Foodservice Friday: Fat Pasha

Friday, November 27, 2015
Roast cauliflower with tahina, skhug, pine nuts, pomegranate and halloumi.
Photo courtesy of Fat Pasha
It's almost impossible for a restaurant to achieve perfection. But Toronto's Fat Pasha comes as close as almost anywhere I've been.

We first visited on Mother's Day this year. The timing was deliberate - I wasn't sure if the resident picky eater would like Middle Eastern food, and so I made the reservation for the one day when no one could complain about the restaurant choice. As it turned out, it didn't matter. Everyone, from my mom down to that picky eater, loved it. I've been back three times since, most recently to take Andrew's cousin and his wife visiting from Oxford, England. They loved it too.

What do I like to eat here? I'd never order a meal without the breathtaking roast cauliflower, probably Fat Pasha's iconic dish. The last time we visited, I brought leftovers home, and they made the best lunch I've ever eaten. The hummus isn't far behind, and neither is the falafel, the fattoush or the fried crushed potatoes. Once we ordered the daily special of buttermilk chicken, and I'm still dreaming about it. The sufganiyot (deconstructed jelly doughnuts) and nutella bread pudding (self-explanatory) are both divine. I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

Fat Pasha was named the best new restaurant in Toronto in 2014. It's casual, affordable, and full of enchanting flavours. 

Photo courtesy of Fat Pasha
I reached out to owner Anthony Rose with a few questions, and his answers were as brilliant and charming as the food he serves:

Of Muses and Meringues: What was your inspiration behind opening Fat Pasha?
Anthony Rose: Originally it was Ottolenghi. Then it morphed into a combo of Israeli with stuff my bubbie cooked. Lots of Ashkenazi stuff. Then it all made sense. Kinda.

OF&M: Who have been your biggest culinary influences?
AR: Jeremiah Tower. Jonathan Waxman. Julia Child. 2 Fat Ladies. My mom.

OF&M: What was your most memorable cooking moment?
AR: Cooking for Julia Child and Jacques Pepin in San Francisco. Making Kraft Dinner* with my son. Extra cheese. Lotsa Tabasco.

*For my international readers, Kraft Dinner is the Canadian equivalent of Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Mother's Day dinner
I wrote earlier that it's almost impossible to achieve perfection, but it's surprisingly close for Fat Pasha. The first time we visited, we ordered the milk and honey pudding. The best phrase to describe this dessert is "manna from heaven." Being an avid home baker, I have high standards for restaurant desserts, and I was blown away by this one. You can imagine my disappointment to see it's been taken off the menu.

Anthony Rose, if you're reading this post, let me tell you three things:

1. Your restaurant is my favourite new restaurant of 2015.
2. I would happily eat your roast cauliflower every day of my life.
3. If you ever bring back your milk and honey pudding, you will have achieved perfection.

Fat Pasha
414 Dupont St
Toronto, ON

(All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for this post.)


Tricia Buice said...

What a wonderful restaurant. I rarely find food I love while eating out - you are lucky to have such a world class chef close by :) Have a wonderful holiday season!

Unknown said...

I am so obsessed with cauliflower. That whole roasted one has my mouth watering. What a great pic of you and your daughter too!!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

This restaurant sounds like a real gem Beth. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Wow, that cauliflower looks spectacular!!! I can see why this is a new favorite! Now I'm off to ogle your gingerbread :)

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Wow, that cauliflower looks spectacular!!! I can see why this is a new favorite! Now I'm off to ogle your gingerbread :)

Beth said...

Thanks, Liz!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Wish I could go to Toronto to eat the cauliflower. It looks delicious!

Jemi Fraser said...

Next time I'm down in TO, I'll have to try this! That cauliflower looks like absolute perfection!!!

Beth said...

It really is, Jemi! (P.S. Next time you're in Toronto let me know, and we'll go together!)

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

OMG! I wish that restaurant was here. I am drooling. I like the sound of everything!

Monica said...

What a stellar review/testimonial for this restaurant. I am so convinced...and goodness, that cauliflower looks amazing!! I want to try that very badly. Great Q&A and just a very fun read.

grace said...

i LOVE this kind of food! the cauliflower looks amazing and would undoubtedly be one of my favorite dishes too!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I remember that you wrote about this restaurant Mother's Day. Sounds fabulous--especially doing it casual and affordable. Need an excuse now to drive to Toronto!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I must add that one time when I referred to "my picky daughter" I got a lecture... "Mom, that's not fair. You raise us to appreciate good food and then you call us picky..."

Kitchen Riffs said...

That roast cauliflower looks spectacular! This sounds like a terrific restaurant -- definitely my kind of place. Thanks!

handmade by amalia said...

What a wonderful post, Beth. That roast cauliflower - love at first sight.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Beth, what a wonderful post and the food looks absolutely spectacular!

Marcelle said...

I couldn't stop staring at the picture of the roasted cauliflower! Looks simply amazing. I wish I was closer, without a doubt I would visit this this restaurant!

Katerina said...

I am going to keep it in mind when I visit Toronto! Looks like a great place to eat!

Angie's Recipes said...

It sounds like a great place to enjoy some good foods with family and friends! That roasted cauliflower looks terrific!

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