Toronto, ON M5V 1M5
The concept for Dasha has been on chef Akira Back’s mind for nearly a decade: a one-stop spot for delicious Cantonese food, artful cocktails, and private karaoke rooms. With a Michelin Star rating and restaurants everywhere from Seoul to Las Vegas, chef Back’s question of where in the world to launch the idea was answered by a partnership with Honeycomb Hospitality here in Toronto.
“The concept of Dasha is pretty much ‘fun,’” explains chef Back. “Dasha means mansion or large house, and I want customers to feel like they’re coming to my home. I’ll cook Cantonese food for you, and you can feel free to chill, sing, and have fun.”
Chef Back’s current favourite, “angry chicken” is a dish of tender pieces of chicken thigh in a spicy Sanpei sauce with Szechuan peppers, white sesame, spring onions, and peanuts.
The beef tenderloin is tossed in a black pepper sauce, with zucchini, spring onions and fried garlic.
Seasonal mixed greens are served in a beautiful tower of baby asparagus, shallots, red radish, pomelo, pine nuts, peanuts, and crispy potato floss.
Spectacle is in no short supply when it comes to cocktail presentation at Dasha, but the flavours are not to be outshone.
The Oracle cocktail is inspired by Ah Sing, the owner of an opium den in 18th century London. Two types of rum mingle with corn poppy liqueur and hibiscus tea syrup for a remarkably delicious and refreshing experience. The cocktail is housed in a bird-shaped glass carafe which is painted with poppy seeds and presented on a bed of fried Taiwanese egg noodle. The piece is finished off with flowers and a fortune cookie.
Jackfruit, ube, pomegranate and coconut meet tequila in the light and colourful cocktail called Halo Halo Mêi Rén.
Solid Design Creative Inc. (La Carnita, Maison Selby, Baro) ran with the team’s concept of home overlapping with the excitement of nightlife to create several spaces that flow into one another beautifully. When patrons enter, they’ll be greeted by a grand bar that is flanked by a large and small dining area on either side.
The small dining area is accented with striking murals and is punctuated by a spiral staircase that leads diners up to five private karaoke rooms.
The large dining area on the main floor continues past the exposed kitchen to a dimly lit area with semicircle booths where patrons can enjoy a more intimate ambiance.
“I think we’ve really tied up an entire experience here that keeps people in the building,” says bar manager Zak Doy. “We’ve created a space where people can have a beautiful cocktail experience, eat, sing, and eat more. We’ve created a big, welcoming house.”