Flavor First is a takeaway hot table in the South Cederbrae neighborhood of Scarborough, specializing in West Indian and Chinese #cheapeats. The portions are huge and the prices are low. Safe to say, this is our kinda place. It’s quickly become part of our weekly lunch rotation, and we’ll often frequent as part of the Toronto Food Blog’s #WednesdaysinScarborough sessions.
Mike, Sean and the boys behind the counter have put together a wonderful Chinese-Caribbean fusion menu. The Chow Mein is a strong order. Cooked to order, here we have an absolutely huge portion of noodles and crunchy vegetables, tossed in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Get it with the protein of your choice (Egg is our current favourite), and then top it all off with a chicken leg of the jerk or fried variety. If you prefer fried rice rather than noodles, just ask the guys. They’ll hook you up. This is more than enough food for two people; an awesome #lunchunder10bucks
Perhaps not surprisingly, Curry is also front-and-center on the menu. It’s a well-known fact that Curry Goat is one of the Toronto Food Blog’s favourite meals of all time. Goat is the GOAT, after all. Flavor First’s rendition is enormous in proportion and well-balanced on the spice side. More meat than potato, curries come with coleslaw, steamed vegetables or fried plantain. Oxtail is another popular menu item, as is the Escovitch Fish they’re frying-up on the oil barrel BBQ in the parking lot. Don’t sleep on their chicken wings either. We like to order them dry with the pepper on the side. Jerk Wings is soon to be a thing on their menu, too! These guys also have a rotating $5 lunch special each and every day.
Perhaps the best thing about ordering lunch is the 10-minute wait. Come again?!?! What we mean by that is the restaurant’s attached to M&S West Indian Supermarket. Guyanese produce, Halal butcher, an aisle dedicated solely to sauces and another aisle just for spices. We typically spend more time in here than at Flavor First… and that’s okay. Got all the fixins for DIY Bora Curry (long bean), and Bang Bang Scallops spiced with Bilimbi Sour. They also have homemade Paratha Roti at the checkout, wrapping everything up quite nicely.
Located in the strip mall on the NW corner of Bellamy & Nelson, there’s ample parking in front to load your car with their massive food portions, catering orders, and bags of Caribbean groceries.
The Toronto Food Blog recently did a Podcast episode about this place: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7LDvU3NOlyqRIReBAIpono?si=O96xw_bcSwCdvtgbBHX07Q
DIY Bang Bang Scallops w/ Bilimbi Sour