The food scene just got sizzling than ever. With two Toronto Black-owned businesses, Boukan and Edible Bliss 11 merging together, they will be bringing a one-of-a-kind culinary fare to the forefront. It is about to ring in aesthetic taste of Haitian-Caribbean fusion cuisine. Now located at 774 Danforth Avenue, the restaurant seats more than 85 people inside and on their outdoor patio. After moving from their former 12-seat Upper Beaches location to a larger space in the Danforth area, Boukan is set to adapt equal portions of history, resilience, and tradition in partnership with Edible Bliss 11. Boukan head chef and co-owner, Amir Senat and co-owner Ricardo, as well as Edible Bliss 11 owner, Chef Amanda Hamer will be serving appetizing, home-style Haitian food in a vibrant and inviting environment.
According to co-owner, Ricardo, “Boukan is for everyone, for food connoisseurs and is very much family-oriented. Especially during these unprecedented times, we want people to walk into our restaurant and luxuriate in our soothing ambience. We provide a wide range of ethnic and a diverse selection of signature dishes that unites the entire community. And as we hope to expand our franchise throughout North America, our core mission is to continuously create a memorable experience for all.”
Well-known for her specialization in catering, Chef Amanda also expressed her excitement about the new alliance. Her top-selling product, the Jamaican Rum Cake Cheesecake, is sold exclusively in Black-owned stores across the Toronto Region. “Great food is tied to heritage, and it has a special way of connecting diverse people. As a trio, we have great synergy. That is what we represent as a unified brand. From mixing West Indies spices and Canadian cuisine, we will offer warm, full flavourful blends all through.”
Recently hosting a grand re-opening event with the help of notable filmmaker and author, L.A. Wade, Boukan celebrated their milestone, and thrilled guests with art performances from local gifted Black artists including Ren Thomas and Shane Stephens. Despite opening just a few months prior to the pandemic, they have been able to build a loyal community and expand their business. “Experiencing the menu list at the acclaimed Boukan is so worth it. Boukan really provides a human experience where people feel welcomed daily, including Edible Bliss 11. The moment you visit this new location, one will ultimately feel a sense of belonging,” says L.A. Wade.
Ren Thomas and Shane Stephens also spoke about the drool-worthy food, exceptional customer service at the restaurant, and another great addition to the mix. Both artists will showcase their exclusive art pieces on the wall. Further highlighting the significance of having a nice decor for viewing, both artists are looking forward to using their multicultural artwork and platform to make a positive difference in the community.
Certainly, attending the reopening event was worth the trip. We were treated to delectable creations of the skilled chefs. Kicking off with the hors d’oeuvres, we were served Brown Butter Hennessey Chicken, Spicy Mango Phyllo Bites, Jerk Chicken Caesar Sandwiches, Jamaican Rum Cake Cheesecake. And I must say, it was delightful in taste. It is no wonder why Boukan’s mission is “to express the rich culture of Haiti and Creole food in a sophisticated and modern way.” On their menu list is the richness and zest of specialties.
For savoury starters, you can opt for a Marinade with cod fish (seasoned Haitian dumplings) served with Haitian style gravy and picklez ($9). Another favourite on the sandwich list is the JP Fried egg sandwich served on a buttery croissant, lettuce, tomato asiago cheese, candied turkey bacon and Epis aioli ($16).
While on the dinner menu, you can feast on a zesty dish, the Chicken Fritay (S$15-M$18) or the Vegan Fritay (S$13-M$16). And all Fritay boxes comes with sweet plantain, green plantain, and Marinade (fried dumplings) and with Pikliz (spicy coleslaw) or substitute to Rice for an extra $5. You can also relish in the Wings and Fingers list served with seasoned fries, finger licking sauces and pop/water ($17/$25).
Salads are on the menu too! Take the Cesarlicious (Crispy Romain lettuce served with candied turkey bacon, croutons, asiago cheese and garlic Caesar dressing ($17) for example. Among other food options are burgers, desserts, wine selections, and Haitian gourmet pizza. All made fresh, smooth and sophisticated!
Not only flavour-packed, Boukan and Edible Bliss 11 delicacies are transportable through Uber Eats, DoorDash and SkipTheDishes. With such an engaging atmosphere, intimate vibe, amazing culture of service and innovative menu, this is one buzzy spot you don’t want to miss. If you want to satisfy your hunger, quench your thirst, or looking to dine with family or loved ones, this is the place to visit.