Market Fare

Rating: NNNNNCafe 668 joins a wide range of Kensington eateries. We recommend these.BAN VANIPHA (638 Dundas West, at Bellevue, 416-340-0491).


Rating: NNNNN

Cafe 668 joins a wide range of Kensington eateries. We recommend these.

BAN VANIPHA (638 Dundas West, at Bellevue, 416-340-0491) This long-time home-style Thai and Laotian eatery has moved to high-profile digs just west of Chinatown. Pricier than similar spots, it delivers superior ingredients and style. Best: Mee Grob, deep-fried rice vermicelli tossed with chicken, shrimp and toasted coconut in a tart tamarind-lime dressing Gai Hoey Bai Toey, garlic-marinated grilled chicken breast wrapped in pandan-leaf ribbons and sauced with soy, sesame oil and whiskey (!) Nham Vientiane, a salad of crispy spiced deep-fried coconut rice mixed with sour pork, coriander and mint custardy crust-less coconut pie riddled with pumpkin. Complete dinners for $30 per person ($15 at lunch), including all taxes and tip. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch 11:30 am to 3 pm, and for dinner 5 to 10 pm. Closed Sundays and holidays. Fully licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN

LA PALETTE (256 Augusta, at College, 929-4900) Funky low-key neighbourhood boite serving no-nonsense cafe classics that just happens to be French. Best: superb 10-ounce triple-A black Angus sirloin topped with sun-dried brandy butter and hand-cut Yukon Gold fries herb-crusted New Zealand rack of lamb with silky yet textured mash and butter-brushed veggies mixed grill — deboned quail, pork tenderloin, chicken breast strips with cranberry compote and roasted spuds, snowpeas and peppers $25 three-course prix fixe specials. Complete dinners for $35 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine or an aperitif. Open for lunch Wednesday to Friday 1 to 5 pm, for dinner nightly 6 pm to midnight, and brunch Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 pm. Bar open till 2 am. Fully licensed. Access: three steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN

MUSA (847 Dundas West, at Euclid, 416-368-8484) Low-key neighbourhood noshery offering contemporary takes on casual Greek and Turkish dishes in a funky-fresh setting. Best: Keftades — ground beef falafel patties zapped with cumin and onion, stuffed into a spelt pita piled with cucumber, tomato and romaine, sauced with Dijon and sided with first-rate hand-cut fries seared and sliced free-range chicken in the same pita with red chilies, jalapeno, piquant kefalotiri cheese, sauteed onions and arugula brunch-only bacon-spinach-potato frittata with designer greens. Complete meals for $20 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine or a pint. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11 am to 2 am. Closed Monday and holidays. Fully licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN

Visit our Web site and read over 100 restaurant reviews at www.nowtoronto.com

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *