Fat Pasha

The Tig Archives May 02, 2014

Staying ahead of the curve in the dining scene is one of those mildly competitive foodie things that I’m embarrassed to admit that I thrive on. But I do. Ridiculously, shamefully, truly.

When weeks upon weeks of the new Middle Eastern Toronto gem, Fat Pasha, had opened and I was hearing about it from what felt like everyone around me (chef friends, TIG web manager, fashionable ladies who lunch), a fire was lit under my tukkis. I made the only reservation I could get for a Friday night in the shoebox sized dining space that once housed the Indian Rice Factory: 5:30pm. A Boca Raton timed supper, by way of Toronto.

Chef Kevin Gilmour serves up heaping platters of hummus drizzled with olive oil & smoked chipotle, whole roasted cauliflower billowing with tahini, pomegranate and halloumi, and a daily salatim of mixed pickled veggies and unctuous sides — the standout being the (ahem) rapini taboulleh (yes, please, and thank you).

Fret not carnivores, there’s meat, loads of beautifully grilled fish and skewers of shawarma. With the brightness of the flavors and the quality of the ingredients, I have to say it is easy to go all veg here. Especially when washed down with drinks like the Lavendula (a gin, lemon, lavendar syrup & mint cocktail).

It’s no surprise that owner Anthony Rose was able to extend the magic he has strewn down the block of Dupont, where he houses his other Annex neighborhood staple food spots, Big Crow and Rose & Sons. It’s not fussy food, it’s not hipster food, it’s frankly just really really good food. Done well. With great music in the background, and a relaxed vibe that makes you want to settle in to your shakshuka without a care in the world.

My only regret: not trying the Ice Cream Sundae with shredded halva, tahini (yes, tahini!), manishevitz jelly and crushed pistachios.

I’ll just have to go back. Aw shucks.