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Restaurants

Cafe 668

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on February 14, 2007 / review policy

Broccoli and 3 Mushrooms at Cafe 668Dining out with vegetarian friends is always a challenge. You wouldn't think so, but the number of times we have to send something back that has meat/fish sauce, crab or shrimp is unreal.

"Hi, sorry, can we get this changed? We don't eat meat." "Oh, this is vegetarian. There's no meat in this dish." "Um, there's quite a few chunks of crab..." "Yes, no meat." "Right, we don't eat meat OR crab."

Thankfully, places like Fresh, Fressen and Urban Herbivore (review coming soon) are reliable for veggie/vegan eats, but tonight we were looking for less fusion and more straight-up Asian cuisine. Cafe 668 fits the bill perfectly.

Sandwiched between Toronto General and Kensington Market, Cafe 668 is one half of a vegetarian dynamic duo on Dundas St West. (Buddha Vegetarian sits next door - check out Tim's review on that one.)

We stop in, thankful to find a table free in this tiny little place and order up three dishes: two full entrees and an appetizer to share.

Taro RollsQuick to arrive are the Taro Rolls we ordered from the specials on the chalkboard above us. They were delicious. Crispy, tasty and plenty to share.

The side sauce looked as if it was going to be sweet, but as it turns out, my lips are still burning from the spiciness... which though a tad painful, was actually a nice touch.

Thankfully, a fresh (and unlimited) pot of tea helped ease the burning.

Veggie-beef Fried Rice"Veggie-beef" Fried Rice arrived soon after. My girlfriend insisted on a meat-substitute type dish so we opted for this. The "veggie-beef", though a little sparse, was actually pretty tasty and mixed with a nice mix of fresh chopped vegetables. The rice itself was light and fluffy -- not overly greasy or heavy as fried rice can too-often be.

Cafe 668A minute or two later the other entree arrived: Broccoli and 3-mushrooms (pictured at the top). The broccoli was pretty average but the mushroom mix was fantastic. If you love mushrooms, you'll love this dish -- pure flavour. I loved it... and really wished it was a little larger!

While I didn't really dig anything on the dessert menu, they do offer a few options. Thai-ish fried banana with nuts and pudding to name a couple.

Budget-wise, Cafe 668 comes up about the same or very slightly cheaper than places like Fresh. Dishes average $9-10 per and appetizers $4-7. Don't expect the fancy interior design here though... just friendly fast service and free tea.

Cafe 668 - 668 Dundas West (East of Bathurst). (416)703-0668. Closed on Mondays.

Discussion

12 Comments

Tom / February 14, 2007 at 05:39 pm
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Two words: curry fish
dw / February 15, 2007 at 12:25 am
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Sounds great! I'm always on the look out for a good place to get vegan food. :)
helen / February 15, 2007 at 01:58 am
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my faves:

eggplant with black bean
deep fried bananas with coconut cream
veg & tofu with coconut curry (or whatever it's called)
domestic godess / October 3, 2007 at 11:26 am
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they moved...but are still on dundas. The new place is absolutely gorgeous. They have replaced the plates with "square ones. I read a review that was fantastic and decided to check it out one sunday nite. We got there just intime, as soon there was a line up of 6 people out the door. Obviously the review did wonders for their restaurant. The owners were clearly scrambling around and completely understaffed (my only complaint).
The food was outstanding and we cant wait to go back.
Check it out.
Tanja / October 22, 2007 at 11:19 pm
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Revisiting Cafe 668's new location, I've got to say that my review here no longer applies to the new location.

Prices are higher, portions are smaller and the food was nothing to rave about. Service on my visit was good, but the resto was so cold I had to eat with my jacket and scarf on - and it was only October.

I miss the previous incarnation, but there are plenty of others to visit... which is exactly what I'll be doing instead.
tinequeen / June 5, 2008 at 02:01 pm
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the food is way too over-priced for its portion and all the dishes i ordered was REALLY salty.
atmosphere is nice, but food-wise, it didnt think was that special.
angela / October 18, 2008 at 02:15 pm
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I went to the new location with my partner about a month ago and was treated quite rudely by the server. When I asked how spicy the spicy food was, he volunteered "Oh, we can make it mild if you want!" At which point, I asked to make two spicy dishes less spicy (my partner and I were going to share two dishes). When he brought the first out, I tasted it and my mouth was on fire. I quickly called him over and simply asked if I could cancel the other dish since this one was too spicy. Even my partner who LOVES spicy food said it was INCREDIBLY spicy (she was able to eat it, but she was sweating at the end of the meal). He simply told me it was too late to cancel. Then he had the nerve to tell me that if I didn't like spicy food I shouldn't have ordered it! Well, that's what I was going to do until he told me they could be made less spicy. After he brought the other dish (which was still very spicy but not nearly as spicy as the other dish), he didn't come back to our table once (we had finished our wine and wanted more, but couldn't order any because he didn't come over - lost profits for the restaurant!). He finally brought the bill after I went to the washroom and left my partner alone at the table. He never offered us dessert or coffee - again, lost profits to the restaurant.

My partner who likes spicy food was totally unsatisfied by both dishes and we were both horrified by the service and the waiter's attitude.

I highly recommend going elsewhere. Buddha's or Full Moon have much better and the people there treat you like a human being for the same or less cost.
Mee replying to a comment from angela / April 8, 2009 at 05:33 pm
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Ew Budha's uses gelatin in their food, so its not even vegetarian. And their food is pretty gross, albeit cheap.
Cafe 668 rocks! Their soups are amazing, especially the Vegetarian Pho.
It's sometimes frustrating dealing with picky customers (I should know, I am one), and sometimes you just have to go with the flow and not be too picky. Example: If you dont like spicy food, dont order the spicy dishes!
kevin / May 15, 2010 at 03:55 pm
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if you can put up with the rude, surly, ignorant owner.
Adam replying to a comment from Mee / October 12, 2010 at 02:00 am
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How do you know that they use gelatin? Can this be verified with the cooks there? It's important to me to find out.
Gabe replying to a comment from angela / May 3, 2013 at 07:14 pm
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This restaurant rocks, if i wanted a friend to talk to id go to a bar, and i think the owners delightful, you have terrible taste in food, and apparently people as well.

Their only human.

Not snobs like some people.

Cheers :)
Larissa / November 30, 2013 at 06:59 pm
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This place is AMAZING. I have been vegan for 5 years and this is by far my favorite place to eat in Toronto! The portions are huge, the food is so flavorful and of good quality and the prices are great!

Hands down the owners are the sweetest people I know. It is husband and wife run and they have nothing but kind intentions for their customers. They work their butts off (no days off) and would never purposely hurt anyones feelings. They practice kindness on a regular basis, and are not ignorant or boastful in the least.

My favorite dishes are the soup, the BEST pad thai in the city, the water chestnut salad is a MUST (the flavor is extraordinary), and the deep fried banana with coconut cream is amazing! Seriously if you haven't been here or were disappointed last time - try it again! It is such a hidden gem and you will be supporting a family run business consisting of the sweetest people I have ever met! I am a customer for life!

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