Step inside, take a seat in a plush, green velvet chair, and prepare to indulge in a gastronomic journey through India’s culinary history like no other.
Run by chef and owner, Ravneet Singh, Barkat is a modern, Indian restaurant that showcases traditional cooking methods and techniques, flavours and presentation. For Singh, the opening of the restaurant is the culmination of a lifelong dream.
Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Singh’s decade-long culinary journey started after completing a bachelor of business administration degree in 2013. Since then, he’s helmed the kitchen in some of the world’s best five-star hotels, including The Ritz Carlton (Banglore), Imperial Hotel (New Delhi) and even Toronto’s former Thompson hotel (now 1 Hotel Toronto).
In 2015, Singh enrolled in George Brown’s culinary program. “It was great to explore different cultures and it gave me the exposure of western culinary culture,” Singh recalls. “From being a prep cook to a film chef, I have seen it all.”
According to Singh, barkat means “inherent prosperity which produces success or abundance”.
“I have always loved this word because it has always given me strength and has made me happy,” Singh says. “It’s a word I have always used for everyone around me, so when I was finalizing my restaurant, I chose the word Barkat.”
The menu is packed with comfort foods including Mom’s Chicken Curry, which uses Singh’s mother’s recipe. Other must-try dishes include the amritsari fish tikka, which takes traditional fried fish marinated with beautiful Indian spices served on a bed of spicy mango salsa and topped with kaffir lime foam instead of lemons, and the palak patta chaat, a deep fried baby spinach tossed in sweet yogurt and housemade tamarind and mint sauce. “Its’ a traditional appetizer back home and this dish always takes me back to the streets of New Delhi,” Singh says. Between the appetizers and mains, there are also plenty of vegetarian options alongside meat and seafood dishes.
As far as drinks go, all of the cocktails are curated with different flavour notes that complement the bold flavours of the dishes. The Pina Colaba, fo example, is Barkat’s take on a classic pina colada, where charred masala pineapple and coconut water add texture. The Sadar Bazaar is a spirit-forward cocktail that uses Johnnie Walker Black Label, Amaro Montenegro, fernet branca and Earl Grey syrup, stirred and served on the rocks.
Barkat is located at 712 Queen St. W. and is open until late from Tuesday to Sunday and for brunch on weekends.