A hub for East African fusion cuisine
Folks looking for fresh, delicious, Somali comfort food served with a smile, know to make their way to Mushkaki in Etobicoke.
Right at the bustling intersection of Rexdale and Kipling, just off the 401 in the north end of Etobicoke is an unassuming East African fast food restaurant that hits all the marks.
“We’re more of a fusion restaurant – we have burgers, sandwiches, wraps, pasta as well. There’s a little bit of Italian in our culture, so there’s pasta on there,” explains Ilyas Mohamed (photographed for FoodShare by Brianna Roye), Mushkaki’s manager and son of the owner, Osman Osman.
The best sellers though, Ilyas tells us, are the traditional Somali dishes like beef strip & rice: steak sliced into strips served with rice, seasoned with East African savoury spices. And he’s no exception: “I like red meat, so that’s also my favourite dish,” he says.
Other mouthwatering dishes on the menu include the chicken suqar plate with rice and salad, another traditional dish, as well as some delectable fusion creations like the Mushkaki burger: a homemade beef burger topped with a fried egg and cheese, and the Etobicoke-famous Mushkaki fries: fresh cooked, spicy seasoned fries served with fried chicken and a mild sauce. And plenty of milkshake options, like mango, caramel and oreo.
This local joint fits right in in Rexdale.. “It’s very central, very accessible. It’s a very multicultural neighbourhood. There are a lot of Somali people in the community, and East African people in general.”
As previous owners of the famous Hamarweyne Restaurant – a go-to restaurant in Toronto for traditional East African cuisine – Ilyas and Osman are passionate about local business. “We’re seeing a lot of young Black people open more businesses, which is a good thing,” says Ilyas, noting the growth of the Black food scene in Toronto. “They’re starting to see that it’s okay to be your own boss – it’s good to be your own boss in this economy.”
This series was cooked up to highlight some of our team’s favourite Black-owned restaurants here in Toronto. Photographed for FoodShare by the talented Brianna Roye (@briannablank on Instagram) we wanted to bring you some of the Black folks in our city who are building community through food. We were tired of seeing features like these show up on our feeds in February and disappear for the rest of the year, folks are Black after February too!
Stay tuned for more to come…
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