Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! ❤ I am sitting here at my laptop in a blanket burrito at 9pm on the eve of Christmas, technically 3 hours away from Christmas Day, watching my brother play hockey on his PS3, reliving glorious sports moments of the year being shown on tv, and relishing in the wonderful day I spent with my bestie, Melissa, just 2 days ago. Whatever stresses we may be feeling, whatever bad feelings we may be harbouring, this is the time to put them aside, even if just temporarily. It’s a time to reminisce and a time to savour.
Aside from The Distillery District, Kensington Market is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto and King’s Café is a wonderful Chinese vegetarian restaurant in the middle of the all the Kensington action on Augusta Ave. Accessible from both Dundas and College St., it’s a beautiful restaurant with heart-healthy foods and drinks and a delicious bounty of vegetarian options. It’s open, it’s spacious, and it has this wonderful fresh, quiet, serene quality to it that makes eating a meal here so relaxing and enjoyable.
There is SO much to choose from in the menu: dim sum, rice and noodles dishes, curry, tofu, veggie chicken steak, sushi, the list goes on for miles. While perusing the menu, I was SUPER ecstatic to find out that they had a special “winter menu” for the season! And was the little paper insert in the middle ever adorable with the cute picture of a little King’s Café winter house down by the bottom! *cue excited squeals of “it’s so cuuuuuute!” from me*. I am easy to amuse and easy to please. Just give me paper. You know me, I can’t resist seasonal things so with an excited squeal, I happily began scoping out my options.
With giddy anticipation, I chose the veggie chicken steak with orange sauce while my bestie, Melissa, went the dim sum route with the green leaf sticky rice and pan-fried radish pastry squares (law back go in Chinese). The food was beautiful, fresh, and so yummy-yum-yummy! My dish came with 4 veggie chicken steak rounds bathed in tangy orange sauce with spears of fresh asparagus and a colourful, fresh green salad with spring mix greens, cucumber, carrots, orange wedges, apple slices (which I actually gave to Melissa because I’m allergic to the fresh flesh of apples), and red grapes.
The veggie chicken steak rounds were moist and so flavouful and about the size of your palm. The orange sauce had just the right amount of tang to it and wasn’t overly citrusy and the salad made me smile; how Chinese of them 🙂 My mom and dad tell me all the time how much they love the Chinese style salads with chunks of fruits and vegetables in it like potato, pear, and apple and it’s the little details like those that really scream out to you. I say this all the time, but you eat with your eyes and when you see something so colourful and pretty on your plate, with the freshness of it just wafting from it, it makes you happy.
One of the sweet waitresses gave us these fried vegetable fritters to try and OH.MY.GOD. They were crunchy, crispy, and seasoned to the most amazing salty perfection you could ever imagine. And to end off the meal? A sweet and rich square of cranberry cheesecake with crumbles on top, sitting prettily on an adorable seashell shaped dish. This meal was amazing and King’s Café continues to score major brownie points on quality and freshness and judging by how much several of my friends love it too, I know I’m the only one who sings its praises!
I love that it has such Chinese flair to it and I also love that its in Kensington, a neighbourhood with so much character and a passion for market freshness. King’s Café also has a fantastic selection of teas, not just on the menu, but in the actual restaurant where you can quietly browse and shop. The restaurant is located at 192 Augusta Ave (accessible from both Dundas and College St, just west of Spadina) and is open at 11:30am seven days a week until 9:30pm from Monday-Saturday, and until 9pm on Sundays.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and best wishes to everyone for a happy, memorable holiday!
King’s Café is located at 192 Augusta Ave (accessible from both Dundas and College St, just west of Spadina) and is open at 11:30am seven days a week until 9:30pm from Monday-Saturday, and until 9pm on Sundays.