If you’re looking for some good homemade food after a night at the club, a new restaurant just outside the city is the place to go. Monarch Restaurant and Lounge is gaining social media popularity not just for their upscale take on African fare, but for being one of the few places open until the early hours of the morning.
The Vaughan restaurant serves up popular Nigerian dishes but in an atmosphere that’s hard to find in the city. “We have a lot of African restaurants [in the GTA] but not a lot of upscale, fine dining restaurants with good food,” says Monarch’s owner, Ibrahim Adekale.
With years of hospitality and entertainment experience, and the closure of his previous nightclub due to COVID-19, Adekale already had plans for his next project when the opportunity to acquire a space in central Vaughan came around. “It was the perfect spot to match what I envisioned with good food and an event space,” he says.
Inside, Monarch offers two stories, with the fine dining area downstairs and a lively shisha lounge upstairs.
On the menu, customers can find homemade traditional food like jollof rice, alongside signature dishes like the Designer Stew, one of their most popular and hearty dishes, at an affordable pricepoint.
Another popular item is the amala, a dough-like meal that’s popular in Western Nigeria and made from yam flour. Other menu items include creamy soup called egusi, assorted meats, and fried plantain. New items are expected to be added to the menu as summer approaches.
Most importantly, says Adekale, all the food served at Monarch is something you would taste in a traditional Nigerian household. “It’s all food that your grandmother would make,” he says, adding that customers continually travel from as far as Scarborough, Brampton, Mississauga and even Milton for the homemade tastes that are being celebrated on Monarch’s social media pages, including Snapchat.
But it’s not just the dishes that are being praised on the social channels, as customers appreciate Monarch’s late night hours, offering food until 6am on Fridays and Saturdays—making it a new hotspot for a quick bite after a night at the club.
Monarch is currently open at 23 McCleary Court, with a grand opening expected to take place in the summer.