King's BBQ Chicken
Kings BBQ Chicken Restaurant is tucked away in the end unit of a strip mall at Keele and Rogers Road. It's ideally located to fueling a long shop at the nearby Value Village or recharging after a bike ride on the Humber trail. I'll be back knowing I will leave full.
Although I always enjoy a rotisserie chicken, I was drawn to King's because it's a Chifa restaurant, meaning it's a Chinese restaurant that uses common Peruvian ingredients.
King's has plenty of comfortable booths to sit in and enjoy either counter service for dining in or take out. We decided to do as most locals do and eat-in and be amidst a crowd made up mostly of construction worker dudes. They didn't even seem to mind watching Dora the Explorer which played on the TV while we dined.
We came hungry after a bus ride from Keele Station and couldn't wait to dig in once our first dish arrived: lomo saltado. For those who enjoy poutine I highly recommend the lomo saltado ($7.99). A mountain of what looked like saucy fries arrived on the service counter and from across the dining room an older lady screeched to us that it was ready.
Upon closer examination the dish was a mixture of fries stir-fried with sirloin strips, red onion, scallions, and tomato. It didn't take us long to devour the salty, spicy treat.
Up next was a quarter chicken dinner. The chicken skin was certified sticky, salty, crispy excellence and the meat beneath it held its moisture and shared the skin's flavour. At $5.99 the generous serving was a good deal and included a side of fries and salad, both simple (fries: pale, formerly frozen, salad: iceberg, ranch-ish dressing) and, for us, unfinished.
We didn't wan't to go out for Peruvian food without ordering ceviche ($12.99). What the kitchen created was a generous portion of whitefish coarsely chunked and piled high with thinly sliced red onion, bits of spicy aji amarillo, and topped with coriander. The fish in the ceviche was underdone. When the lime has enough time to fully "cook" ceviche the pieces are easy to bite through because they are fully tenderized. These pieces were like roughly chunked blobs of sashimi which didn't work for the whitefish used because hard threads of sinew remained that could not be chewed through.
The flavour was good though, sharp and limey, a nice contrast to the oilier taste of the lomo saltado but I couldn't get down with the texture of the fish and abandoned the dish after a few bites.
In between tasting each dish we cleared our palates with bottled Chicha Morada ($2.00), a beverage made of purple corn, and diet Inca Kola ($1.50).
What we liked about this restaurant is, truly, you eat like a king. On top of the generous portions the atmosphere is super comfortable, clean, and seating is private enough for a date. While the ceviche was a letdown we still left explosively full and satisfied. We waddled over to the bus stop and made our way back home.
Writing by Dana Seguin. Photos by Chistopher Luna.