Diwan is Aga Khan Museum’s restaurant where the menu is developed by Chef Mark McEwan, owner of popular restaurants such as Bymark, North 44, and Fabbrica. Diwan’s patio has opened for lunch with a new summer menu and lounge seating.
I was invited to the Summer Menu Tasting Event at Diwan on June 27, 2017 where we got complimentary sampling of some of their new dishes plus a tour of the Museum and its current feature exhibit, Syrian Symphony: New Compositions in Sight and Sound, which offers an immersive, multi-sensory response from artists to the current situation in Syria.
This was my first time visiting Aga Khan Museum and, as I walked from the parking lot, I was already impressed about the spacious surroundings, architecture and a garden which turned out to be the Aga Khan Park.
Where you see the sign that says “Aga Khan Museum”, you’ll find Diwan to the right with its open restaurant concept and big patio. Since the Aga Khan Museum is all about appreciation of Muslim civilations, Diwan is no exception with its interior highlighting the luxury of a private 19th-century Syrian home with its wooden wall panels, hand-carved and painted in Damascus in 1799.
The patio officially opened on May 20, and it’s amazing to see that the sunlit patio has a spectacular view of the Aga Khan Park. What a way to dine! Note though that both Diwan and the patio are only open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday and holiday Mondays, from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm.
The new lunch menu is inspired by flavours from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, and Turkey. One thing I learned about Diwan’s menu is it changes to reflect the feature exhibition at that time. In this case, it’s the Syrian Symphony.
I really enjoyed the Syrian Symphony as it’s a very unique concept that combines both art and music. The music played while admiring the art evokes strong emotions on the struggles in Syria and the mission to protect and rebuild its cultural heritage.
- Related: Fabbrica by The McEwan Group
We got to try seven items from the new menu. I was quite surprised how good the food was. Each dish brings different Middle Eastern flavours to traditional items that aren’t boring nor not what you’d commonly find in Middle Eastern restaurants. My favourites were the Chicken Jalfrezi Poutine and the Lamb Kofta.
The Lamb Kofta was very tender, yet packed with so much meat. But what made it a winner was the coconut curry, yogurt and red chilli that came on top of it and made it unique from any other kofta I’ve had. It’s so addicting to dip with the naan!
The Chicken Jalfrezi Poutine was something I didn’t think would work, but it did! It sort of reminded me of butter chicken poutine, but the tomato-based curry and masala fries brought it to a whole new level. What I loved as well is the masala fries remained crispy despite the curry on top and taking time for photos.
Diwan is participating in this year’s Summerlicious which runs from July 7-23, 2017. You get a three course pre fixe lunch for $28. If you’re interested, you can find their Summerlicious 2017 menu here.
lamb meatballs, corn, and coconut curry, yogurt, red chilli, with naan
Chicken Jalfrezi Poutine
tomato-based curry studded with peppers and onion, and masala fries, paneer, cilantro mint crema
Grilled Octopus with Chickpea Salad
Moroccan olives, stewed sweet peppers, and Aleppo aioli, arugula
Advieh Spiced Calamari
with Aleppo aioli and lemon, cilantro
yogurt and eggplant dip in filo shell, onion, garlic, tumeric, cumin, dill, mint, lemon
Strawberry Guava Sparking Lemonade topped with soda and splash of simple syrup
Mango + Banana + Pear + Lychee Juice
- You might also like: Toronto’s $300 Tasting Menu Across Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3C 1K1