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Jun 29, 2007 06:35 AM

Mahar Restaurant (Indian) on Gerrard

I rarely see any mention of this restaurant here. It underwent a renovation about a year ago, and now looks much better than in it's previous incarnation.

After the reno, my wife and I ate there a few times but found the food to be too hot and not well prepared and so we decided to take a break from it.

Last week, I was in the area at lunch and thought I'd try it out again. I was pleased to find that the food is now very good. It's much milder and just about perfect. There are many vegetarian dishes, plus tandoori and butter chicken, and a goat curry.

The buffet is $9.95 at luch and $12.99 at dinner. It appears that the selection is pretty much the same for both. Desserts are also included. Beer is $3.50 for domestic and $4.49 for imported (Kingfisher, Cheetah, Heineken etc)

I told one of the owners that the food is much better than when I ate there last year, and he said that they have a new cook and said the previous one didn't cook well and the food was too hot for him also.

It's definitely worth trying if you are looking for an Indian buffet.

Here is a link with the address:

P.S. the washrooms are clean also! :-)

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  1. I find that very funny because my partner and I discovered Mahar when it was still just a hole in the wall and we liked the food. Some pretty standard saucy stuff, but we found some real gems amongst their offerings, the heat level was good (we like it HOT), and it was a good deal. We also liked the people who ran it.
    Recently, we've found it less consistent, and less hot. We've had to ditch our old faves and are still searching for new ones on their menu. Just goes to show you everyone has their preferences.
    Although I am sure we will be back at Mahar again out of loyalty, I think we will try MotiMahal next time we're in the mood for Indian, as I've heard very good things about it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: 11oclockish

      I've been going there for over 10 years. I always found it a bit on the hot side, but after the reno it got extra spicy. The family is still there, and I see some of them every time I drop in. (perhaps you don't recognise them anymore)

      Yesterday evening , the door to the back swung wide open and for a few seconds I saw the whole clan sitting back there. Only one of the brothers and and the father were out front but the rest were in the back, including the grandchildren.

      When were you there last?

      1. re: foodyDudey

        About a week and a half ago. I guess I just got used to seeing them around the front all the time. Haven't seen the grandchildren in ages - probably wouldn't recognise them! Nice family.

      2. re: 11oclockish

        I was also a big fan of Mahar in its earlier incarnation. Vegetarian thali for $3.99 and 3 samosas for a dollar? Hard to beat for price and very tasty too! Their buffet is also good, but sometimes I don't want an all-you-can-eat Indian food experience, especially when I may also want some barbequed corn or kulfi from one of the street vendors as appetizer. My new thali destination is MotiMahal, but I would return to Mahar for the buffet.

      3. My partner and I went on Friday August 24th and we were so disapointed that we will not return. The food was bland, luke warm and contained such a huge amount of ghee that I had stomach problems the entire night. The Buttered chicken was the only dish that had some flavour, but the "chrunchy" tendons that were left on it completely ruin the dish. The Tikka chicken was dry and flavourless while the water tasting Dhal could only be saved by having it scooped onto the Naan. We should have suspected something was "off" when we did not see a single Indian person sitting in the restaurant. On a scale of 1-10 I would give this place a 2.

        1. When i went there the tandoori chicken was WAY in still raw on the inside! wont do that again.

          1 Reply
          1. re: somechick

            I have been going to Mahar for about 20 years. Some of their dishes are a bit week, but their channa masala is one of my top ten favourite things, and channa bhatura is around 4 dollars, which is ridiculous. Bhatura, being a deep-fried bread, is of course, greasy. The onion and mint chutney that they serve with it cuts the grease and it's the most perfect little meal. I was actually thinking of making the 40 minute trip there today! The family that runs it are the sweetest people too, I can't help but support them.

          2. i visited mahar for the first time 2 days ago as i got an indian craving :)


            The chicken pakora was a generous portion, and the chicken piece was quite large, however I was not crazy about the breading, and it was a little over spiced.

            As a main we ordered the chana masala, the lamb vindaloo, and the chicken vindaloo.

            The chana masala was delicious, and the chickpeas were cooked to perfection, almost melting in your mouth. My only complaint was the portion size as it was very small, especially for being a vegetarian dish.

            The lamb vindaloo was delicious! I don’t even like lamb, or meats on the “gamey” side but it really was incredible.

            The chicken vindaloo, on the other hand, lacked authenticity. It was unlike any other chicken vindaloo ive ever had, lacking in both spice and flavour. It tasted more like a tomato sauce rather than vindaloo.

            All in all, I would definitely go back, if only for that lamb.

            1. Reviving an eight year old thread!

              Last night we drove to Gerrard St to buy the last Alphonso mangos of the season. After storing them in the car, we bought some kulfi (ice cream) and walked the complete length of the main strip to see how it was changing. There are a few new stores that are not Indian restaurants, a few closed spots like "5 spices" and even an electric bike shop now open almost across from the infamous "Lahore Tikka House". At the east end of the strip on the northwest corner of Gerrard and Rhodes Ave is a natural foods store which has a sign in the window saying "Ontario grass fed beef". These days, I just don't know what sort of grass they are feeding the beef! As I passed where the previously closed Mahar restaurant was, I saw they were re-incarnated again and open! That's the good thing about being Indian, there is always a chance at another life. So I went in to only have a look as we had already had dinner, and talked to the son of the people who had run it originally. I mentioned that I saw the building for sale and asked how they opened again, he said he talked to his parents and said he wanted to give it a try by himself as he had taken a year off for parental leave. They opened on Friday. It was empty at 9:30 pm, but there was food available and it looked good to me. The menu is smallish, with either a vegetarian or meat thali available - right now they only have butter chicken and about 5 or 6 vegetarian items which all looked appetising, even after I had eaten dinner. It's all food that has been cooked an in the "hot table". They also have a full complement of all the Indian sweet items which they had before. The parents wanted to retire and are teaching the son how to make all the items. I'll try it out in a few weeks.

              4 Replies
              1. re: foodyDudey

                Did you try the samosas, even tho you'd eaten? It's good to have options for "non-westerner price" samosas in the hood. I go ugh every time I see a tiny gourmet/artisanal mini-samosa going for $2 downtown. lol.

                1. re: neighborguy

                  We were out of town today and arrived back around 7:30, so I made a detour and picked up 3 samosas and a non-vegetarian thali all for $9. Mrs fD and myself split that and had food left over! The samosas are very good, we both enjoyed them. I like places where 2 can dine for $9 and there is still food left over. I'm going back.

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    I'll swing by sometime. Sounds good.

                    I used to get their samosas but when they closed I made BJ Supermarket the go-to place for snacks. The ones they sell out of a big aluminum pan at Kohinoor are also delish but they don't get them in til after 2pm.

                    1. re: neighborguy

                      Mrs fD mentioned that she really liked the samosas and I liked them also. It was probably the combination of splitting 1.5 samosa each and then eating the thali that created some leftovers. I'm sure some people would eat it all by themselves but I'm being very careful with the amount I eat. I am just mentioning this as I don't clarify any impression I may have given that the thali plate is always going to be big enough for two with extra left over.