Raaw Japanese Cuisine

A group of my co-workers went to try the newest kid in the Liberty Village block which was a stylish Japanese restaurant called Raaw. The interior of the restaurant is slicked black with hanging light bulb chandeliers from their ceiling. It's a very minimalist styled restaurant where you feel very zen when you walked in.

We were there to celebrate our colleague Stephanie's birthday and also to sample their delicious Japanese spread.
I would have to say the presentation of their dishes are amazing - with modern shaped plates and bowls to martini glasses with florescent ice cubes in them - we were impressed with that.
At Raaw- they make all their sauces and dressing from scratch using only things like grapeseed and avacado oil which is why they are a little more on the pricy side as this is a labour of love from their chef's hands.
We all sample different things: from a huge plate of their chicken udon- glutenous rice noodles mixed with an assortment of chicken and veggies to a beef teriyaki bento box lunch to sampling maki rolls. Angela the gracious owner of Raaw, patiently answered all our probing questions about the menu and suggested a few dishes for us to try.
Their signature "Very Raaw" roll is 8 pieces of all types of fish including tuna, salmon, yellowtail all rolled together in a colourful maki with avocado, tempura bits and spicy sauce. It's quite a large roll so Angela said that would satisfy someone looking for a quick lunch.
I was very impressed by their "Banzai" roll which came in an illuminated martini glass and was a roll wrapped in cucumber with eel, salmon, tuna, avocado and tempura bits with 2 delicious spicy sauces on the side of the plate.
My favourite thing that we ordered would be the spicy tartar which i highly recommend! We had 2 layers of tuna and salmon sandwiched between temporu bits and sushi rice and paired with spicy sauces- it was soo good that this would be a staple for me every time I eat here and I will come back!
A common theme in restaurants at Liberty village is the wait times and service so we were very pleased when our lunches came out in a timely fashion again.
For dessert we were treated to fried green tea ice cream with a fruity mixture at the bottom of the martini glass - it was delicious and such a surprise for the birthday gal.
Before we left- Angela brought over another martini glass topped with seared mackeral perfectly rare over a bed of ice cubes and in what i would describe as a ceasar cocktail. She explained that we should eat the mackeral and then wait for the ice to melt and drink the cocktail afterwards= an 'eat drink' dish. The mackeral was a bit fishy which made the drink for my colleagues less appetizing- i understand the idea as the traditional caesar is made with clam juice. We decided to name this drink "Tabe Nomi" which means eat drink in Japanese literally. I think it has potential to be a successful dish for those that have more of an open mind and palette as it definitely wasn't a favourite at our table.
Regardless I am thrilled to have another Japanese restaurant open in the area and look forward to sampling more dishes. Oishi = delicious in Japanese!
Raaw Japanese Cuisine 171 East Liberty Street (King and Shaw)
*** stars

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  1. i bet you this joint is either chinese or korean owned.

    what a shame that anyone thinks they can make japanese cuisine.

  2. in your opinion who can make japanese cuisine?

  3. Thanks for your comments! I really love those restaurants that have authentic Japanese chefs and hardly speak English where they have delicacies and even home made soy sauce in the back!

  4. was happy with this Japanese delivery place until the public hair showed up in their sushi pizza.

  5. Went there 6pm in the evening when the sun was going down. The place was so damn dark I can hardly see what I was eating. The dishes look fancy but the sushi doesn't taste as good as they look. Illuminating ice cubes and fancy displays? If I want to see artwork I'd go to an art gallery or a magic show. The chairs were umcomforble, eerie atmosphere as if i was in a haunted house. Check out the ceiling, seems like they ran out of money half way into renovating. oh and lastly, how can I forget to mention about the bill? dinner for 2 people, I think we ordered 5-6 different dishes. Ummm... 90 bucks before tips and tax