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Photos by Jennifer Roberts for The Globe and Mail. Read Chris Nuttall-Smith's full review of Rickshaw Bar here.
As a girl in Lahore, Noureen Feerasta used to beg her parents to let her help in the kitchen. Studies come first, they always insisted, and so she learned to race through her school work. Ms. Feerasta went to Concordia University to study marketing, and took a job as a cook at a Montreal pizza shop. She hated her studies but loved the job. “Once I failed all my exams in third year, my parents kind of disowned me,” she said. She has been saving up for the past 12 years to open her own place.
The room is long and thin, like so many spots on Queen Street. She kept the decor largely as she found it: barn boards, brick walls, Rube Goldberg copper chandeliers, with just a single notable touch, a glittering, hand-beaded and embroidered dress from a momentous part of her life in Pakistan, to make the place her own.
Rickshaw Bar’s menu mines Indian and Pakistani staple foods, as well as a few dishes from Burma (her paternal grandfather’s family lived there) and the East African Ismaili Muslim diaspora (her family is Ismaili). It’s got the modern verve and lightness to bring it into right now.