in the city, but clearly, the list is still cranking out the hits.  The jerk chicken sandwich at Roywoods is good eatin’.

Roywoods

It’s quite simple: cocoa bread, jerk chicken, coleslaw, sliced tomato, and onion (I skipped the onion, because raw onions are the worst and why anyone thinks differently will forever baffle me).

You can’t really tell from the picture, but the jerk chicken is abundant, and it’s perfectly cooked.  I wish it were a bit spicier (it has a mild kick, but not much more than that) but the satisfying jerk flavour makes up for the lack of spice.

Roywoods

The only real issue is the slightly stale cocoa bread, but there was so much moisture from the saucy coleslaw and the juicy chicken that the dryness of the bread was just barely an issue.  Eating it is definitely a multiple napkin experience.

Roywoods

I tried a couple of sides as well.  The fried plantains had a nice combo of crispy and creamy, and the callaloo — featuring flavourful, tender greens — was just as good.

Jerk Chicken at Rasta Pasta

Rasta PastaLocation: 61 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
Website: http://eatrastapasta.ca/

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.

Rasta Pasta

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.

Rasta Pasta

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.