We were invited to celebrate the one year anniversary of Rasoï, an Indian fusion restaurant on Notre-Dame Ouest in the Sud-Ouest area. The theme was Bollywood and local PR extraordinaire Jillian Zrihen always delivers a fun night, this one complete with henna tattoos!
We were seated next to an intricate wood carving of Ganesha, a Hindu God, with our favourite bloggers, Day Jobs & the NightLife. We also unexpectedly ran into another friend and blogger, Tanya-Kay. The ambiance and décor are very bright in Rasoï – from the ornate lamps, the colourful ceiling and the decorations along the walls, Rasoï is definitely embracing Bollywood!
Before the sit down dinner started, hors d’oeuvres were passed around. The fried fish was crunchy and served with a spicy tartar sauce. There were also cubes of paneer cheese bathed in spicy seasonings, accompanied by pesto and raw white onions.
Our meal started with two appetizers, one more authentic than the other. The street cart spring rolls were crunchy and overflowing with cabbage, peppers and egg and the cilantro added freshness. It was served with a Thai chilli sauce that didn’t pack as much heat as expected. They were decent but they didn’t wow us.
The second appetizer was an onion bhaji, served in a brown paper bag. Once opened, we were treated to flattened discs of onion fritters served with two different dipping sauces: a tamarind-date sauce and cilantro chutney, both of which accompanied the fritter well. The fritter wasn’t overly greasy and still had some crunch. At this point Diva #1 and Tanya-Kay went off to the Henna station to get their hands all done up.
We had to wait a while before getting our next plate but we’ll chalk that up to having a very full house. Though once we received the mango salad, we realized we could have done without it. It was more coleslaw and bell pepper than anything, and the few slivers of mango that we found were not ripe. Some slices of tuna sashimi were a little overcooked but looked nice with the contrasting black and white sesame seeds. And we never found the candied pistachios that were in the menu’s description.
The naan pizza was our favourite of the appetizers. We were impressed by the amount of fresh figs but we were disappointed that the naan bread was soggy in the middle. Once you got past that, some of the cheese was melted, and some was left crumbled on top, and the figs were fresh and brightened up with the basil.
The main dishes were more impressive than their appetizers which seemed to be more North American, than traditional Indian. We started with the butter chicken. The pieces of chicken were tender and swam in a pool of creamy curry that was perfect to dip in some buttery naan bread. There was plenty of chicken per serving and it also came with a dish of rice.
Many at the table avoided this dish but the Divas will put anything in their mouth and goat is nothing new for us. This dish was very spicy and the goat was tender and rich. The potatoes added a certain heartiness to the dish, well suited for a chilly night.
The third curry was a vegetarian dish of chick peas in a tomato-based curry that was more like a tomato sauce than a thick creamy curry sauce. It was very fresh and light compared to the previous curries. The chick peas were tender and the cilantro added a punch of colour and vibrancy. Our main complaint with Rasoï was when they would make their dishes more North American by using less curry, or adding elements like tuna sashimi, which is not traditionally Indian. If you are craving Indian, you want to eat proper Indian!
Overall, we had a good experience at Rasoï. The curries are delicious and the atmosphere is fun. Before leaving, we were given jars of goodies to take home, one with a mixed Indian spice and the other with colourful candy coated anise seeds. And even though we try, we rarely escape a night without getting into trouble from our dear Sensei. As one who has an affinity for all things Indian, he made it a point to call and yell at us, as well as voice his displeasure for not inviting him. We can’t always be perfect! But most of the time we are 😉
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 3459 Notre Dame, Butter Chicken, Channa Masala, Curry, Goat Vindaloo, H4C 1P2, Indian, Indian Fusion, Indian Restaurant, Mango Salad, Montreal Indian Restaurant, Montreal Restaurant, Naan Pizza, Notre Dame Ouest, Onion Bhaji, Paneer, Rasoi, Rasoi Montreal, RasoiMontreal, Spring rolls, St-Henri Montreal, Sud-Ouest Montreal, tapas, Vindaloo