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This family-run Malaysian restaurant opened up last year on the trendy Ossington strip. I finally had a chance to drop by a couple weekends ago and am happy to report that I no longer have to make the trek outside of the city to satisfy my Malaysian food craving.

While Toronto’s food scene is known for being very diverse and multicultural, there are a number of cuisines that are underrepresented. Malaysian fare is definitely one of them. According to their website, they “specialize in modern interpretations of Malaysian street food, with an emphasis on Malay-Nyonya (the Chinese influence in Malay cooking) flavours.”

The interior

Soos (@soostoronto) is a family affair. They owned Matahari Bar & Grill on Baldwin for over a decade before selling it several years ago. After a short hiatus from the restaurant scene, the Soo family opened up Soos – Tricia (mother) and son Zack are in charge of the kitchen while Zenn (father) and daughter Lauren run the front of house.

The restaurant occupies a long and narrow space which features a bar in the middle of the restaurant and a semi-private dining nook at the back. The space has a warm and modern feel to it with its fun purple wall paper dotted with lanterns and rambutan-shaped light fixtures.

Soos has a solid cocktail list which includes three versions of an old fashioned. I decided on the Langkawi – El Jimador tequila, guava, cili padi, lime, egg white ($11). I love a good tequila chili drink and this didn’t disappoint.

The Langkawi

Mike ordered The Lochness Mobster – blended scotch, martini bianco vermouth, lillet blanc ($13). He said it wasn’t anything special. He mentioned that there was a bit too much ice in the drink as it melted quickly and diluted the drink.

The Lochness Mobster

My friend Chris ordered the Nagasari – Tanqueray gin, muddled dragon eyes, kaffir lime leaf, sparkling wine ($12). I didn’t try any of it but he didn’t have any complaints.

The Nagasari

The food menu consists of really delicious-sounding items which are designed for sharing. I kid you not when I say I wanted to order everything. As I was ordering, the server stopped me at a certain point saying it was a lot of food for the four of us. She was definitely right!

A glossary accompanied the menu

The first dish that arrived was one of my favourites of the evening, the Reconstructed Nasi Lemak – coconut rice, sambal, ikan bilis, fried quail egg ($11). The portion wasn’t very big (the same goes for most dishes at Soos) but what it lacked in size, it more than made up for in flavour. One word of warning though, it’s best eaten with a knife and fork as the rice will fall apart if you attempt to pick it up.

I loved the saltiness from the anchovies, the runny egg yolk and freshness from the cucumber. Just as delicious as it looks!

The Reconstructed Nasi Lemak

Up next was the Red Chili Wings – shallots, fennel seed, peanut, sweet chili ($10). It was another winner. Sweet, stick and spicy – these delicious wings left us wanting more.

Red Chili Wings

We also ordered the Rempah Fried Chicken – with cabbage coleslaw ($12). It came with four pieces of juicy chicken which were fried to perfection. I loved the rempah spice which gave the chicken a nice kick.

Rempah Fried Chicken

Another chicken dish we ordered was the Pulled Chicken Kapitan Tacos ­– house made ‘tacos’, nappy carrot slaw, Johnny’s tzatziki ($9). I’m not usually a big fan of chicken tacos but after reading some great things about these, we decided to order them. Absolutely no regrets. These guys definitely know their way around a chicken.

The tacos consisted of shredded pieces of chicken coated in a wonderful curry sauce and topped with a dollop of tzatziki which worked surprisingly well.

Pulled Chicken Kapitan Tacos

A vegetarian dish that Soos offers is the Roti – with dhal curry ($8). The chickpea curry was decent but not particularly memorable.  As for the roti, it wasn’t quite as light and fluffy as I would’ve liked. It’s not a dish I’d order again.

Roti with Dhal Curry

Up next was the Sashimi Slaw – daily sashimi, kumquat plum glaze ($20). The sashimi on our visit happened to be salmon. When I read sashimi slaw on the menu, I thought it would have a bit more sashimi on it as it was essentially a mountain of slaw topped with four pieces of sashimi. Nevertheless, the slaw was quite tasty. I particularly enjoyed the fried lotus roots which garnished the dish.

Sashimi Slaw

Now, back to the meat. We really enjoyed the Pork Belly Pancakes – organic pork belly, sticky soy reduction, Chinese five spice, taro root, spring onion ($11). The sweet, sticky, fatty melt-in-your-mouth pork belly sat was complemented perfectly by the crisp taro pancake (made from fried grated taro). Delish!

Pork Belly Pancakes

For some carbs, we ordered the Char Kway Teow – charred rice fettucine, prawn, egg ($17). The dish is similar to pad thai (which I love). The noodles were topped with prawns and served with sambal hot sauce on the side. The noodles were really tasty on their own but that sambal hot sauce really upped the dish a notch.

Char Kway Teow

Can’t come to a Malaysian restaurant without trying their Laksa ($18)! This coconut-based curry consisted of egg noodles, vermicelli, chicken and tofu. It was reminiscent of khao soi but not as rich or heavy on the coconut cream. I’ve had laksa a few times before so I’m certainly no expert but this one was definitely up there and a significant improvement from the one at Hawker Bar just up the street.


The last dish that we ordered was the Nyonnya Oxtail – five spice, udon, baby greens ($25). It’s a good thing our server stopped me from ordering more – this was more than enough food for the four of us. We each took a small bite and ended up taking the rest home in a doggy bag. I loved the flavour of the incredibly tender oxtail, which still tasted great the next day.

Nyonnya Oxtail

We all left Soos incredibly satisfied. While the portions are a little on the small side (especially for the price), the food is delicious. I’d come back in a heartbeat.

At a glance:
• Family-run Malaysian restaurant on Ossington (Between Queen and Dundas)
• Specializing in Malaysian street food with a modern twist
• Closed Mondays/Tuesdays; Open Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm for dinner
• Call for reservations
• Dishes are designed for sharing
• Portions are on the small side but the food is delicious
• Must-orders: Reconstructed Nasi Lemak, red chili wings

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars

Soos on Urbanspoon

  1. Rasa @ This Fox Cooks (Reply) on Sunday 14, 2014

    This place looks amazing! I totally need to check them out…mouth. is. watering.