Raa Uptown Sushi & Sake Bar
4848 Yonge St
I noticed this place while walking to Joons for dinner one day, a lady outside Raa was giving out their flyer with a 15% discount so decided to save it and try it out.
Raa’s previous restaurant was Michi Sushi, they had amazing rolls (tried it last summer). Too bad that they closed down but I was quite curious to try out Raa as their mini-menu on the flyer and the unique black and wooden decor on the outside attracted me.
Raa was lightly dimmed with some unique looking lightbulbs (I believe that almost every single bulb above the sushi bar were different. We were told that they were from universal lighting). This place gave me a feeling of an izakaya, just less packed, noisy and there was a sushi bar. The paintings around the wall was nicely chosen as well, it had personality and was quite authentic.
Started off with drinks, while the guys got the sake sampler ($10 for 3) from sharp, clear to smooth. From what I remember, I think the guys liked the sharp and clear sakes more. While the ladies got the citrus/lime drink that was very refreshing and light.
The 4 of us decided to share our orders so each of us picked a few plates. We had,
The owner of Raa was nice enough to walk around and asked for our opinions. He described the decors and the process of developing his restaurant. From researching on all the japanese restaurants around the area to details of his menu and the selection of his decors. The door was made out of bare wood, the sushi bar was made from walnut trees. He wanted to make Raa unique where izakaya is near the back for those to sit and enjoy their drinks, while near the front, Raa would provide authetic sushi and sashimi. This is quite different from all the other japaense restos around the area as those are never a combination of the two. Raa’s kitchen is also twice as big as the normal Japanese restos, he foresees to increase the quality and quantity of his output. The lighting around the resto can also be adjusted throughout the day to accommodate the ambience and mood.
The menu that we ordered from was basically a testing menu as it’s still trying to test out the taste and favourites of the customers; trying to see what works. We also asked if he was planning to implement yakitori in his resto as that would a great fit to his variety selection of sake and japanese beer, but unfortunately not at the moment but it is something that is on his mind.
After the talk, we decided to order ramens to finish the night. We ordered the raa-ramen and a miso ramen. The owner had also said that he had put in a lot of effort into his ramens and we thought having the ramen named after the resto should be the greatest hit! However, it turned out to be a bit starchy and chewy for us that it sticks to one’s teeth and the soup-base was a bit too salty. We told the owner our thoughts and he was very much appreciated and will look into improving. Then we overheard him offering free ramens to another customer just so that he can have more feedback.
Lastly, he offered us a light sake and some kind of green tea tiramisu cake to end the meal. Apparently the desserts are made fresh everyday and it’s very limited. Both the light sake and cake were so good!! Great way to end the meal.
The waitresses in the resto were also very friendly. When we asked to see the dessert menu, to see what else is offered, she handed us her own handcrafted menu with all sorts of origamis on it! So creative and original!
Overall, I loved this place, the service was good and I liked it especially when the owner described his resto. We also got a 15% off with the discount and the bill came up to around ~$120 for 4 people if i remembered correctly.