You Annex-rats may have noticed that the space formerly occupied by the sterile and uppity Goldfish now houses the new restaurant Asia Republik. My partner and I tried it out on Friday night, which I admit, was only because our first choice (Thai Basil) had a lineup almost outside the door. Sometimes my theory that no one will go out for dinner on one of the first really cold nights this fall, doesn't pan out.
Asia Republik looks almost as sterile as Goldfish did, but with more silver than blue. There is some very nice backlighting goin' on, as well as some interesting textile wallcovering (I'm guessing woven strips of bamboo painted silver). All in all, it could by no stretch of the imagination be described as a warm atmosphere. It seemed a bit early 90's minimalist to me.
The servers (some very attractive, I might add) provide excellent and attentive service. However, we were surprised that they took away our water glasses when we ordered green tea to drink. Can't you have both? We were also slightly non-plussed that our veggie spring roll order had chicken in it.
The menu is definitely "Pan-Asian", heavily leaning on Thai and Vietnamese, with the odd Japanese (and I think Malaysian) dish thrown in. We both ordered Pad Thai, which was good, but not great. A bit too kethcupy for our taste. However, the portions were large, and generally well executed.
The crowd seemed to be the typical Annex mix of students, older hipsters and stylish late-twenties and thirtysomethings.
The prices are great, and its worth checking out.
See the BlogTO review here.