restaurant concepts

Restaurant concepts to watch this December

By Aaron Jourden

In the December 2017 edition of restaurant concepts to watch, we highlight three restaurant concepts that are making an impact on Canadian diners. Here’s a look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique:

The Captain’s Boil

Instagram: 13,100 followers | Facebook: 12,072 likes | Twitter: 1,447 followers
Locations: 23 (Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia)

Concept characteristics:

  • Full-service, hands-on dining experience modeled after traditional Cajun seafood boils
  • Build-your-own boils consist of seafood plus flavours and spices that are mixed to order in a bag before being served
  • Guests eat with their hands and wear plastic gloves and bibs
  • Eco-friendly positioning includes biodegradable, BPA-free bags

Menu snapshot:

  • Seafood Options—crawfish, lobster, Dungeness crab, king crab legs, snow crab legs, shrimp, clams and mussels
  • Flavour Additions—Cajun, with cayenne pepper and paprika; Lemon Pepper, with lemon zest and black pepper; Garlic Sauce; and Captain’s Boil, a combination of all three sauces
  • Sides—Cajun or yam fries, calamari and a fried shrimp basket
  • Beverages—soft drinks, domestic and premium beers, soju and sake

Fife N Dekel

Instagram: N/A | Facebook: 1,776 likes | Twitter: 693 followers
Locations: 4 (Alberta)

Concept characteristics:

  • Zero-frills chain of clean restaurants with counter service and wooden tables for dine-in eating
  • Nostalgic diner positioned around pies, sandwiches, soups and salads
  • Weekly features and seasonal specialties on the menu
  • Friendly, attentive service is a calling card

Menu snapshot:

  • Auto Bahn Sandwich—with turkey, roast beef and ham
  • Good Morning Ham-Sammy Sandwich—with ham, egg, green pepper, onion and tomato on a bun
  • Pies—choices include strawberry rhubarb, banana cream, sour cream apple, pecan and caramel cream
  • Baked Goods—butter tarts, banana bread, cookies and brownies

Bao Down

Instagram: 9,122 followers | Facebook: 1,520 likes | Twitter: 526 followers
Locations: 4 (British Columbia, San Francisco)

Concept characteristics:

  • Filipino fusion restaurant specializing in bao tacos, sandwiches and Asian street food
  • Street-inspired decor with Buddha-themed murals painted by artist Taka Sudo
  • Locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients
  • Playful, energetic atmosphere

Menu snapshot:

  • 2 Worlds Collide! Bao—with crispy pork, braised pork belly, spring onion, chicharron, pickled carrots and daikon and hoisin glaze
  • Fili-chino Taco—with chicken tocino, Filipino salsa and tamarind hot sauce inside an organic corn tortilla
  • Ube Waffles and Chicken—adobo fried chicken, ube waffle, dark rum syrup and a sunny-side up egg
  • Housemade Gelato—with shortbread crumble, meringue and fresh berries

About the author:

Aaron Jourden is the managing editor – global & distribution at Chicago-based Technomic Inc., a Winsight company. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. For more information visit

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