Up until last night I had never even heard of a place called Chefydrew’s so this was probably the last place I would have expected to be writing my next review about. To be honest, I hate the name and their menu screams out “avoid” to me. I really only stumbled across the restaurant after my girlfriend gave me a free $10 on Groupon’s  “Now Deals” (a section for deals that must be purchased and used the same day). When I saw there was a restaurant with things like Curry Goat, Jerk Chicken, and Oxtail (note I am a huge fan of Jamaican cooking – it’s probably my favourite thing in the world) I knew it was going to be an easy choice. After doing a quick search on Google for some overall very positive reviews I decided to give it a shot.

Chefydrews is located at 255 Dundas St E in the Toronto Downtown core (about a 5-10 minute walk from the Eaton Center). I arrived to the restaurant around 8:30pm which is quite late for most people and have to say the area is not one of the nicest in the city to be in late at night. From the outside the restaurant didn’t really look like much and it was almost empty inside but I figured I would still give it a try. Upon entering the restaurant it was as I had expected, empty other than a few staff hanging around by the bar chatting. I took a seat and waited for a menu to be dropped off. The interior was pretty basic, almost a bit bright for my liking, but I was here for the food so I could care less what the place looked like.

Chefydrew's Inside (Pic from their Facebook Account)

After waiting about 5-10 minutes without anyone coming over I started to get concerned and a little annoyed. I chalked this up to the laid back nature of most Caribbean people which is one of the nicest things about the islands, but when you are hungry it is quite the opposite. It wasn’t until another person entered the restaurant as me at the same time (there to visit the owner) left that I had realized what had happened. They had thought I was with him and was just sitting down waiting for him. Andrew (aka chefydrew himself) came by and was very apologetic for the confusion, which I completely understood. Regardless, it was time to eat, and Andrew handed me the menu to look over.

I had already looked at their menu before coming so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted already: the Authentic Island Style Red Beans Soup and their West Indian Curried Goat. Unfortunately they had run out of goat as he told me it was a popular item that day so I asked what he would suggest as an alternative. Without a doubt in his mind he suggested the Oxtail. I had tried Oxtail a few times in the past and most of the times I was very disappointed and I mentioned this to Andrew. He promised that if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t pay a dime for it, so I took his challenge. Chefydrews unfortunately does not quite have their liquor license yet (Coming Soon – I was looking forward to a Ginger Beer & Rum) so I decided to wash down the meal with a Pineapple Ginger juice (I assume the one made by Tropical Rhythms that I always order – one of the best juices!).

First up was the Authentic Island Style Red Beans Soup. On the first few tastes I was quite disappointed. This soup was listed as slightly spicy on their menu but there was no spice to be found. I asked if they had any hot sauce and was told they typically tone the dishes down a lot because the majority of their clientele are caucasian and they are not used to or do not like the heat. Personally I think this is one of their biggest mistakes. The reason I ordered this dish was because it was 1 of 2 dishes listed as being spicy (the goat being the other) and people ordering this should know what they are getting themselves into. Once I added some of their homemade hot sauce the dish was brought to life and the soup went from being bland and tasteless to something I really enjoyed! My only complaint would be that the meat from the cow heel was very fatty and difficult to locate, though this may be the first time I have tried cow heel so this just may be how it is. I am really not that sure, but the flavour was nice and I ate it all.

Authentic Island Style Red Beans Soup - Kidney beans cooked in a beef stock with fresh garden herbs accompanied with diced carrots, diced potatoes, small spinners and pieces of diced cow heel ($6.95 for Large)

Next up was the Oxtail. On first glance I was excited to try the dish, the portion was MASSIVE and it came out looking just as I would expect it to look. The oxtail meat was super tender as Chefydrew promised and the sauce was full of flavour and really delicious! The rice and peas were pretty standard and I didn’t really taste much of a coconut flavour as they were described on the menu. The dish also came with some vegetables (carrots, broccoli and onions) which didn’t really do anything for me and were ever so slightly undercooked but they weren’t the reason I ordered this dish. Personally I would love if they swapped these out for creamy coleslaw instead as I think this would make this one of my favourite dishes in the city. I might have to email that suggestion to chefydrew to have as an option! There was actually so much food that I actually struggled getting every last bite of oxtail in my mouth as I was starting to hit the food “wall” 3/4 of the way through my meal. In the end I managed to finish it though as it was too tasty to let it go to waste!

Stewed Oxtail Ragout - Marinated Ox tail slowly braised and simmered with lima beans to a savoury taste (not spicy) accompanied with our famous coconut cooked rice & peas, and tropical steamed vegetables ($8.95)

I was enjoying my meal so much that I placed an order for Jerk Chicken to eat the next day for lunch (now today). Also, I feel bad going to a place using a coupon where the business is hardly making any money on a deal, especially when it’s a meal I really enjoy! After eating the jerk chicken today I am so glad I ordered this. Their jerk sauce is full of flavour and all but one of the pieces of meat was still juicy the next day which is quite impressive! The jerk chicken came with the same sides as the oxtail, and again I would prefer creamy coleslaw over those vegetables. Also if anyone can tell me a place in the city where you get this much jerk chicken (there are about 6-7 pieces) for only $8 I would be amazed! This dish could easily be shared between 2 people as I only ate half for lunch and I was stuffed. Most places I usually go for a similar portion charge over $15!!! It is going to be a tough decision on what to order next time I go back!

Awtical Jerk Chicken (Yardie style) - Farm raised chicken marinated to a spicy flavor slowly grilled to readiness, served in its natural juices, with your choice of rice and peas, or roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables ($7.95)


This restaurant is off the charts when it comes to value for food, I can confidently say they are 10/10! The portions are massive and the quality is there (at least with the dishes I tried), I honestly don’t know how this place can afford to stay in business and make any money. I expect these prices to go up soon.


Since my waiter was the owner of the restaurant itself, the service was awesome. Chefydrew was very friendly and also very passionate about his food.


Chefydrews has only been open for less than a year so they are probably still working out some of the kinks. I have to be honest that I really hate when restaurants try to do EVERYTHING (look at their menu and you will see what I mean) but they may prove me wrong on some of the other dishes. Regardless, on my visit I stuck with Caribbean dishes mainly because this is where the owner is from so I expected these would be the dishes he would do best (I don’t mean this in any offensive way). When it comes to value, they are unbeaten in the Caribbean food sector. When you look at somewhere like The Real Jerk that charges $15 for a similar dish that is even smaller and less tasty, you have to wonder how this place is not packed! Sure the area is pretty sketchy and the restaurant really doesn’t have any curb appeal in my eyes, but these things aren’t always the best ways to judge a place. For me it is all about the food, and though the other factors are nice, if they can’t make me happy with their food then what are you really paying for? One of my favourite things to do is discover hidden gems when it comes to restaurants and I think I have done so with this one (please don’t prove me wrong on future visits!). I am really glad I took a chance and went here and will definitely be ordering from them in the future. I think this is now my go-to for Caribbean takeout!

SCORE: 7.5/10 (I am fighting myself if I should rank this higher but I think I need to try some more of their menu before ranking it too highly which I will try to do soon!)

(Side note: When I left Andrew told me they will be doing a Valentine’s Day special where meals will be 2 for 1 on Groupon, so keep your eyes open for the deal!)



Website: www.chefydrews.com – Don’t be fooled by the ugly website!
Twitter: N/A
Address: 255 Dundas St E (Map)
Phone Number: (647) 294-3877

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