If this winter-in-spring weather has you down, Christine Pattison's authentic Jamaican food will perk you up.
Her namesake Miss Christine’s Kitchen is not exactly the beach (though if you are looking for bikinis, you can find some next door), but she does bring enough heat to at least take your tastebuds to the islands.
If you have driven past the Chalet Hotel on the corner of Archibald and Marion, you may have noticed a vibrant mural with a map of Jamaica marking the entrance for the restaurant. (And yes, you may have also noticed a sign near it for live dancers... A door we won't open in this article). Don't let the location fool you, because in true hidden gem fashion Christine's is a frequent stop for people from across the city looking for authentic Caribbean cooking.
The room itself is lined with murals that depict Christine growing up in Jamaica, with seating for approximately sixteen. As you can read here on CBC, Christine's story is one of perseverance, and how so much of it is based on her love of cooking. Her kitchen provides a personal experience, as this is essentially a one-woman show, so to ensure you get what you want, we suggest calling the day before to place your order.
In the above video Miss Christine makes her version of snapper escovitch, showcasing that spicy, tangy sauce that she makes with onions, peppers, rice vinegar, and some additional spices. The twist she does on the escovitche, that usage of Asian rice wine vinegar, is reflective of her mother's cooking and heritage. She pairs it alongside festival (a type of fried dough) and fried plantain.
Pattison opened her restaurant in 2019 and the following year decided to take a chance and submitted an audition video for Food Network Canada’s Wall of Chefs. She talks fondly about her experience and how it reaffirmed she had made the right decision to open up her restaurant.
Everything is made fresh daily here, and she only cooks a limited amount after getting her ingredients from Dino's Grocery Mart (84 Isabel Street). Portions are nothing but generous though. So if you are planning to get her top selling jerk chicken, coconut shrimp, oxtail or curried goat; then you best order sooner than later.
Follow her Instagram to stay up to date on any specials she's offering or when she introduces a new item like her coco bread. You can find her on home delivery apps as well.
Miss Christine's Kitchen is located at 611 Archibald Street (the front door is on Archibald within the Chalet Hotel) and is open Wednesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can also order online here.