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Restaurants

Dundas Park Kitchen

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on June 24, 2013 / review policy

Dundas Park KitchenDundas Park Kitchen opened nearly a month ago on a sleepy stretch of Dundas West, just doors down from the Belljar Cafe. The kitchen takes over from an old Portuguese restaurant but the interior has been completely redone. Now, the majority of the deep space is devoted to the open kitchen and seating is kept intentionally sparse to encourage grab-and-go.

Dundas Park KitchenIf you really must, there's a counter along one wall to perch against while eating, but be warned: it will leave you nose to nose with a tempting display-case full of cakes, cookies and sweets.

I stopped in late one afternoon and ended up spending an hour just hanging out and chatting with owners Alex Tso and Melanie Harris. I suspect most transactions are typically far swifter.

Dundas Park KitchenThe shop is only open Monday through Friday from 11am to 7pm allowing the couple time to pursue catering gigs and continue running their regular Saturday booth at The Stop's farmers' market. It's where they shop for their farm-fresh menu and where they hope to one-day offer a weekday dinner subscription service for the shop.

Dundas Park KitchenBeing almost 5 o'clock, I'm told that sandwiches are almost done for the day and that the take-away special is about to begin. Tso makes me two sandwiches anyway and packs them to go in biodegradable containers.

Dundas Park KitchenOne, is a the vegan friendly Marinated Eggplant ($8.50) that's stacked onto soft bun with squash hummus spread, muffaletta-like olive salad, sweet red onion jam and sunflower sprouts. The other is meatloaf, cut into a thick slab and dressed with pickled carrots, celeriac slaw and maple mustard.

Dundas Park KitchenWhile I'm there, I witness locals trickle in to check out the new spot, one woman (a regular already) even brings her own corningware and has it packed with dinner to go. Between chatting, I see tonight's take-home dinner come out of the oven and - holy f', I'd swear if this place wasn't so wholesome - it smells incredible. It's a golden skinned roasted chicken, available whole or halved (for $25 or $15 respectively).

Dundas Park KitchenEach order includes a choice of two sides from options like steamed asparagus, cold beet salad with candied nuts or speltberry salad. I end up placing an order even though I wasn't planning to.

The sandwiches (delicious, btw) are devoured outside immediately and I end up juggling multiple packages on the streetcar home, tortured all the way by delicious scents wafting out of the paper bag.

Dundas Park KitchenFast forward a couple hours later and I have the pleasure of plating the bird with sides and presenting it for dinner at home with my partner. We end up eating in our backyard and let the conversation revolve almost entirely around how moist and succulent the chicken is and how exceptionally fresh the sides are. It turns the weekday evening to a reason to open a bottle of wine and tastes way better than takeout has any right to be.

Dundas Park KitchenDundas Park KitchenDundas Park KitchenPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

15 Comments

Ling Gu / June 24, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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If only they would do delivery to me in North York.
GL / June 24, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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Christ that beet salad looks good!
T / June 24, 2013 at 08:37 pm
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Lovely people and delicious food! Stopped by on Monday and had the lasagna special. Loved every bite!
LDC. / June 24, 2013 at 08:40 pm
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Wow.
HT / June 24, 2013 at 09:51 pm
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I got the roasted whole chicken + sides. The chicken was incredibly juicy and tasty and it is very much an amazing deal!
Lynda & Jay / June 25, 2013 at 09:57 am
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CONGRATULATIONS...it's beautiful, you have worked so hard & totally deserve high 5's
Anjelica / June 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm
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Delicious! had the chicken sandwich which was so fresh & filling...loved the spread on it. Also had 3 of the cakes: strawberry, chocolate and lemon chiffon. All 3 were a big hit at the party I brought them to, my personal favourite was the strawberry...my friends were raving about the chocolate as well. definitely checking out the take-home supper ASAP! thanks DPK!
Lawrence Harris / June 25, 2013 at 06:13 pm
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Just viewed the website...well done to the two (three)of you many congratulations with the new restaurant. Cannot wait to try it out when we visit in October.It all looks great.
Lots of love from Uncle Lawrence and Diana Harris.xxx
Heather Davies / June 27, 2013 at 03:40 pm
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Congrats Melanie! Sounds like you and Alex have a hit on your hands. Wish you were closer to Oakville!
Larry Davies / June 27, 2013 at 05:25 pm
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Sounds like a good reason to visit the city! Goodonya for doing this and best of luck as you go forward.
Chris Laxton / July 14, 2013 at 02:51 pm
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This place is amazing! great vibes!
Maggie / August 18, 2013 at 09:13 pm
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Congrats Alex and Melanie for both the new restaurant and baby. I'm happy for you guys. Will definitely come for that roasted chicken sometime. Xoxo. Maggie from Hotel L.G
Sarah / November 8, 2013 at 12:33 am
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I love this place! Not only is the food incredible (and accessible to those with allergies), but the people are warm and friendly. My favourite lunch place.
Ruth / December 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm
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Every single item on the menu is absolutely delicious and the owners are the loveliest and really know food. My absolute favourite lunch spot in Ronce!
Jamie Laidlaw / January 21, 2014 at 09:01 am
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I have known Alex for over a year now. We have had great talks at his stall at Wychwood Barns Saturday market. It is totally gratifying to read the appreciation of his clients. Well done man. You are a generous, thoughtful, hard working guy committed to food integrity.

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