310- Soup-reme treats downtown

By Lauren Gosnell

Seinfeld may have the "Soup Nazi," but Toronto has the one and only "Soup Master" Ravi Kanagarajah.

His year-old restaurant, located in the heart of the Entertainment District, is aptly named RaviSoups.

Serving up soups and light wraps that are so popular with the au courant lunchtime crowd, Ravi imbues his dishes with a touch of the Sri Lankan flavours of his childhood.

In his signature Curried Apricot and Red Lentil soup, Ravi tames the normally combustible mix of chilies, turmeric and cumin. The fine purée hints at fiery Sri Lankan spice without ever succumbing to the heat. The result is a balance that is sublime. This rich smooth satisfying soup is one of my favourites and it ably exhibits Ravi's innovation with and mastery of soup-making.

soupAnother standout example is the kool - a seafood soup filled with scallops, shrimp, monkfish and shredded crabmeat. Originating from the northern peninsula of Jafna, this traditional dish is usually made every two or three days with vegetables and leftover fish. Ravi takes this hearty classic and refines it to something like a
French bouillabaisse with a curry flair. His final touches include jackfruit
seeds for a bit of crunch and garnishes of chopped curry and basil leaves.

Ravi put his spin on another home favourite, the pittu. Pittu is a layering of dhal flour and shredded coconut that is steamed in a long cylinder to create a roll shape.

Normally served as a side dish to a curry or sambal, Ravi instead bathes it in a splendid curried coconut milk with a dash of mango chutney. He tops it with a tender, lightly fried piece of red snapper.

Recently, RaviSoups has expanded hours operating hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. That's good news for both breakfast chaser and the more leisurely
dinner crowd.

322 Adelaide St. W.
Toronto, ON