Rasa (Toronto)

Rasa’s eclectic menu showcases Toronto’s diversity at its best – distinct dishes each with their own origin, yet working wonderfully as a meal. With the onslaught of tourists expected to hit our city for the Pan Am Games, this restaurant is worth checking out.  

Their industry menu ($35) offers some regular items at a great price. But, in case you’re unable to visit on Mondays, the regular menu prices are listed below.

To whet our appetite, hot bite-sized corn muffins arrive sitting in a pool of melted lime and honey butter. What’s not to like about the mixture of corn, cheddar cheese and smoky poblano peppers? But, that hit of tanginess from the citrusy butter is delightful bringing it to another level.

A large bowl of chopped salad ($14) is brought out for sharing. With all the hearty ingredients, this can easily work as a main. The quinoa and kale base is further amplified with crunchy cucumbers, sweet tomatoes and grapes, creamy feta, then topped with crispy harissa laced chickpeas and refreshing mint. The oil and vinaigrette dressing isn’t overly heavy, tying everything together nicely. 

We ended up getting all the appetizers to share (the best way to eat in my books):
  • The fried jerk chicken wings were well balanced with spicy heat, tanginess and the tropical sweetness from the diced pineapples topping it.
  • If you’re looking for something healthier, the veg slate ($15) of asparagus, cauliflower, fiddle heads, smoked sunchokes, ramps and lentils is plain but allows the diner to enjoy the summer vegetable’s natural tastes.
  • Unquestionably, it was the po boy that left me wanting more. A fat crispy shrimp sits on pickled slaw and is then topped with creamy remoulade, fresh tomatillo and bird’s eye chilies. The filling-to-bread ratio is more than adequate with the slaw helping to cool down the piping hot shrimp while I devoured the sandwich.

Rasa really knows how to make a good salad. Normally, I refrain from ordering them as a main (perhaps it’s Homer Simpson’s taunting, “You don’t make friends with salad,” the haunts me), but was glad I had the Bangkok bowl ($24).

There was not one but two proteins to make the salad substantial: slices of lightly seared black sesame and pepper crusted yellow fin tuna and lightly dusted fried calamari. The tropical salad had tons of flavours and textures with green mango, crispy jicama, carrots, mint and cilantro. This was all finished with crushed smoked peanuts and chilies.

Pieces of peanut butter and chocolate fudge accompanied the meal as the “sweet surprise”. It simply melted, coating the tongue with a great peanut flavour without being overly sweet. 

However, once we heard about the rocky road waffle ($5), a special dessert for the night, the immediate answer was “yes”. The warm waffle had a wonderful eggy smell and taste. The condensed milk ice cream was rich with an added caramel-essence yet light enough to balance the melted chocolate, chocolate chips and crushed peanuts. Pieces of toasted marshmallow studded the tips of the waffle. Overall, a wonderful combination with each element working well together.

This first taste from the Food Dude’s empire was a successful one. My taste buds made their way through the Middle East, Jamaica, New Orleans, Canada, and Thailand. Chef Adrian Niman, dude, you make good food.   

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 196 Robert Street
 Website: http://rasabar.ca/

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this: