The Reveal 2016 - Royal Meats Bar/Beque - Fort York

By Stephanie Dickison

The Gist

Don't have a BBQ? Not a problem thanks to the new Royal Meats Bar/Beque on Fort York Blvd. in CityPlace.

Ante Ostojic, a highly respected butcher with over 40 years of experience, founded royal Meats BBQ butchery in 1997. The business has since expanded into two open concept restaurants - this brand new location and the first location on Kipling, where you select fresh meats from the butcher counter, which are then cooked on the charcoal grill.

The idea came about when son Ante’s son Mario, a professional soccer player for the age of 18 to 26, came to Canada. He bought a grill and cooked up his Dad's Ex-Yugoslavia-style meat. "It became an accepted food we created. We are the pioneers of this food in Canada, maybe even North America" Mario says. "Everyone loves to grill, so we brought the barbeque experience into the restaurant."

Bringing the beloved Canadian pastime of barbecuing and a fresh butcher shop on display under one roof makes perfect sense.

And Mario says there is more to come, “We want to go even more ethnic, be extremely different.”

Grub

There are a wide variety of meat items available – beef, pork, veal, ham, as well as poultry – in the form of burgers and sausages.

Chevaps are a must. These beef and lamb or pork and veal spiced sausages - Mario's recipe (along with the rest of the menu) - are a tasty treat served with lepinya, soft chewy buns that are like a mix of cibatta buns and English muffins.

All meats are from Ontario and are preservative and gluten-free. All other items are gluten-free except for Royal Cannons, which are breaded, and they buns, which are made daily on site. They are working on creating a gluten-free bun, but want to perfect it before launching.

Fish and seafood dishes include Calamari ($12.95), Tilapia Sandwich (sm $11.95, lg $15.95) and Grilled Whole Branzino ($24.95). And they are working on more vegetarian options. All salads are hand-cut and made daily with fresh vegetables.

Soon to come, the Kipling location’s famous Smoked Pork Knuckle.

Libations

Beer (draght and bottles), wine (including Ex-Yugoslavia selections), and cocktails are perfect for sippin' on the patio. Daily drink specials help the wallet, as do bottles of wine that start at $25 and go up to $200.

Prosecco and champagne are also available, but perhaps the most intriguing are the range of Rakija, a tasty fruit brandy popular in the Balkans, with a high alcohol content (40%). Think ouzo but fruitier. Select from Pear, Quince, Grape and Plum (each $6.75/1 oz).

Fixtures & Fittings

Outfitted in dramatic black and red, the design by Giancarlo Garofalo Architect Inc. includes a geometric honeycomb sculpture that hangs over the dining room. Mario Ostojic says, "We wanted to give a little city kick to it with fun, darker colours. It makes the space a lot warmer."

Off the Menu

  • Meat Platter 1 ($59.95 for 2-4 people) This is a full on feast - 5 chevaps, 1 small royal burger, 1 chicken breast, 2 pork shishkabobs, 1 smoked sausage, 1 Royal Cannon (Pork loin fillet filled with kaymak (sweet red pepper) sauce breaded & deep-fried), 2 lepinya buns and 1 order of fries. Meat platters are served with signature house sauce, lemon & tartar sauce.
  • The Royal Shopska Salad (sm $5.95/lg $9.45) Tomato, English cucumber, onion, red peppers & shredded feta with your choice of dressing keeps things on the lighter side.
  • Grilled Chicken Wings ($13.95) Charcoal-grilled wings are just as tasty as deep-fried, without all the added calories. One pound of fresh chicken is served with fries and one sauce of your choosing (Mild, Medium, Hot, Honey Garlic, Blue Cheese, Tartar).
  • French Fries ($3.05) Because who doesn’t love a side golden, crispy fries?

How Cool is This?!

Items are available to take home and cook. Packages of sausages and boxes of burgers and chevaps are also available at Highland Farms, Loblaws, Coppa, Fortinos, and Starsky Foods.

FOH: GM Dusanka Mitrovic
Head Honcho: Mario Ostojic

Deets

80 seats inside and 100 on the patio. Full-service, takeout, and delivery are available.

Visiting Hours

Mon-Sat: 11am - 12am
Sun: 11am - 11pm

Map It: 88 Fort York Blvd. (in CityPlace)
Phone It In: (647) 560-035

Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

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