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Indian in the Annex: Mt. Everest vs. Nataraj

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estragon Nov 7, 2006 12:05 AM

For many years I was a big fan of the Nataraj, on Bloor St. in the Annex. But 3-4 years ago I stopped going - the food and the service had gone downhill, and it just wasn't a good experience anymore.

The other day, I finally tried Mt. Everest, the North Indian / Nepalese place across the street. What a revelation! The Aloo Tama Bodi ("very popular mountain dish," says the menu) was especially good, and the various curries we had were superb

Anyone else have thoughts on Mt. Everest vs. Nataraj?

  1. f
    FlavoursGal Nov 7, 2006 12:09 AM

    We've never been to Mt. Everest. Went to Nataraj about 5-6 years ago, and were not impressed. After a couple of not-as-good-as-usual meals at Debu Saha's Biryani House, we'd like to try somewhere different.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. estufarian Nov 7, 2006 03:19 AM

      Search for reviews on Trimurti.
      You'll notice they start about 3 years ago. At about the same time Nataraj started its downward trend. Not really a coincidence. The guys at Trimurti are the ones who used to be at Nataraj.

      1 Reply
      1. re: estufarian
        h
        hungryabbey Nov 7, 2006 11:43 PM

        would you call Trimurti one of toronto's best for Indian?

      2. c
        Chef_Fu Nov 7, 2006 04:22 AM

        The lunch buffet at Mt ev is far superior to Nataraj. I like that you get fresh naan brought to your table as opposed to the naan that's been sitting in the steam table.

        1. w
          wordsworth Nov 7, 2006 11:06 AM

          Another vote against Nataraj. Mediocre at best.

          1. m
            Minnow Nov 7, 2006 12:36 PM

            Looks like Mt. Everest wins this round. What about Mt. Everest vs. Indian Rice Factory?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Minnow
              estufarian Nov 9, 2006 01:18 PM

              I have Indian Rice factory way below Trimurti so, by implication, below Mt Everest (which I haven't tried... yet). It's coasting on its past reputation and is expensive for what you get.

            2. HarryLloyd Nov 8, 2006 02:19 AM

              I've been to Nataraj only once. over a year ago. I thought the food was superb. highly recommend it!

              Have you considered Xacutti for some fine curries? I had a great dish there the other day.

              Chow,
              HL.

              1 Reply
              1. re: HarryLloyd
                estufarian Nov 9, 2006 01:16 PM

                I love Xacutti too - but much more expensive. More of a special occasion for me.

              2. c
                cwong5 Nov 8, 2006 03:35 AM

                I had the lunch buffet at Mr. Everest when it first opened. It wasn't all that impressive and the food was alright. Maybe I will give it another shot.

                1. h
                  hungryabbey Nov 8, 2006 03:10 PM

                  excellent, i think i'll try it this weekend. what do you reccomend ordering?

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: hungryabbey
                    f
                    fickle Nov 8, 2006 05:26 PM

                    I second estufarian's Trimurti rec. Love the place. Their buffet is good but their a la carte is better. I love the Murgh Saag and the Baigan Ka Bharta. Love the String Hoppers Kottu at Rashnaa too. Yum.

                    1. re: fickle
                      h
                      hungryabbey Nov 8, 2006 09:38 PM

                      where exactly is Rashnaa? and which do you prefer, Rashnaa or Trimurti? I am looking to go out for Indian this weekend (can you tell?) and I usually go to Sher e Pun jub, but really wanna try something new... so whats the best in the downtown guys?

                      1. re: hungryabbey
                        e
                        estragon Nov 8, 2006 10:15 PM

                        Rashnaa is on Wellesley, just east of Parliament, in Cabbagetown. It's Sri Lankan, hence similar to south Indian, and thus very different from Trimurti. If Trimurti is run by the old Nataraj guys as mentioned above, their strength is north Indian. It's a matter of preference, really.

                        1. re: estragon
                          h
                          hungryabbey Nov 8, 2006 11:04 PM

                          hmm.. Im not sure which Im familiar with.. I just usually go for a good spicy curry with beef/lamb.. which one of these does that best?

                          1. re: hungryabbey
                            e
                            estragon Nov 9, 2006 01:44 AM

                            You're probably better off with north Indian, then. More hearty meat curries. But check out the menu at Rashnaa and see if it appeals: http://www.rashnaa.com

                            1. re: estragon
                              h
                              hungryabbey Nov 9, 2006 02:04 AM

                              thanks! I was leaning towards Tritmurti anyways. When you go, what do you order?

                              1. re: hungryabbey
                                estufarian Nov 9, 2006 01:11 PM

                                Hi,
                                Sorry for the delay in responding but I had to uninstall Explorer 7 in order to use the Reply feature here.
                                At Trimurti I recommend the Onion Bhajia appetiser (big enough for two) and try one of the cashew paste entrees such as Lamb Pasanda (although have to admit that the lamb was tough on one recent visit). Also the stuffed breads are excellent.
                                If (when?) you do try Rashnaa, then for sure try a Masala Dhosa (sort of a spicy potato wrap/crepe) and then pick from, say, a String Hopper and/or Kottu Roti. Rashnaa specializes in vegetarian food, but meat options are also available.

                                And I don't 'do' buffets, especially if they have chicken (long story, but the Toronto General Hospital was involved) so can't compare Trimurti with Mt Everest (but do plan on trying Mt Everest sometime for a meal if it's as good as people say).

                                1. re: estufarian
                                  h
                                  hungryabbey Nov 9, 2006 06:41 PM

                                  yah, Im not a "buffet" person either unless its really good.. I would rather have my meal prepared how I want it rather than sit out for everyone else to man handle.. but alright perfect , thanks for the reccomendations!! (ps: what exacty is an onion bhajia?)

                                  1. re: hungryabbey
                                    estufarian Nov 10, 2006 12:07 AM

                                    Think deep fried onion rings with a spicy batter - and at trimurti they're not greasy and served with a tamarind dipping sauce.

                                    1. re: estufarian
                                      h
                                      hungryabbey Nov 10, 2006 12:59 AM

                                      mm that sounds SO good!! alrite I gotta remember all this things for this weekend haha thanks guys! I will report back

                                      1. re: hungryabbey
                                        h
                                        hungryabbey Nov 13, 2006 01:02 AM

                                        so I went to Trimurti and my feelings are kiiiiinda divided. First of all, we went pretty early so at first it was just us and one other table of ONE person.. yet still, the service for taking orders both for food and drinks was pretttty slow, like I kept trying to get his attention and he would just walk by us over and over. But thats not too big of a deal. They served us some really crunchy thin bread (Im sorry I dont know what its called) with a couple different sauces/relishes which were really good I thought. To start we got some subzi samosas (2.95 for 2 HUGE samosas) and they were reallly good, some of the best Ive had I think, though I still think Queen Mother has some of the best.. and we also got the garlic kulcha roti which was EXCELLENT, I mean I could live off it.. so we ordered a couple rice dishes (to tame the spice haha one just plain basmati (2.50) and basmati with veggies (4.50). We all got our own mains we couldnt really agree to share so two of us got the gosht kadai which was lamb with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, red peppers and spices at medium spice (9.50). It was really good though a BIT too thick a curry for me, I like a litttle bit more sauce. One of us ordered the murgh kadai which was chicken, potatoes, red peppers with fried onions and spices, and I think I liked hers better (9.50 also). And one of us got the seekh kabab with beef (9.50) which was done in the tandoor. I tried this too and it was very very flavourful, I really have never tasted anything like it, and Im not sure if its a taste i LOVE or dont really like at all haha. All in all, even though its been a while since Ive been to Sher-e-punjab, I still think I like it better. Though for 85$ for all that, 4 pops and 2 beers, you really cant beat it! Thanks for the rec, I did enjoy it, next time Im gonna have to go to the lunch buffet to try out some more dishes.

                  2. Wench Foraday Nov 8, 2006 04:54 PM

                    Nataraj is still good (we especially like their murgh sai korma, the chicken dish with cream and fruit). It feels like home because it's been there so long and we always used to go.

                    But Mt. Everest is now the better of the two, I'd say. Try their chicken tikka masala -- really complex flavours and moist cubes of chicken. IIRC they had an awesome rice pudding too!

                    1. dannyboy Nov 9, 2006 08:38 PM

                      I'm w/Everest being in the neighbourhood as well...
                      Used to go out to Nat many times for dins but found their curries to have gotten ridiculessly oily. Everest's buffet rules as well.

                      1. estufarian Dec 12, 2006 03:19 PM

                        An update as I finally got to try Mount Everest. I agree that it tops Nataraj, but still put Trimurti slightly ahead - for most items.
                        Overall, I found the spicing at Mt Everest very mild. The lamb dishes also featured rather tough lamb, although it was still tasty.
                        The Onion Bhaji (my standard test for Indian restaurants) was OK, but didn't zing. The batter was a little soggy and the onions didn't taste as sweet as those at Trimurti. It was served on a bed of lettuce with carrot and tomato at the side - not coincidentally an identical presentation was used for 3 of the four courses we ordered. They were also finished with a too-liberal application of salt (probably garam masala salt) - and the identical finish was used on the 'Indian Fries' - which were also a litle soggy.
                        The chicken was a great step up. Juicy and tasty - as good as I've had in Indian restaurants. But the highlight was the Onion Kulcha - absolute medley of textures and flavours. Crunchy sweet onions, well-spiced, wonderfully greasy. A must! The naan, on the other hand was unexceptional. But as the sauces were bland, it didn't really matter as I didn't bother mopping them up.
                        Prices are about the same at both Trimurti and Mt Everest.
                        For the future, if I want more spices I'd choose Trimurti, and their lamb is better too. The chicken at Mt Everest is really good and the Onion Kulcha is outstanding.
                        But tipping the scales for me is the Onion Bhaji - Trimurti wins hands down on that item and so that's still my #1.

                        1. m
                          missmu Dec 12, 2006 06:17 PM

                          I didn't like Nataraj the one time I ate there, last summer. Mt. Everest tastes much fresher, and it's worth going just for the tandoori sizzling platters, especially the tandoori vegetable. I think I remember paneer on that platter (yum!), but it's not listed on their online menu.

                          1. b
                            bellybuster Dec 12, 2006 07:42 PM

                            As an aside, does anyone recall the name of the Indian resto that used to be just a few doors east of Nataraj?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bellybuster
                              estufarian Dec 12, 2006 10:57 PM

                              I think it was the New Rajput.

                            2. f
                              flibbertygibbet Dec 13, 2006 05:32 PM

                              Speaking of Indian in the Annex, does anybody have an opinion on Red Rose on Bathurst just South of Bloor?

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