The chef: Chef Craig Wong’s Jamaican-Chinese heritage brings spice and crackle to fried chicken.
The app: Patois uses Skip the Dishes — Skip for short. Skip is somewhat less user-friendly than Ritual. They give less info about your order, and it’s a little harder to interpret. Ritual gave timelines earlier in the delivery process. For people like me who get anxious about when dinner’s coming, Skip is meh.
The chicken: This bird, called O.G., is cock of the walk. Two legs and two thighs in the Double O.G. Fried Chicken order. Way way less batter than Grateful Chicken, greasier (in an OK way), more seasoning, better batter. Pretty light. Chicken flavour: same great, juicy fun.
The coleslaw: No vinegar bite, all creamy, blah and bland.
The kale salad: This extravaganza is the big win. They send the creamy seedy mustard dressing separately to prevent terminal sog; it’s ultra tasty, as is the carnival of a salad with kale, clementines, raw beet and carrot shreds for crunch and savour.
On the crispy side: So-called crispy brussels sprouts aren’t. At all. They’ve been aggressively browned, but have gone flaccid, thanks to sitting for too long in creamy dressing. Not much flavour to it. Pickled yellow daikon, radishes, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, daikon shreds and slightly soggy spinach don’t help.
The sauces: Garlic sauce is creamy and plays nicely with the crispy chicken. Bonus points for sweetened sriracha and also scorching fermented pineapple and scotch bonnet sauce — not for the faint of heart.
794 Dundas St. W., patoistoronto.com
The chef: Celeb chef Brandon Olsen has a snazzy pedigree a mile long, as founding chef of Le Melon, La Banane and Brando’s Fried Chicken, and as the former star chef at Bar Isabel and the Black Hoof. Isabel is where he debuted the fried chicken.
The app: We’re grateful for Ritual, which makes skipping the dishes easier. We like the idiot-proof app, and we like the frequent order updates even better.
The chicken: Stoners on the midnight prowl adore the cornflake-like thick coat on this chicken, but it’s so thick it obscures the bird. Perhaps that’s the point. I know my way around a chicken but can’t figure out if I’m eating breast, leg or thigh. The cornflake-like batter is super crunchy and ungreasy, but between it and the chicken is yet another layer — doughy gooey and bread-like.
The coleslaw: Has no taste, no vinegar bite. Strictly cabbage, all white. Bland.
The kale salad: Kale Caesar has a pleasant although too subtle dressing, which should not have been applied before sending it. Kale went soggy. Feh.
On the crispy side: Buttermilk onion rings resemble a slice of onion with a loaf of bread on it. Badly indelicate. Can’t taste the onion.
The sauces: Chicken comes with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce & buttermilk dressing, both very yummy. We add their garlic sauce. Also very good, just the right amount of bite.
111 Richmond St. W., inside Chef’s Hall, chefshall.com