Walking past Tamarind's modern counter-service eatery within Brookfield Place, home of the Hockey Hall of Fame and near the Air Canada Centre and Sony Centre of Performing Arts, you're likely to get a whiff of coriander, cumin, turmeric, and ginger?the telltale aromas of an authentic Indian restaurant. But, thanks to the chefs' active imaginations, you're likely to notice other scents as well. Jamaican jerk spices, for instance, which put the kick in a recent mango jerk chicken special. Or the spicy aroma of piri piri sauce, the chili-based dressing popular in Mozambique that played a role in a piri piri fish dish. These exotic variations on familiar flavors rotate each month, giving newcomers a reason to stop by and regulars a reason to return. To accompany both the traditional dishes?scratch-made curries, biryani, and convenient wraps and kebabs?and the innovative specials, freshly baked naan bread bearing tantalizing bubbles and zero tan lines emerges from the blazing tandoor throughout the day.
In Kothur Indian Cuisine’s neat and unpretentious dining room, where simply framed artwork dots the walls, the focus remains on rich, fragrant Indian dishes. From the kitchen, ceramic and copper dishes emerge, piled high with chicken, fish, and shrimp cooked in the traditional tandoori oven, as well as South Indian–style dosas, or rice-batter crepes. The extensive menu features a wide range of meat and vegetarian entrees, from classic chicken tikka masala to mutter paneer made with fresh Indian cheese.
The expansive menu of Kabab & Curry caters to a wide range of culinary preferences by presenting a variety of vegetarian dishes and allowing guests to customize the spiciness of their dishes by choosing mild, medium, spicy, or "I Promised Myself I Wouldn't Cry." The welcoming staff prides itself on cooking fine Indian and Pakistani dishes in addition to providing attentively affable customer care amid an environment that exudes a warmth to match the eatery?s cuisine. Since the crafting of curry incorporates myriad spices, the eatery boasts a curry unique to its establishment that can be prepared with meat or vegetarian ingredients. Traditional tandoori dishes as well as chicken, lamb, beef, and seafood entrees fill out the bulk of the menu, and a selection of lentil cr?pes, naan, and savory soups longs for the chance to win Best Supporting Actor or Dish. The restaurant also performs catering services, a more responsible way to deliver its cuisine than putting the building on a flatbed truck every time it gets an order.
The aromas of North Indian cuisine draw passersby into Jewel of India’s brick-lined doorway, leading them toward tables topped with saffron-colored linens. Here, they can dive into more than 100 traditional Indian dishes, including crispy pakoras, spicy vindaloos, and seafood baked in a tandoor clay oven. Like the forecasts of an easily bribable weatherman, entrees can be ordered with one of five heat levels: mild, medium, spicy, X, or hot. Raisins stud many dishes, adding bursts of juicy sweetness to lamb makhani and vegetable biryani. Brimming with chicken tikka, boti kebabs, sautéed peppers, and fresh-baked naan, the Jewel of India specials can feed an entire family in the dining room or fuel an off-site party thanks to the restaurant’s catering service.
Chefs at Palace of Dosas work under the ahimsa theme of non-violence to the environment, other beings, and themselves when they fill their menu with vegetarian and vegan Southern Indian cuisine. They spread crepe batter over griddles to craft bases for their 20 different varieties of dosas. The long, thin paper dosas and the butter sada dosas are as rich as a millionaire or someone who got in on the ground floor of the industry that writes about millionaires. They also prepare utthappam, Indian-style pizza with rice and lentil-flour bases and onion and pea toppings. Yogurt-based mango lassis and madras coffee add to the comfort imparted by cushioned booths and a plant-rich dining room.
The heart of any Indian kitchen?the clay oven?is the main cooking source at Delhi Chaat. The oven (also known as a tandoor) reaches temperatures of 800-degrees, allowing it to quickly and perfectly cook morsels of chicken, lamb, and shrimp that have been marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic, and exotic spices. The result: sizzling entrees packed full of flavor. The oven also produces freshly-baked naan, roti, and other breads (more than 15 varieties, in fact), perfect for scooping up mouthfuls of curry or fanning the face of a spicy food-loving dining companion. When they aren't manning the oven, chefs stay busy simmering lentils and vegetables in creamy tomato sauce and cashew paste, or by concocting the restaurant's sweet desserts, including pastry balls drizzled in syrup and rice pudding peppered with raisins.