DIWAN AT THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM

Diwan at the Aga Khan Museum

Driving north on the DVP my eyes are always drawn to the white Aga Khan Museum. Designed by award winning architect Fumihiko Maki and inspired by light, the museum was opened in 2014 and features historic and cultural artifacts from Muslim civilizations all over the world. In addition to the museum’s core collection, there are also several temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Stephen and I had the amazing opportunity to tour the museum after hours with a group of other bloggers after sampling some of the new menu items at Diwan, the restaurant at Aga Khan managed by The McEwan Group.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

Our evening started with mocktails at Diwan, which was beautifully decorated with hand carved wall panels from Damascus. Tall wood pillars and a large square ceiling was incorporated into the structure of the restaurant itself. Weather permitting, there was also a huge outdoor patio with a view of the Aga Khan park. Diwan’s menu was inspired by Middle Eastern, North African and Indian cuisines. Some bites we tasted included Lamb Kofta meatballs with a corn, coconut curry and a Advieh Spiced Calamari. My favourite dish was the Masala Chicken Fries, which was strongly spiced and served with a delicious garlic aioli.

After the menu tasting, we were treated to a private tour of the current temporary exhibition “Syrian Symphony”, which featured work from a few of Syria’s leading artists and musicians examining the recent conflict in their home country. The exhibit flowed through the 4 movements of a symphony with visual, video and musical creations. I was blown away by how intimate each piece felt and how strong the message of hope shone through despite the turmoil and destruction. It was an incredibly moving and powerful exhibit. I felt that the “Syrian Symphony” was easily one of the best thought out and engrossing exhibitions I’ve ever visited at any museum in the world. Another part of the exhibit I loved was the interactive feature at the end where each visitor was encouraged to choose an placard with and icon that described how they felt and add their feeling to everyone else’s.

We also had the chance to walk through the core collection of the museum and spent a moment taking in the crisp evening air outside in the indoor courtyard. For me, another highlight of the evening was walking through the tranquil Aga Khan park and taking in the view of the fully lit Ismaili Centre Toronto. This summer, the Aga Khan Park will be hosting a variety of events from movie screenings to musical performances. Check out their website for a full list of family friendly activities.

Diwan will be participating in this year’s summerlicious with a $28 lunch menu. Reservations have been quickly filling up already and the restaurant is often booked full for the entire event.

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Diwan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato