A Fresh Breath For SARA
The first chapter has been one of beauty and discovery, as guests immerse themselves in the presence of the moment.
January 4, 2019
SARA was born in the dish pit of RASA, our first restaurant. The dish pit is the heart of the kitchen, the nexus of rejuvenation and discourse. Suds fly, glass shimmers and opinions unfurl from a myriad of mouths and mindsets. It’s a place where ideas further our collective vision, and where future realities are conjured. SARA would provide a visual juxtaposition to RASA, while embracing the ethos of “Tabula Rasa”, our original guiding light. Years of immeasurable focus and grit later, SARA has taken her first breath, as a new home for culinary transcendence.
When RASA first opened in 2014, we envisioned a space where food would be the focal point, with hearty design and attentive service complementing the menu. What we didn’t anticipate was the ceiling of our own capacity and thus, even as RASA grew into a dependable and influential restaurant, we knew that a more pure embodiment of our vision was attainable. SARA was conceived as a companion to RASA; the sleeker, sophisticated older sister to RASA’s bold, grittier concept.
Designed by the multi-disciplinary Spanish/Canadian firm ODAMI, SARA is smooth and streamlined. The food, cocktails and service mirror the minimalist design of the space and work together to bring the “blank slate” concept to life. The clarity of SARA’s purpose has enhanced RASA’s identity in the process, revealing the strengths of RASA’s less refined approach. This give-and-take relationship tells a sibling love story that’s still being written.
SARA’s first chapter has been one of beauty and discovery, as guests immerse themselves in the presence of the moment and the company with whom they dine. The elegance of ODAMI’s work, transforming a Victorian house into a stark cathedral, is enhanced by a clever bit of design: a port built into each able to house mobile devices during the meal. Nudged to disconnect from the digital world in pursuit of deeper connection with one another, guests enjoy an immediacy of experience with their surroundings. And that’s before they’ve even looked at the menu.
The food at SARA, inspired by the world travels of the chefs behind RASA and The Food Dudes, represents refinement, growth, and a kitchen founded on integrity. With a primary focus on Asian ingredients, which compliments an adaptation of Japanese methods and restaurant culture, a concentrated approach to each dish leads to explosive bursts of flavour with rich textural contrasts. Categorized by small dishes, dumplings, robata and sweets, the menu is the result of a chef team obsessed with patience and a quest for perfection. Multiple flavour profiles are explored with every visit, while ample vegetarian offerings balance the seafood and meat dishes, creating a varietal experience for every guest.
From the ethereal air of SARA’s idyllic setting to the fervent intent behind each bite, the attention and concentration of guests is centred on presence. Now off and running as its own living, breathing entity, SARA is succeeding at slowing down the moments people share over their meal, and at fostering a celebratory feeling with every encounter. As patrons enhance their dining journey with deepened social connectivity, a new dish pit bubbles with life and even newer ideas. The only question remaining: which one will be birthed next?
Located at 98 Portland Street, SARA is open for Dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 5:30pm to 11pm, for Lunch Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 3pm, and for the new Prix Fixe Journey menu Mondays from 5:30pm to 11pm. For reservations, please call 416-985-5721 or visit SARA’s bookenda page.