In the ever changing Harbord Village area, the new place I had my sights on is Rasa; a tapas style restaurant with a changing menu and a wide range of influences by none other than Toronto’s Food Dudes. The best part about tapas is the chance to try multiple things from the menu all while enjoying each other’s company, making you feel even more at-home. With my date in tow, we ventured through the menu with exciting ideas and fusions of flavours.
The location itself underwent some serious renovations to get it to the rustic, eclectic vibe it now features with exposed brick and weathered wood along the walls that I instantly fell in love with. The quaint and cozy space paired with the below street level venue uses the industrial-like windows and décor to ooze the hip and underground nature of the spot. The eclectic menu and tapas style serving add to the chic make-shift essence of the rustic ambiance that I just can’t resist!
To start it all off came a couple of mini muffins filled with corn, poblanos, cheddar and topped off with a homemade honey butter; so much flavour from such a little guy! Following this came an amazing margarita toast which presented itself as a bruschetta that was matched with a giant meatball. The soft taste of the ricotta balanced perfectly with the tender meatball that housed a punch of flavour without overpowering the others in the combo. Everything down to the toast was mouth-watering! Being one of my favourites of the night, it really made a good impression.
As the evening went on, the main dishes also impressed our taste buds with a lamb and soft shell mix that paired with homemade dressings including their chickpea and yogurt, mint sauces and a beef cheek ragu. The lamb was falling off the bone as if it had been slowly roasted for hours and was a personal preference; putting the pita together yourself only added to the essence of tapas.
Although with filling bellies, dessert is always a must! Their reinvented cereal bowl and sticky bun were our finishing picks. Blowing away any previous visions of the dish, the cereal paid homage to the classic. Chunks of oats and cereal paired with chocolate ganache and a cornflake ice cream that could not have done better justice; every time I eat cereal I will be reminded of the Food Dudes’ tricky and ingenious ways. The sticky bun sure didn’t disappoint either with a walnut praline crust and just a hint of spices that hit the spot and did me in for the night.
Full of delicious food, great vibes, and pleasant memories, Rasa sure knows how to charm me over!