Toronto fusion restaurants where east meets west

Culinary mash-ups abound at these Toronto fusion restaurants where the culturally diverse menus offer a veritable mélange of internationally inspired flavours.

Peoples Eatery

1
307 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2E6

This Spadina Avenue snack bar offers Jewish deli delights while also paying homage to its Chinatown roots. The result: two unique menus — one casual and shareable, the other more structured — that represent the area’s diverse cultural heritage. Enjoy potato latkes, chopped liver, and fried tongue sandwiches alongside pork bao and Peking duck.

Lee Restaurant

2
601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M5

Celebrity chef Susur Lee is cooking up something special at his eponymous King Street restaurant. The menu features expertly executed small plates of modern Asian fare with an international twist. Trendy tablemates will want to share in order to sample all of Lee’s diverse dishes including edamame hummus dip, Korean style beef striploin and Hunanese lobster ravioli.

Patois

3
794 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V1

Caribbean cooking meets Asian soul food at this Dundas West restaurant. Chef Craig Won draws on his own Jamaican-Chinese heritage to create a funky fusion menu that includes fried chicken prepared with Thai basil and sweet Sriracha, jerk chicken chow mein, and dirty fried rice with red sausage. If you’re dining with a group, order up “The Whole Shebang” and get everything on the menu for $99.99.

Barrio Coreano

4
642 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1K9

Latin American and Asian street food come together at this unique Koreatown taqueria from Dave Sidhu of Playa Cabana fame. Barrio Coreano turns out traditional Mexican bocaditos with a uniquely Korean twist. Chow down on bulgogi-style barbecue beef tacos, Korean fried chicken and charred calamari with kimchi. The drink menu also keeps it collaborative with tequila-based cocktails flavoured with Asian pear; be warned, the kimchee sour has a definite kick.

Shiso Tree Cafe

5
3160 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON L3R 4G9

It might be a bit far out of the core, but the Japanese pasta dishes at Shiso Tree are worth the trek uptown. The casual restaurant serves up Italian noodles in creamy Japanese-inspired sauces — to be enjoyed with a knife and fork or chopsticks. Popular favourites include unagi don pasta with cream teriyaki sauce and sukiyaki pasta with shoyo sauce garnished with shiso, nori and green onions. For dessert, try the classic French crème brulee reimagined with sweet black sesame pudding.

Fat Pasha Inc

6
414 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R 1V9

At this Dupont hideaway, chef Anthony Rose serves up a colourful array of “Middleterranian” fare that blends both Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. The daily salatim platter is filled with dips and pickled vegetables to enjoy with charred pita bread. Take your taste buds on a trip and order up a full head of roast cauliflower drizzled in tahini, pinenut, pomegranate and halloumi cheese. The hidden back patio feels worlds away from the 416.

Restaurant Chantecler

7
1320 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L4

Like the sound of spicing up your oysters with kimchi? Jonathan Poon puts an Asian slant on his Canadian cuisine at this hip Parkdale eatery. Kale salad is reinvented with seaweed and sesame, while the beef tartare gets an added spice thanks to the addition of wasabi. The trendy crowd loves the build-your-own lettuce wraps served with braised beef, smoked pork-shoulder, steamed rice, and house pickles and sauces.

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