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Restaurants

RaviSoups

Posted by Beverly Cheng / Listed on September 19, 2009 / review policy

ravisoups_soup+sandwich.jpgRaviSoups offers a little refuge. Alas, autumn is upon us again and it's time to pack up picnics and patios for yet another year. As a balmy summer shifts to cooler autumn temperatures, there is definitely a need for hearty, soul-warming comfort food.

Ravi Soups has been creating a buzz since opening last year, receiving awards and widespread acclaim. Owner/Chef Ravi Kanagarajah draws inspiration from his 13 years experience as the saucier and reknowned "soup master" of Mildred Pierce in creating a restaurant closer to his roots. Spurred by the tradition of making "kool" in his native Sri Lanka, whereby family and neighbours gather to make a rich seafood stew; Ravi views soup as a symbol of family bonding and a way to bring people closer together.

But I wonder how an enterprise catering to blurry- eyed partygoers and suburbanites seeking a cheap meal post- clubbing receives such high praises?

Cynicism aside, we walk into Ravi Soups late in the afternoon to find a simple interior occupied by students and nearby office workers. A cash counter up front and a quick, eat-in bar looks out onto the street. There is also a massive wooden communal table and a quaint back patio for sit-in diners with more time to spare.2009-09-15ravisoups_indooroutdoor.jpgAn uncanny assortment of menu items like Chicken Hot Pot and Apricot Curry soup, along with a plethora of perfectly pressed wraps catch the eye. Each item bears a straightforward Western name, but ingredients are inspired from the Far East.

Unaware of the sizeable portions to come, we order two soup and sandwich combos ($10.99). Impossibly creamy, lactose-free Crab Corn Chowder is a rich blend of spices, fresh corn niblets, coconut milk, frayed crabmeat, topped with crispy shallots and strewn with fresh Thai basil. At once spicy, salty and sweet, all of Ravi's dishes evoke this delicate balance of varying flavours.

A Pork Shoulder Wrap with slowly roasted pork, edamame, slaw, baby spinach in a tangy tamarind ketchup is nearly bursting at the seams. All meat served is marinated overnight in Ravi's secret blend of spices, slowly cooked for six hours until the morsels are juicy and melt- in- your mouth tender. ravisoups_porkwrap.jpgThe succulent Curry Lamb Wrap packs an electrifying pungent curry punch, which is muted by generous chunks of sweet potato and stuffed with baby spinach. ravisoups_currysandwich.jpgVegan Porcini Mushroom soup is also miraculously creamy. Blended mushrooms, barley grains and a splash of truffle oil raise this seemingly simple soup to new culinary heights. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options, with substitutions possible for most items, as they use a strictly vegetarian stock.
ravisoups_mushroomsoup-1.jpgOne bite into their buttery, cheddar Cheese Biscuit ($1.50), with its flaky crust and warm interior, and I'm convinced that RaviSoups will be joining my regular lunchtime repertoire.

When Ravi's not satisfying the lunchtime lineups on Adelaide, he's overseeing the completion of his second location along West Queen West beside the Drake Hotel.
ravisoups_crabsoup+scone-1.jpg ravi_backdoorpatio.jpg
Photos by Casey Cunningham

Discussion

19 Comments

DS / September 19, 2009 at 01:54 pm
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Oh God I miss Ravisoup so much. I used to work 10 steps away on Adelaide and was a faithful desciple of his soup from day one, until I moved elsewhere.

FYI / September 19, 2009 at 07:39 pm
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ravisoups.com
they have a website?
Al / September 20, 2009 at 02:10 am
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This place is amazing. Great food, nice people. Definitely my favorite wrap place in the city.
Jay / September 20, 2009 at 08:35 pm
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Ravi's is amazing. They have a Thai red pepper and shrimp soup that's to die for.
Penny / September 21, 2009 at 09:27 am
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amazing place to eat! I can't say enough good things about it. All of their soups and wraps are to die for.
anony-mouse / September 21, 2009 at 11:24 am
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Everything on the menu is fantastic!

I'm so happy that Ravi is opening a second location!
Amanda / September 21, 2009 at 03:01 pm
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RaviSoups kills.
I'm so sad I don't work near there anymore and thus can't get my RaviSoups fix as often as I would like.
shawnamazing / September 21, 2009 at 11:30 pm
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RaviSoups is 2 doors from the salon that i work at (brennen demelo studios) and i recommend it to all of my clients.
the slaw is amazing as a snack (although a bit garlic-y for a hairdresser!!) and the chicken wrap is my fave of all time.
come check it out and their $20,000 tamarind tree table. it's beautiful.
bon appetit!
sunny / October 1, 2009 at 02:23 pm
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Just had lunch at Ravi soup, I was excited to go their after reading this review and was very disappointed. I had a free range chicken wrap with yams and porcini mushroom soup with truffle oil and I have to say it was not worth $12.42. I have had better tasting lunches for cheaper price. Service was excellent, soup was ok and the wrap was really bland, no spice and no flavour. If I’m spending that much money on lunch I expect something with flavour and bit of spice that’s going to wake me up leave me wanting for more.
cvd / October 3, 2009 at 05:27 pm
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Best Wraps and Soups in town!
Van / October 19, 2009 at 08:05 pm
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I agree with Sunny. Had the Porcini Soup just today and I was disappointed not only by the lack of flavour, but also by the lack of value for the price.

Am probably not going to spend my money there again.
Daniel replying to a comment from sunny / November 15, 2009 at 08:05 pm
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If you are looking for spicy you would be far better off going for the curried lentil and apricot soup or lamb curry wrap.

I practically visit Ravi's every week and have never been disappointed. If you want some kick, the porcini soup or chicken wrap isn't where you are going to get it.

You are really missing out if you don't get around to trying the red pepper bisque!
Vara / March 7, 2010 at 01:11 pm
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Just visited the 2nd location on Queen St. W. and I love this place. Being Sri Lankan, I love how he uses our spices and gives it his own twist. Portion might seem a small but its very filling. Make sure you get the wrap/soup combo w/ the biscuit! SO GOOD!!
jp / October 19, 2010 at 02:35 am
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I absolutly love ravi soups. chickenhot pot was amazing. Excellent service especailly in the evenings when its not as busy. excellent comfort food at a good price. i rate it 9/10 both soups and wraps
leila / November 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm
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The coleslaw is phenomenal. I don't know what the aioli they use is made of, but it's worth its weight in gold. I could live on the coleslaw. Seriously. And the soups are delicious as well. Have yet to try a wrap.
Natasha / April 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm
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These are the best soups (& wraps) you will EVER have! I went three times in a row after my first visit. There is literally nothing bad on this menu. I have never posted on a food blog but this was mandatory. Go. Now!
Francis / March 30, 2013 at 01:56 am
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The owner of Ravi Soup had a stroke and died few hours ago. So sorry to hear about it.
hudson / April 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm
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Ravi was an amazing chef. i have had the great pleasure of knowing him in the culinary world as a friend. He will be forever be missed. His passion and dedication to his craft surpasses all of the chefs i have worked for. I miss you soup king!
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