No pun intended, but dining at Jackpot Chicken Rice is like hitting those winning slot numbers over and over again.
Ok, maybe a little pun intended — with a name like Jackpot, you’ve pretty much set a diner’s expectations pretty high.
Located in the heart of Toronto’s busy Chinatown district, Jackpot’s namesake speciality is Hainanese Chicken, originating from the southern China province of Hainan. It’s homestyle cooking done right, and the schmaltz–stir fried rice (made with a magical, constantly boiling master stock of poached chicken, ginger and scallions) is a delicious and a deliriously addictive dish. Plate after plate, we find ourselves craving just a little bit more, yet eagerly anticipating the next savoury surprise. By the end, we may have indulged a little too much … in a meal that was a little too rich. So, a word of advice – pace yourself.
If you’d like to read about the dining experience, head over to my partner in crime, Gastroworld, here.
Jackpot’s colourful interiors are all-consuming, and I’m a little enamoured with the mural of a giant baby cradling a giant watermelon – an adaptation (I later learned) of a Maoist-era propaganda poster. The vibrant decor is a collaborative effort between Chef Craig Wong and his wife, Ivy Lam, a well-known hair and makeup artist.
They say big things come in small packages, and Jackpot Chicken Rice is a prime example of how something so unassuming can surprise you in the most explosive way. No pun intended there.
Visit: Jackpot Chicken Rice for information.
Address: 318 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2E7, Canada
Hours: All week 11am-11pm