Had been looking forward to trying this place, so my SO and a foodie-friend headed out there for lunch earlier this week. Small place in a not-so-wonderful area (its located behind the Toronto East Detention Centre), but warm and welcoming as soon as you enter. Jazz playing in the background, and the warm wonderful scents wafting from the kitchen.
For appetizers we shared the hush puppies and fish cakes.
The hush puppies were a bit on the dry-side, but never having hush puppies before, this may be how they are supposed to be? The dipping sauce was bright and tasty, and a wonderfuyl compliment to the food.
The fish cakes - OMG - little bites of heaven! Crunchy on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside. Not 'fishy' at all, and the sauce was fabulous! A little bit of heat, just enough to get the tast-buds going. Three out of three preferred the fish cakes to the hush puppies.
For our mains, we had the Voodoo Burger, Original Bajan Chicken Wings, and Baxter Street Fried chicken.
The Voodoo burger is a beef burger, topped with spicy crab salad and bacon. It was a good size, served on a nice bun with home-made fries on the side. The burger was a little on the dry side, maybe in an attempt to counteract the drippy crab salad topping, but the flavour was good.
Chicken Wings were large and flavourful, but a bit too gooey for my SO (he has a texture-thing), but flavour was wonderful. SO had requested the Johnny hot wings, but they did not have enough sauce to coat all of the wings. Instead, the server brought a side of hot sauce, which my SO used to dip some of the wings in. More on the hot sauce later. Again, wings were served with a side of home made fries.
I've left the best for last. The Baxter Street Fried chicken was amazing. Crispy on the outside, tender boneless white meat breast inside. The coating was really crunchy, and slightly sweet. I appropriated my SOs hot sauce, and it complemented the slight sweetness of the coating perfectly. Further conversation with the chef let us know he makes his own hot sauce, and will be bottling it for use at the cafe and to buy in the near future.
Accompanying the chicken was a side salad with pineapple (canned - should have been fresh) and an amazing mango vinegrette, and again more fries. I would order this again, but would probably substitute more salad for the fries.
Lunch took a bit longer than one would expect, but everyhting is made to order - nothing is frozen, microwaved, etc. I think it was worth the wait!
Would love to see callaloo soup, conch or pumpklin fritters on the menu as well.
Overall, we were quite pleased with our meal. We want to go back on the weekend when they serve their macaroni pie and flying fish - these are central dishes to traditional Bajan cuisine. They were out of two or three dishes, and this was communicated to us by the server as soon as she sat us.
I would recommend this place for anyone looking for good food at a good price.
Cajun Bajan Cafe
133 Manville Rd, Toronto, ON M1L4J7, CA
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