Last week, I went as Stella’s +1 at a PR event being held at Barsa Taberna (26 Market Street) right across the street from St. Lawrence Market. Beautiful area and super easy to walk to from King station on the subway. Barsa Taberna is a modern tapas restaurant with beautiful furnishings and a pretty intimate atmosphere. We enjoyed three amazing glasses of sangria each as well as the occasional panelle frites, sea bream ceviche, manchegos churros, and grilled octopus that passed us by. All of the tapas (each also available on the current menu) were really good, though the ceviche was probably the standout for me! We then decided to sit down for dinner here after the event.
We weren’t that hungry after the free tapas and sangria so decided to go with three dishes first and see how we felt afterwards. We also got some fabulous service from the kitchen where Stella’s brother also happens to work and were treated to a few extra dishes.
BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS
coconut oil, lime ginger salt
These don’t look particularly impressive at first glance, but the amount of flavour is amazing! Our server shared that about 1 in 10 are really spicy, but luckily I didn’t have any that burned my tongue out, haha.
four types, housemade and garnishes
It really doesn’t look like a lot, but it’s actually more than satisfying if you enjoy food but aren’t particularly into so much meatmeatmeat. Each has got great distinct taste and the different garnishes keep each bite interesting. This is a great dish for eager carnivores.
wild rice salad, shaved root vegetables, white soy vinaigrette, arugula
First of all, I absolutely adore the presentation of this dish! And the sashimi itself was so delicious. Definitely something I would order again.
channa masala, tamarind water, papadum
This one is so interesting – I had never encountered the octopus and masala combination anywhere before! Stella and I got to try some as free tapas earlier that evening and we decided we needed to have more. I loved how the octopus was grilled.
BBQ PORK RIBS
corn and bean pupusa, mandarin miso glaze, salsa verde, housemade sauerkraut
I think this was my favourite! There’s just so much going on in this dish and it all worked so well together. A definite must-have here.
chipotle red pepper noodles, fried green tomatoes, swiss chard, corn purée
This dish came out to us as a surprise, haha. We were both stuffed silly already though and had a taste each before we had it packed up to go. The noodles were amazingly well flavoured and the dish overall was great.
I was too full for dessert! D: I was impressed with the uniqueness and quality of the tapas here and would definitely come back to try more. There is a chef’s tasting menu as well (choice of 6 for $60; choice of 12 for $120) which I think would be great for a small number of people. Would have the BBQ pork ribs again over and over, as well as the fantastic sangrias. And I would try to save some room for dessert next time!