Showing posts with label balinese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label balinese. Show all posts

Pōpa (Toronto)

Chances are you may not know a lot about Burmese cuisine. Nestled between Bangladesh, China, Thailand, and Laos, Myanmar (formerly named Burma) looks stunning, but doesn’t attract the same amount of foot traffic as their neighbouring countries, possibly due to the history of civil unrest. Its geography will give you a sense of what to expect with their cuisine: bold flavours, lots of spices, and a luscious curries and sauces are indeed in the cards.

Since the south of the country leads into a sea, seafood is part of the menu. Pōpa’s village fish curry ($19.95) was in fact my favourite dish of the meal. Fresh fish fillets are marinated in a host of spices then cooked with cherry tomatoes until it creates a lovely slightly sweet and tangy sauce that had us ordering another bowl of rice ($6.95), just to make sure none of the delicious sauce went to waste.

While the curry of the rendang beef ($19.95) looks similar, the flavours are completely different. In this dish there’s more heat, but the coconut milk that’s drizzled on top helps to calm it down. The large chunks of tender beef hold up against the aromatic paste of lemon grass, turmeric root, and shallots. It’s one of those dishes you just want to hold up to your nose and inhale.

For those who really want something spicy, the shrimp kebat ($22.95) will leave your tongue tingling for sure. A handful of prawns are stir-fried with vegetables, herbs, and tons of seasoning. Indeed, this is a flavour bomb, but too much for me as the over abundance of curry powder gave the dish a bitter finish. A little less curry and more water to help melt all the flavours together would help.

Pōpa’s menu incorporates Macau and Bali dishes as well. We started with sate lilet Bali ($13.95), what is described as a Balinese satay platter. In my mind, I envisioned bamboo skewers with small bites of sliced beef and chicken. What arrives are two large skewers that are more like kebabs – juicy chunks of beef and chicken coated in satay laced spices. It’s a tasty starter, just not the small handheld nibble that typically makes up a “satay”.

What I was really hoping to try, made in limited quantities, is their mohinga: a fish chowder that incorporates noodles and a host of other ingredients, which sounds downright decadent. Alas, even with a 6:30pm reservation there was not a ladle of it left. Try and try again, I guess. Quite frankly, with all the interesting sounding dishes on the menu that we couldn’t get to, there’s a high probability for a return visit.    

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2901 Bayview Avenue (inside Bayview Village)

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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!

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