After Hours: Adrak Gives Toronto’s Yorkville Diners the Royal Treatment

By Jessica Huras

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You’d be hard-pressed to imagine a place better suited to hosting a key client or discussing ground-breaking business plans than Adrak, a restaurant aimed at providing a dining experience fit for deities.

A delicate, angular sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesh greets diners entering Adrak Yorkville. “In India, it’s believed that all guests who come to your home are considered a god,” explains restaurant manager Tatoba Rane. “So we welcome all our guests with our lord Ganesh and consider the guests as gods.”

Adrak’s stunning interior radiates a feeling of luxury, making diners feel exalted. Designed to evoke an Indian palace, it features rich jewel tones and hand-carved wooden furniture with rattan accents.

The walls are decorated with elegant arch imagery to represent palace windows, while stylish depictions of peacocks, monkeys, and other animals are dotted throughout the space, nodding to the typical forest setting of Indian palaces, according to Rane. 

The dining room and dishes have a distinctly contemporary feel, but Rane says Adrak also strives to stay true to authentic Indian flavours, including its cocktail list, which draws inspiration from India’s various geographical and cultural regions.

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The Kerala Back Waters cocktail takes its flavour cues from the region of the same name, which has a network of lagoons, lakes, and canals that stretch inward from the coast of Kerala state. Bar manager Rakesh Mulik says the cocktail features citrusy kaffir lime and orange bitters to reflect the refreshing atmosphere of the area, while pandan-infused tequila brings a herbaceous element that pays homage to its lush landscape.

Adrak's signature cocktail, Kerala Back Waters sits on the restaurant's table.
Adrak’s signature cocktail, the Kerala Back Waters.

Many of the waterways in the Kerala backwaters are lined with palm trees, so the cocktail also incorporates a large ice cube made from coconut water and coconut syrup. “The flavour of the coconut is there but it’s not overpowering,” says Mulik, noting that the ice cube creates a “slow and steady” coconut flavour profile as it gradually melts in the glass.

Rane recommends pairing the Kerala Back Waters with the prawn tandoori, which sees big, juicy prawns marinated in fresh coconut and sesame. The prawns are served on the same metal skewer they’re cooked on in the restaurant’s clay tandoor oven, adding a hint of drama to their tableside presentation. “This is one of our best-selling menu items,” says Rane. “We always recommend guests start off with this as an appetizer.”

The fresh coconut in the prawns pairs nicely with the Kerala Back Waters’ subtle coconut flavour. The Kerala backwaters region sits near the coast, making its namesake cocktail a fitting match for a fresh-from-the-sea dish like prawns, says Mulik. The cocktail’s sweet, earthy notes help to balance the prawn tandoori’s bold, complex flavour.

“It has natural beauty,” says Mulik of the Kerala backwaters region. “You feel the essence of the earth and time is slow.”

From India to Toronto, the Adrak Yorkville will transport you and your clients to an environment defined by rich flavours, cultural diversity, and unparalleled hospitality.

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