Miss Thing's
By jimb

A tropical escape in Toronto

Miss Thing's owner Nav Sangha was inspired by both his travels to Tahiti and Bora Bora, and his daughter's diva-like antics, when he began working on a new restaurant concept to occupy the former Wrongbar space in Parkdale. In six months, Nav’s vision of transforming Wrongbar into a South Pacific-inspired tropical bar with his own aesthetic twists was complete. By July 2015, Miss Thing's opened its doors to the public, who  were eager to step inside into another world.

The decor is a combination of Nav’s love of music and mid-20th century design. The space reflects a beautifully classic Polynesian-inspired look, with several musical elements. Look up and you’ll see golden gramophone horn light fixtures imported from India and re-purposed in Toronto. Above the bar, you’ll see a restored vintage iron gate and funky geometric shapes that serve as acoustic diffusers. The walls are decorated with floral murals and the chairs are classic gold-dipped Eames Eiffel Chairs. “There’s no thatching, tiki dolls or tiki statues here. We wanted people to feel as if they were walking into an old school hotel somewhere in the South Pacific, a sleek lobby bar, to  make you feel like you’re on vacation,” says Nav.

It’s about escapism. Feeling like you’re in a different land. It’s about taking a break, having fun, being comfortable, having a good experience, enjoying and celebrating with friends. - Nav Sangha, owner
Miss Thing's owner Nav Sangha wants guests to have fun, be comfortable and enjoy a tropical-inspired escape in the city.
Photo by Jim Bamboulis
Flowers adorn the walls at Miss Thing's, and there are golden horns for light fixtures.
Photo by Jim Bamboulis

Parkdale meets Polynesia

Besides having a lovely dining room, Miss Thing’s also features an event space, and combined it can accommodate up to 330 people. Miss Thing's has hosted several functions including corporate events, weddings and rum social dinners. His chef, Jasper Wu, is known to pick up on different notes from the variety of spirits found on the drinks menu, and pair them with different dishes. “We’re an Asian restaurant that prepares Asian cuisine as expressed in the tropics, and our Chef has done a great job combining Chinese and Hawaiian cuisine,” says Nav.

Although the menu changes seasonally, there are a few dishes that patrons consistently clamour for, including the Pineapple Fried Rice (brown rice, toasted cashews, Sriracha mayo with braised pork belly or sweet and sour jackfruit on a half pineapple), Korean-Spiced Braised Short Rib on house-made gnocchi, served with Brussel sprouts and squash, and Pineapple Jicama Salad, which is topped with crispy rice noodles, mint, Serrano chillies, chicken crackling, roasted peanuts and a peanut satay dressing. Diners are definitely on board with the Hawaiian-inspired dishes Nav points out, "some of Miss Thing's most iconic and popular dishes are the Hoki Poke and Loco Moco."

Photo by Jim Bamboulis
Photo by Jim Bamboulis
Photo by Jim Bamboulis

One sip is all it takes to be transported

As for the cocktails, “we’re very much tiki not tiki,” says Nav. There are more than a dozen specialty cocktails that promise to transport you to a tropical paradise. The Acceptable in the '80s is a drink made up of Mount Gay Eclipse silver rum, Kalani coconut liqueur, Blue Curaçao and egg white. The Flower Power combines Bombay East gin, Lillet blanc, Martini Bianco, falernum, lavender and vanilla bitters, and lemon juice. Meanwhile the Fuzzy Wawa is a daiquiri in a coconut with Havana Club three-year rum, coconut lemongrass sake, kaffir lime syrup and coconut bitters.

So how does Nav’s daughter play into the restaurant? “She’s my six year old and I’ve noticed recently that she has become a cute little diva in her own right,” says Nav. “I affectionately and lovingly started calling her ‘miss thing’ at home. It’s a quirky name that I was thought was catchy and memorable."

Photo by Jim Bamboulis
Photo by Jim Bamboulis
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