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Jul 3, 2007 08:08 AM

Indus Junction on Queen St. West

This place looks promising. Always hoping for a Masala Zone like place in TO.
Any reports?

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  1. I'm in the middle of a mission to try all of the 'upscale' Indian places in TO (say $75 for two and up). Have already visited Indus Junction and the food was pretty good (not the best - but not the most expensive either). The problem is that the menu is very short and not all of the dishes were actually available the night we went. So lack of choice is a problem - they also didn't answer their phone - I think it doubles as a personal phone - it's certainly mobile, so tough to make a reservation.
    The people are friendly - albeit casual. Ambiance is casual too. But it seems as if they are aiming higher. Portion sizes are also fairly small - probably as they seem to be trying to hit a price point.
    Certainly better than the 'average' Indian place. But lack of selection means I won't be rushing back. But certainly in the upper tier for quality.

    8 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      you should not miss dhabba, but make sure that when you reserve, you ask to speak to "pk", the exec chef and owner. he is not always in the kitchen, but if you want him to prepare an unusaul experience for you and your friends, i believe that he does a truly outstanding job creating and executing his regional food.

      another place i would suggest is biryani house on wellesly if it is still open

      1. re: jj2244

        Biryani House is still open, but under new ownership with a new chef. From all accounts I've seen, the quality has gone downhill considerably.

        The original owner/chef Debu Saha is off travelling, with an intention to return to Toronto next year and open a new restaurant.

        1. re: gregclow

          While I have not tried Biryani House I think you have given yourself a VERY difficult challenge to find good 'upscale' indian in Toronto. My best advice would be to go to the airport and fly off to London or NYC.

          The best tasting indian food is usually 'hole in the wall places' on Gerrard (udapi) or in the suburbs (Brar in brampton and others on airport road i believe). But you won't get any ambiance.

          Most indian food (outside london and NYC) is of the Punjabi variety which in general is adequate at its best. Delights from other parts of india (Rajastan, Gujarat, bengal, southern and eastern india) are rarely available in the West as people from those communities don't get into the restaurant business. As diverse and populated by S. Asians at it is, Toronto is a good example. And if they do they are more interested in the catering business.

          Withing your prices may i recommend Katmandu on Yonge and Nataraj on Bloor. 2 great places with a good selection of beer (not that anyone drinks wine with indian food but if you want wine you are out of luck at both places.) Interesting, both places are not run by indians. Katmandu is run by a Nepalese family and Nataraj by Chinese people that were raised in India.

          happy eating!

          1. re: bcp

            Actually the challenge is being 'answered'.
            Indeed there are some 'finer' places in Toronto.
            And I've already found some excellent places in New York (and Montreal) - so am hopeful about Toronto.
            Have not been impressed with London (so far) - maybe it's harder to find the jewels there, but the average I've found in London is way below the average in Toronto.
            Katmandu I went to once. OK but didn't prompt me to return.
            Nataraj used to be my favourite but experienced a severe decline a couple of years ago. Not sure how/why, but many of the same people turned up at Trimurti (on Queen near University) and that's been my recent favourite (although ingredient quality seemed to have slipped on my last visit).
            And for anyone who's got this far - the best 'quality' (regardless of price) I've found is at Tabla (Yonge & Blythwood) - but I'm still figuring out the best menu choices - and the spicing is (for me) the most sophisticated in Toronto. One MUST item is the Naanini (never seen that anywhere else - although it's really only a stuffed Naan). And they have an impressive wine list too. On my recent visit, not a single table had beer and almost all had wine.

            1. re: estufarian

              I recommend:

              Amaya on Bayview (almost as good as Vij's)
              The Host (I like the Richmond Hill location but their Yorkville chef is good too)

              Its definitely not upscale in terms of ambiance, but Bloor West Village's Banjara has some of the best Indian food we've ever had.

              1. re: ranjan

                I've tried Amaya and, while the ambiance is nice, I found the food to be mediocre.

                There's a great Indian restaurant called Khana Khajana, located in the very unlikely location of Bathurst just north of Steeles, on the east side. The food is excellent and freshly prepared, albeit not the nouvelle Indian that many here seem to be after.

                1. re: ranjan

                  Agree that Banjara is a decided step up from any Indian food I've ever found in T.O. And agree that it's not much for ambiance.

                  But it's not in Bloor West Village – just west of Christie Pits, actually, in a former Coffee Time Donuts, latterly Coffee Tip (!) Donuts...

                  1. re: ranjan

                    Amaya is very patchy. Service isn't that great either. But at its best it's pretty good - but how do you guarantee that? Would be nice if they answered the phone sometimes too (having failed twice to make a reservation - which also speaks to the service issues). And after requesting non-tomato dishes, was served a dish GARNISHED with diced tomatoes! The server noticed as it was being served (saw the instinctive recoil) but then still served it (presumably hoping that it wasn't an allergy).

                    Just don't get 'The Host' - food is comparable (certainly not outstanding) to other places but more expensive - why go?

                    Have driven past Banjara (near Christie pits) - but haven't yet dropped in. That plaza hasn't impressed me in the past (Ajuker Chicken etc), despite some good reviews here.

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            1. I actually had a meal here when it first opened in June, I think...

              It wasn't too bad. We normally eat at Dhaba on King but some friends who live in the neighborhood wanted to check it out. I think it is run by two sisters. If I recall this correctly I had: a paneer type app, a chicken main & rice pudding for dessert. I chased it with a chai coffee.

              My SO was disappointed because he found the portions meagre - 1/2 a chicken breast and a 3 bite app. This was during their prix fix menu phase - I haven't been back there and so I am not sure if the portion size was due to the "special pricing"

              My belly isn't so big so I found it just enough food. The spicing was actually pretty good and thoughtful. It was very flavourful all the way through the meal. Did it knock my socks off? No - but I definitely thought it was a very nice meal.