There’s nothing more fun than karaoke and cocktails on a Friday night. DASHA checks those two boxes handily and ups the ante with an incredibly memorable dining experience. The concept behind DASHA is simple, come with friends, have fun and be sure to share on socials.
It’s almost impossible not to whip out your phone for the ‘gram here, and the folks behind DASHA have the look down pat. Honeycomb Hospitality specializes in this rare one-and-done breed of a big night out in Toronto with Baro, Petty Cash and Mister Wolf all under their mega-portfolio. Good honest fun pairs well with neon signs and gold-rimmed, or giant punchbowl cocktails.
FIRST WE DINE, AND THEN WE SHINE, THE DASHA METHOD OF A GOOD TIME
There’s a buzz in the air in the massive King Street West space, and it’s not the neon signage flanking the secret entrance around the back. A dramatic bar greets you upon entry, flanked by a massive birdcage staircase. An open kitchen faces the banquettes and restaurant space. Upstairs are the signature karaoke rooms. Whether you rock the mic or not, each of these rooms channels a vibe and is impressive in each of their designs.
AN ECLECTIC MENU BEFITTING OF THE EXQUISITE SPACE
Monday to Friday types flock for the Dim Sum and Chill feature menu. Special drink and food features offer good value and encourage the happy hour feel. With ample room on the covered patio, a private dining room with its own bar and generous seating indoors, DASHA is accessible, by King Street West standards.
And the service is friendly and genuine. This part of town gets a bad rep for snobby (and egregious) behaviour but the Honeycomb hive mind beats to a different drum. Staff linger and chat between courses and ensure every dish is up to snuff.
Plates are pretty, well-portioned and dramatic. There’s a sense of pride for the team, and this new menu delivers. Leaning on Asian-inspired plates with a playful approach, favourites include the Crispy Lobster Tacos ($28). Fresh and tender Atlantic lobster gets the all-star treatment, and rightly so. The lobster is stuffed into a super crispy shell and seasoned with the bare necessities. A simple squeeze of lime lets this dish shine.
The Black Dragon Dumpling ($18) brings pork and ginger together in one tasty bite. A truffle essence brings a distinct King St flex, amplified by the dramatic black bundles and more edible gold flakes. The accompanying truffle sauce is downright drinkable.
Limited in supply, the local halal Peking Duck ($120) with all the accoutrements is a showstopper. Seasoned and roasted in the traditional hung method before sliced by hand and artfully arranged, the duck highlights the pedigree of Chef Hans Vogel. He’s not afraid to experiment, using premium ingredients to channel a modern approach to traditional Chinese dishes.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE AT THIS PREMIUM BAR
DASHA sets the tone for an energetic night out. With a whopping 9,000 square feet acting as your palace, you can spend your evening with friends here without bouncing to the next bar. Start on the patio for happy hour, fold into the bar for a pre-dinner drink, grab a banquette for a feast and then let it all go in a private karaoke room.
DASHA accepts reservations on OpenTable.
All images by Libby Roach.