First Look: Fare Game, a gamey new addition to Cabbagetown


Fare Game's curry-braised rabbit garnished with toasted coconut ($25) (Image: Caroline Aksich)

You may not have noticed it, but Cabbagetown’s Jam Café quietly closed in April. Save for the sign (which now reads “Fare Game: continental cuisine with a Canadian panache”) and the menu, the restaurant itself has barely been changed.

Fare Game co-owners Gord MacLeod and Fakhurddin Shaikh (both Coquine alumns) opted to forgo a major rebranding in an effort to keep Jam Café’s corps of regulars who adore the charm of the Victorian’s casual dishevelledness.

Nostalgics will be delighted to note that everything has stayed — from the dark oak tables to the pair of olive green dining arm chairs nestled by the fireplace that separates the front from the back dining room.

The menu (devised by MacLeod) is not exclusively game focused, but it does offer a healthy selection of atypical proteins such as ostrich, Cornish hen, bison, rabbit, venison and wild boar. The game fare is prepared in a variety of different ways: braised in curry sauce, wrapped in smoked bacon, glazed with grapefruit and flambéed in brandy.

For less adventurous eaters, more traditional pub menu offerings are also available (bruschetta, calamari, linguini primavera, Caesar salad, etc.). “The only complaint we’ve had so far is that our portions are too big, and that’s a complaint we can live with,” laughs general manager Kawsar Al-Arafat.

Fare Game, 195 Carlton St., 416-921-1255

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