Indian

The Dish

Openings

2 Comments

Introducing: Pukka, a modern Indian restaurant on St. Clair West with an impressive wine list

Introducing: Pukka

Name: Pukka
Contact Info: 778 St Clair W., 416-342-1906, pukka.ca, @pukkatoronto
Neighbourhood: Humewood
Owners: Derek Valleau, the former operations manager at Crush Wine Bar, and Harsh Chawla, a restaurant-industry consultant
Chefs: Cornel D’Silva, previously from Scaramouche, and former Amaya chefs Kirti Singh and Dinesh Butola

The Food: Contemporary Indian food. The menu includes snacks, kebabs and a short list of mains from the Indian subcontinent and beyond: Punjabi chicken from the north, shrimp ambotik from the south and a handful of Canadian fusion dishes, like beef short ribs with black cumin curry. Naan is baked fresh in an authentic tandoor oven, and desserts are Indian takes on European standards, like chai pot de crème and Eton Mess made with rosewater and sweet lassi cream.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

Comments

The Kathi Roll Express is bringing Indian street food to Yonge Street

Coming soon to Yonge and Bloor: The Kathi Roll Express, a new restaurant specializing in Kathi rolls, a Kolkata street snack that consists of meat, vegetables and eggs all rolled up in paratha (a type of fried flatbread). The restaurant will also serve other street foods from around the world, including Korean barbecue and Mexican snacks, along with masala chai and kulfi for dessert. Kathi Roll Express takes over its Yonge Street space from the shuttered Zelda’s Living Well, and will offer takeout and delivery  in addition to dining in (and yes, Zelda’s much-loved 30-seat patio will be pressed into service seasonally). Owner Sumit Kohli expects the restaurant to open by April.

The Kathi Roll Express, 692 Yonge St., thekathirollexpress.com

The Dish

Trend Watch

Comments

Seven food trends at 2013’s Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association show

Each year, we head over to the annual Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association show to get a look at the big new food trends coming down the pipe. Of our twelve predictions from last year, some were dead on (Toronto couldn’t get enough of rustic Italian cuisine, street food and Mexican flavours), while others were perhaps premature (like our forecast of wide-spread home sous vide cooking and the death of cupcakes). Below, seven trends we observed at this year’s CRFA show:

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

288 Comments

A new mixed-raced generation is transforming the city: Will Toronto be the world’s first post-racial metropolis?

I used to be the only biracial kid in the room. Now, my exponentially expanding cohort promises a future where everyone is mixed.

Mixe Me | By Nicholas Hune-Brown

Click on the image for 10 interviews with mixed-race Toronto children

Last fall, I was in Amsterdam with my parents and sister on a family trip, our first in more than a decade. Because travelling with your family as an adult can be taxing on everyone involved, we had agreed we would split up in galleries, culturally enrich ourselves independently, and then reconvene later to resume fighting about how to read the map. I was in a dimly lit hall looking at a painting of yet another apple-cheeked peasant when my younger sister, Julia, tugged at my sleeve. “Mixie,” she whispered, gesturing down the hall.

“Mixie” is a sibling word, a term my sister and I adopted to describe people like ourselves—those indeterminately ethnic people whom, if you have an expert eye and a particular interest in these things, you can spot from across a crowded room. We used the word because as kids we didn’t know another one. By high school, it was a badge of honour, a term we would insist on when asked the unavoidable “Where are you from?” question that every mixed-race person is subjected to the moment a conversation with a new acquaintance reaches the very minimum level of familiarity. For the record, my current answer, at 30 years old, is: “My mom’s Chinese, but born in Canada, and my dad’s a white guy from England.” If I’m peeved for some reason—if the question comes too early or with too much “I have to ask” eagerness—the answer is “Toronto” followed by a dull stare.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Closings

2 Comments

Aravind calls it quits on The Danforth

(Image: Jon Sufrin)

After just over two years on the Danforth, Aravind, which had earned a reputation for serving some of the most sophisticated Indian food in the city, has closed. Owner Aravind Kozhikott previously worked under Marc Thuet at Conviction and Bistro Bakery Thuet. His father Raj Kozhikott told The Grid that the restaurant’s east-side location wasn’t making sense, since most of their patrons came from further west. Indeed, Kozhikott said he’s currently scouting for a more appropriate spot, and hopes to reopen in the next few months. Meanwhile, Aravind’s Danforth space is being taken over by the brand-new Namaste Nepal Restaurant and Bar. [The Grid]

The Dish

Closings

6 Comments

Amaya’s Bazaar Global Food Bar shuts down—but the concept isn’t dead yet

(Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

After less than a year, Bazaar Global Food Bar, the casual Mount Pleasant restaurant that was part of Hemant Bhagwani’s Amaya empire, has closed. Bhagwani told The Dish that low weekday traffic and high rents are responsible for the closure; the family-oriented concept did well on weekends, but the place stood empty the rest of the week. But Davisville’s loss is Baldwin Village’s gain: Bhagwani has taken over the space formerly belonging to Jodhpore Club at 33 Baldwin Street and plans to open a new Bazaar in the near future.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Food TV

9 Comments

Recipe to Riches reviewed, episode 5: Butter Chicken Lasagna

RECIPE TO RICHES Season 2, Episode 5

Last week, we were treated to a Grade A quasi-villain in Jackie Koh, but on last night’s episode, Recipe to Riches cooled down and delivered just another fairly judged competition. It was almost as though the judges decided to actually critique the product on its merits rather than filtering their opinions through a mean or sweet or cool persona—and that’s just not what reality TV is about. Merit is supposed to be secondary in this game. Perhaps Jesse Palmer could start stirring the pot a little, asking each contestant, “What do you hate about your competitor?” Galen Weston, with his family billions, could surely play the role of rich tycoon and cut someone down à la Trump. Of course, this is a Canadian show, so we’re betting the good-natured, fair-minded vibe is here to stay (the just-announced Australian edition, on the other hand…).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

3 Comments

Introducing: Indian Rice Factory Chai Bar, a new offshoot of the Annex institution (with a great patio)

Introducing: Indian Rice Factory Chai Bar

(Image: Susan Keefe)

The Indian Rice Factory has been a fixture in the Annex for over 43 years. Earlier this month, owners Aman Patel and his wife Deepa opened the Indian Rice Factory Chai Bar as an extension of their existing business. Located just steps from the restaurant’s long-standing Dupont Street location, the grab-and-go café is operated out of a quaint wooden barn connected to the restaurant. Offering a variety of coffees, teas, pastries and a pared-down lunch menu, the Chai Bar is intended to cater to a hurried lunch crowd.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Food Events

1 Comment

Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 2 to July 8

Farmer’s market season has arrived (Image: Kevin Ho)

Monday, July 2

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Check out a double bill at the at the Drake Lounge. First, a throw-down for the ultimate hangover cure: the Bloody Mary versus the Caesar. Second, a watermelon-eating contest. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: A weekly aperitivo italiano with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

1 Comment

Hemant Bhagwani, the chef-owner of the Amaya empire, on where he goes to splurge and save

Hemenat Bhagwani

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

5 Comments

Restaurateur charged for weaponizing masala powder

maroli poster

(Image: ruffin_ready)

When Naveen Polapady, who lives above his Koreatown Indian restaurant, Maroli, spotted someone trying to break into a vehicle, he took action—by dousing the thief in chicken masala powder and fending him off with a broomstick. The thief took off on a bicycle, and Polapady called the cops and gave chase in his car. Just another bout of everyday awesomeness from a small businessman, right? Not quite. According to the Toronto Star, Polapady has been charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and administering a noxious substance (yes, that would be the masala powder). Polapady’s story is similar to that of David Chen, the Toronto storeowner charged for hogtying a shoplifter. In fact, Polapady’s lawyer is counting on Chen’s story—and the resulting legislation from the federal Conservatives—to prove that his client was acting in defence of his home and property. For the moment, Polapady has at least proven that masala powder can be pretty effectively weaponized. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

The Dish

Restaurants

Comments

Toronto’s Top Delivery: three of midtown’s best order-in options

Toronto’s Top Delivery: Midtown

FANCY FALAFELDelivery Time
TABÜLÈ
Tabülè specializes in bold Middle Eastern flavours—dishes with puckery doses of citrus, punches of garlic and fresh herbs like mint and coriander.
What to order: Falafel that’s crisp on the outside and light on the inside and comes with fluffy white rice bedazzled with lentils, caramelized onions and grill-fired peppers ($14). The plump, not-too-sweet square of pistachio-cashew baklava ($5.25) makes a terrific dessert that travels well.
Delivery zone: South of Wilson and north of Dupont between Bathurst and Laird.
2009 Yonge St., 416-483-3747


Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

2 Comments

Toronto’s Top Delivery: five best bets in the east end

Toronto’s Top Delivery: East

RAW FISH FOR TWODelivery Time
SUSHI BAR
Sushi bar delivers well-priced, fresh, imaginative maki and nigiri. With over 200 choices, the menu can be overwhelming, but who’s complaining?
What to order: The Love Boat sushi and sashimi plate for two is excellent value at $46 for nine sashimi, 12 sushi and 16 mixed rolls. Buttery scallops balance atop rice quenelles beside thick slabs of Atlantic salmon and crimson tuna.
Delivery zone: South of Danforth between Jarvis and Coxwell.
701 Queen St. E., 647-351-3138


Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

8 Comments

Toronto’s Top Delivery: five best bets in the west

Toronto’s Top Delivery: West

CUSTOM NOODLESDelivery Time
SWEET LULU
A healthier, greener alternative to most Asian food from a takeout carton, Lulu’s signature stir-fries are delivered by bike courier in enviro-friendly boxes.
What to order: The terrific build-your-own boxes, like Hokkien egg noodle with beef and peanut sauce, come with top-quality veg and a choice of eight flavourings, like lemon grass and cilantro ($10).
Delivery zone: South of College between Spadina and Dufferin.
859 Queen St. W., 416-203-2228; plus locations at 350 Bay St. and 471 Church St.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

Comments

Toronto’s Top Delivery: three of downtown’s best bets

Toronto’s Top Delivery: Downtown

TIFFIN DOSAS
TIFFINDAY
Every day in Mumbai, thousands of office workers get their homemade lunches delivered in stackable metal boxes called tiffin carriers. Tiffinday turns that custom into a business, dispatching hot vegan lunches to your cubicle.
What to order: One appetizer and a choice of two mains are available daily. The fantastic Coimbatore dosa, a lentil–rice flour crêpe stuffed with curried chayote, is an explosion of flavours. It comes with a hearty lentil soup ($11). Order by 3 p.m. the day before for lunch delivery.
Delivery zone: South of Bloor between Bathurst and Victoria Park, plus a pocket at Yonge and St. Clair.
416-200-3663, tiffinday.com

Read the rest of this entry »