...Raw Bar (Calgary)

Overall - 8.5/10
Food - 9.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10

Raw Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Raw Bar located in Hotel Arts has recently had an overhaul of both its menu and decor to reflect a focus on modern Vietnamese cuisine or 'Vietmodern' as they call it. The interior definitely reflected the modern aesthetic with cool blue tones and the clean lines of the furniture.  In our opinion, Raw Bar has more of a party/bar kind of ambiance and less of a couples/intimate atmosphere, which we prefer when going out for our weekly date night.  However, this didn't detract from the fantastic food.  The food was the embodiment of what modern asian food should be. Every dish had an abundance of unique flavours and contrasting textures to make each bite interesting from start to finish.

Their menu is divided into three columns; seafood, meats and vegetables. Each column is then divided into small and large plates allowing you to craft a non-linear dining experience beyond the usual appetizer, main and dessert routine.  They also have an extensive cocktail menu from which I chose their well known "Derelict", a dangerously sweet mix of vodka, lychee liqueur, pineapple juice, plum & clove jellee and lemon.

We started off our meal with a series of small plates from the meat, seafood and vegetable columns which were great to share amongst the two of us. The squid a la plancha was perfectly seared and topped with nori flakes, a house chili blend and a tart lime aioli sauce. Unlike the usual fried calamari  appetizers found elsewhere, this dish was light, tender and popping with flavour.
The beef short rib steamed buns are another great shared dish that allows you to fill your own soft steamed bun with as many tender morsels of beef, green onion and chili aioli as you wish.
One of the dishes that was a surprising favourite was a crispy taro and mango slaw. The crispy fried shoe string taro root was mixed with a combination of green mango, tomatoes and cucumbers and then topped with fried shallots, peanuts and a citrus dressing. It was the freshness of the vegetables and mounds of fried taro that made this dish so memorable.  The flavours of salty, sweet, spicy and sour were perfectly balanced.
The larger dishes were also great for sharing and our favourite of the night was the lemongrass roasted half duck. The breast was thinly sliced and the meat from the leg was slowly roasted until tender and then shredded. The meat which was perfumed with the aroma of lemongrass was served with thin rice flour pancakes allowing you to create your own wraps.
We also shared the hanger steak which was served alongside a crisp and refreshing kohlrabi slaw. Hanger steak isn't something we see on too many menus, but is one of our favourite cuts of meat when we can find it due to its tenderness, flavour and value.  This particular hangar steak did not disappoint with its sweet-savoury Asian marinade.
With it's versatile menu and sociable atmosphere, we recommend going to Raw Bar with a large party so you can try as many of the dishes as possible.


Post a Comment