Rasa is unmissable.
Not just as a dining experience, but literally – you can’t not notice it.
It’s the strikingly pink building on Stoke Newington’s Church Street with the word RASA emblazoned across it. Inside, it’s also pink, but it’s a slightly less luminous coral pink that’s draped over the walls & chairs. Here, they serve traditional southern Indian vegetarian food from the district of Kerela, where the chef-owner Das Sreedharan grew up. It’s been around since 1997, and since then has won a whole ton of accolades (AA Rosettes, highly commended by Zagat, Evening Standard awards, Time Out awards, etc.) firmly cementing itself into the local food scene.
If you’re not familiar with Kerelan cuisine, here’s a brief rejoinder: it’s a port town, meaning that there’s a huge variety of spices from several different food cultures. There’s a heavy emphasis on vegetables, they from more cashews there than anywhere else in India, and they have over 250 varieties of banana, from bright green to clay pink. A lot of that flavour goes into the food here, which comes out at an extremely reasonable price – in fact, nothing on the menu costs more than £7, mains included.
You can expect to find the likes of a satisfyingly crunchy pile of Banana Boli (fried plantain chips coated in black sesame) dipped in a peanut & ginger sauce; or a plate of Bagar Baingan aubergine slices cooked in a gorgeously fragrant blend of onion, coriander seed, tamarind, yoghurt & cashew nuts. There’s even a classic dish – a vibrant beetroot & spinach curry – that’s only supposed to be served at wedding feasts. And for dessert? Of course, there are some bananas involved in the form of a pancake-like dosa with cardamom, or you can opt for some of Kerela’s famed rice pudding, made with cashews & raisins.
That’s unmissable too.
NOTE: Rasa is open now. You can find out more and make a booking at their website right HERE.
Rasa | 55 Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, N16 0AR
Main Image: Lucy Fisher
Looking for somewhere to have a quick drink beforehand? Try The Jolly Butchers.