Spending the majority of my time at home has allowed me to start cooking way more than I ever did, and truthfully, I don’t mind. (#quarantinelife) It has given me a chance to tap into my culinary skills, and try recipes I was hesitant to attempt.
But….on the flipside, since I have been cooking so much, I sometimes want to take a break from meal prepping, and sweating hours over a hot stove, and just pick up a convenient tasty meal. You feel me, right?
I am a Rexdale gyal, (yes, gyal), and I’m pretty clueless of the restaurants in the area. I tend to go downtown when dining out, as there are several places to choose from. Bussing it all the way downtown is pretty much out of the question now, so I have decided to explore my neighbourhood.
I planned on supporting a Jamaican take out spot that my mom told me about a long time ago. She didn’t know the name, but told me exactly where it is located.
I found out that the restaurant is called Flava Ceen and it is nestled in a small strip mall, steps away from Humber College (north campus).
In mid-June, I walked into the mid-sized restaurant which housed wall-to-wall signage displaying an assortment of West Indian delights. Everything from jerk chicken to jerk pasta. I spoke with the owner (Mike Johnson) who was at the counter, and told him I was interested in reviewing the restaurant for my blog. He assured me that I would love everything, and I jokingly said, “I hope so!”
To get a sense of his food, I ordered a variety of meals off the menu. I ordered the oxtail meal, the jerk chicken meal, and the fried chicken meal (no, it wasn’t just for me).
First off, the portions are gigantic. You definitely get your money’s worth. There is no way you will be hungry after devouring any of these meals.
To give you a better idea of the dishes, I’ll break down each meal.
Oxtail with white rice *you can also get it with rice and peas
Oxtail is one of the dishes that I rarely order because I feel like my mom makes it the best. But this is just as good as mom’s!
The oxtail is luscious, tender, falls off the bone, and is bursting with flava! (yeah, I had to do that!) The gravy isn’t too rich, but just as flavorsome. Trust me on this, you’ll love it.
Fried chicken with rice and peas
Fried chicken is my comfort food, so I order it whenever I see it on a menu. The fried chicken at Flava Ceen is good, but believe it or not, the rice and peas is the star. I’m not even a huge rice fan, but the rice and peas is moist, delicious, and could be eaten on its own. Yes, it’s that good.
Jerk chicken with rice and peas
I am a jerk enthusiast. I love everything jerk – jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk salmon – you get the point. So you already know that I have high expectations of what jerk chicken should taste like.
Did the jerk chicken at Flava Ceen live up to my expectation… ? It surpassed it.
This jerk chicken is juicy, cooked flawlessly, and is a masterful balance of spiciness and flavour. If you like your jerk with some heat, you’ll definitely like this one.
I loved the chicken so much that I almost ate it in one sitting. This was the clear winner of all the meals.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed the food at Flava Ceen, so I went back 2 more times 3 more times (don’t judge me!). Here’s a brief rundown of what else I sampled.
Curry goat with rice and peas
Curry chicken is good, but nothing beats curry goat. To me, it is the champagne of curry dishes.
I received a heaping portion of curry goat over a bed of rice and peas. The goat was tender, full curry goodness, and didn’t have that gamy smell that goat sometimes has.
What I also appreciated was that the goat was bite-sized. I don’t like wrestling with huge pieces of meat, so I was really happy with the portion size.
If you need a curry goat fix, I highly recommend getting this meal.
Stew chicken is a traditional West Indian dish. My family hails from Trinidad, so I know good stew chicken. Thanks again to my mom.
The stew chicken at Flava Ceen is slightly different from my mom’s, but I like it. It has a thicker, sweeter gravy and has a little kick from the hot peppers. I could eat this with rice, or sop up all that gravy with a slice of bread. #yum
Again, this is another winner.
I am so glad that my mom persuaded me to try this place. I love the food, the cheerful atmosphere, and I especially love supporting black-owned businesses.
If you would like to hit up this spot and try any of these dishes, please see the info below, and click onto the following links:
address: 106 Humber College Blvd, Toronto, ON
phone number: 416-551-0974
URL: click here