CLOSED: Love Chix @ Assembly Chef's Hall (Toronto)

Dining with a group with very different tastes? Assembly Chef's Hall combines a number of Toronto's restaurants into one area… sort of like Harrod’s food hall or Eataly. Laid out as two seating areas with the restaurants in the centre, make sure to specify the zone you’re sitting in when meeting friends, otherwise finding each other may be difficult. The dining rooms offer comfortable leather chairs and sturdy wooden tables; it feels like you’re eating in a restaurant, you’ll just need to get your own food. Each room also has a bar, where drinks are also grab and go.

In terms of eateries, The Good Son’s freshly made pizza was popular during a weeknight visit. The mini Kao San Road and Los Colibris stalls also peaked my interest, but I decided to go with something I haven’t had before. That’s when Love Chix’s colourful sign and fried food aroma lured me over. Indeed, it may have also been due to a monstrous fried chicken sandwich sitting at the pass. It looked so good that I had to get my hands on some fried chicken.

The three-piece ($14) with a side of French fries ($3) arrived freshly made with thick house-made ketchup.  I loved the sauce on the chicken, the hot and sweet sauce melted into the juicy chicken meat. Be forewarned, the pieces are small (the three-piece consisted of two drum sticks and a boneless wing); if you’re even remotely hungry, go with the five-piece. While the fries were good at first, after 5-minutes they got stale fast. It made me have eater's regret for not ordering the fried Brussel sprouts.

My friends opted for Resto Boemo instead. The rich truffle gnocchi ($18), which was a hefty portion, was too soft for my taste. If the pasta isn't your thing, their burger with truffle Parmesan fries smelled heavenly.

Overall, Assembly Chef’s Hall is a great concept, but a few improvements would make it even better.
  • Sadly, many restaurants still used disposable containers. With a shared space like a food hall, I would have thought they’d invest in communal plates and cutlery – if Eaton Centre can do it, surely it is possible at Assembly! Mother Nature will thank us later.
  • There’s no way of indicating a table is occupied, which means unless it’s the winter and you have coats, someone needs to stay behind to claim the space. Since looking around and waiting for your food to be prepared takes time, it generally means a full half hour passes before everyone is back at the table. A simple vacant/occupied sign at the table, like Marche, would help.
  • Lastly, for an eatery connected to Google, I would have thought it’d be more technologically advanced. It was a bit annoying you pay at each station (including separately at the bar). They have launched an app, but judging by the reviews, it hasn’t been helping with the ordering and payment process. Tweeks are required.
It is nice that you’re able to stay for as long as you please; while there are staff who clear the table, no one bothers you to leave. Hearing it gets very busy during lunch, it wasn’t too packed in the evening (easiest for tables of four or less). Although on my next visit, I’m aiming to go back for Tachi, the stand-up omakase sushi bar from Chef Jackie Lin. For that, you don’t even need a table.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 111 Richmond Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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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