What’s On Oshawa wouldn’t normally publish two reviews of the same restaurant, but when Maddie & Kiki checked out Lil Organic Kitchen in Whitby, their take on the organic, family-run eatery was polar opposite to the review we published by ‘Shwa Girl. What do you think? Read and decide:
We would like to preface this review with saying that although it’s common knowledge that we LOVE rich, not-so-great for the waistline foods (i.e burgers, pizza, anything that comes with some kind of a creamy dip), more often than not, we like to eat healthy. We typically start our day trying to choke down a fruit and veg smoothie, not because we love them, but because we love feeling our best. In order to balance out our consumption of ALL food, we’re no stranger to a colourful salad and loading up on all the vegetables of the rainbow.
Would we rather be eating breakfast tacos with a side of KitKats? Heck yes! When we’re dining out, we typically don’t often choose restaurants advertising as ‘healthy,’ since we like to be tantalised with the overall satisfaction of a meal, and not be limited by caloric intake, use of fat, or portion size. (Have you ever had a meal that just doesn’t take? You know, the ones that, immediately after finishing your last bite, you get up and head to the cupboard for some chips or chocolate? We all have!). However, after hearing so much hubbub about The Lil Organic Kitchen, we thought…prove us wrong, y’all!
What we ordered: The Lil Organic Kitchen offers much in the areas of options. When you walk in, they have a large assortment of items written on an ever-so-popular Pinterest-esqe chalk-board. They have fresh salads in a glass display area, hot dishes, as well as ‘bowls’ (with either Quinoa, or brown rice, topped with an assortment of vegetables, and the option of adding on a chicken breast or Falafel. We opted for their grass-fed beef burger and fries (like we wouldn’t order that!), as well as the Pad Thai Bowl with the addition of an Organic chicken breast. To quench our thirst, we tried the lemonade with Maple Syrup, and were really pumped that a restaurant isn’t using loads of sugar to make drinks taste good.
Taste: We were very disappointed with the flavors of both dishes we ordered.
The Pad Thai Bowl was virtually flavourless; it was supposed to come with a cashew tam. nd sauce, but either someone in flavorless forgot to add it, or it just didn’t have any flavor. We understand that the Lil Organic Kitchen wants to use as many organic ingredients as possible, but making a flavorful sauce to add to the bowl and keeping true to your mandate would not be difficult! Would it kill ya to add some organic garlic?! We were disappointed that the bowl didn’t include any beans, tofu, herbs (i.e cilantro) or nuts. If we hadn’t added on the chicken breast, we’d literally feel like a teeny rabbit, crunching down on vegetables that were sliced way too coarsely for the bowl. The chicken was seasoned with simply salt and pepper, and lacked any sort of oomph. There are ways to add flavor and maintain health in a dish (with proper seasoning, herbs and spices, nicely balanced sauces), the Pad Thai Bowl did not have any of these. It was simply raw vegetables, over brown rice, with a cooked chicken breast on top. We felt like when the hospital tells you that you can’t have any fat in your dinner the night before a surgery – even in that case, I think we would’ve voluntarily chosen the jello or clear broth over this Pad Thai bowl!
The grass-fed burger had a unique flavor, unlike any burger we have had before. The uniqueness could have been attributed to the grass-fed beef, or the spices they used in preparing the patty – we are not sure which it was. It was tough and solid, like it had been cooked earlier and reheated upon the order. The bun had a sponge-like texture reminiscent of the bread served at an Ethiopian restaurant called Injera. We wondered if it were gluten-free. We opted for the vegan cheese (yes, on a beef burger), because, ‘When in Rome.’ The texture of the cheese was as if someone had grated up just the white of a boiled egg atop of the burger. To our surprise, the fries served with the burger were INCREDIBLE! They were fresh-cut, and fried to perfection. They were served alongside a weird, granular, tomato-based sauce that, if we were to guess, included Agave Nectar. We shared the ample amount of fries served with Maddie’s burger to compensate for the minuscule portion of the bowl. The lemonade was tart and slightly sweet, and pleasing to our unsatisfied palates.
Price: At a whopping $27.00 for the bowl and a lemonade, and $25.00 for the burger and a lemonade, we were pretty astounded at the prices at The Lil Organic Kitchen. We are the first ones to understand that quality means ingredients cost more, and thus the customer pays more. We would gladly pay those prices for flavorful, healthful, organic dishes that left us feeling satisfied and satiated. However, if the food doesn’t taste good, all of that goes out the window. Then what happens is, you’re charging the customer a lot of money for garbage. Very expensive, organic garbage.
Would we return? Absolutely not. The Lil Organic Kitchen is contributing to the misinformation that healthy, organic food tastes bad, and will leave you feeling unsatisfied at the end of the meal. We were really hoping to have an experience that proved otherwise. We would like to note that the girl who served us was extremely pleasant and smiley, as were the other staff members clearing off tables, and handing us our dishes from the kitchen. The Lil Organic Kitchen needs a Lil (LOT) more flavor!
The Lil Organic Kitchen is located at 1618 Dundas Street East, Unit 3., Whitby.