CLOSED: 1 Love Kitchen (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 247 Queen Street West
Type of Meal: Dinner




Situated amongst all the stores on bustling Queen West, 1 Love Kitchen is a warm low-key place where you'll get a full meal for less than $15. Although take-out is available, I suggest you dine-in and relax. Take in the bright green surroundings, hum along to the background music and best of all enjoy your food hot!


The slow braised oxtail ($11) was flavourful and tender. I love the gummy texture of the cartilage between the bone and meat which softens as it’s cooked. We were told that at in order to keep the calories down in the dish, excess fat is removed and the oxtail is cooked longer to ensure it's still just as tender. Mixed with potatoes, carrots and peppers the sauce that accompanies it is delicious and hearty.



Despite being categorized as a one chili dish on the menu, personally I found the oxtail spicier than the jerk chicken (listed with three chilies). But, it wasn’t overwhelming and was just flavourful enough to not require any additional hot sauce.


My husband ordered the char-grilled jerk chicken ($9.45) and it was moist with a nice smoky taste. Due to 1 Love’s healthier take on food, there's less salt on the chicken. I would have preferred a bit more seasoning but the addition of some scotch bonnet hot sauce did help add more flavour to the meat.



All meals are accompanied with rice & beans and a choice of coleslaw or salad. You can substitute the rice for quinoa for $1.75 and/or add baked plantain for $1.25. We had tried the rice and quinoa; both grains were good and went equally well with the protein so it’s really a matter of personal taste which to order. In either case, I’d suggest asking for some of the oxtail’s sauce on top as it complements the grains so well.



We both decided on the coleslaw which was crisp and fresh. Although it was dressed in a creamy looking sauce it wasn’t heavy. In the end, it was fairly neutral tasting and helped to cool our tongues when we went a little gung-ho with the hot sauce.

1 Love Kitchen also offers rotis, salads, soup and side add-ons if what accompanies your meal isn’t enough. All in all, we were both very satisfied with our meals. The food was more than enough to fill us but we didn’t leave feeling stuffed and sluggish. In the end, although 1 Love Kitchen offers healthier Caribbean fare, have no fear the flavours are still pronounced - your heart and stomach will just thank you for your choice later.


Overall mark - 7* out of 10
* I should note my husband disagrees with my ranking and he thinks it deserves an 8.5.


Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary but the thoughts are still my honest opinion.


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Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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