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Jul 17, 2007 02:08 PM


My wife and I had an exquisite dinner last night at Amaya, on Bayview south of Eglinton. A quick check didn't turn up any extensive discussion threads here (unless I'm missing it - and if so, could someone please provide a link?).

We had:
-Rajasthani bindhi (crispy Indian okra with mango powder crust)
- Cassava fries massala
-Harra kebab (spinach fritters with cream cheese stuffing)
-Patrani machchi (halibut in banana leaf, with a delicious green curry sauce)
-Vegetable biryani
-Chilli paneer roti
-And, to drink, a curry martini (seriously) and sweet and spicy lemon water.

The plates are smallish, with apps averaging $5-6 and mains around $9-10 and higher. The halibut, for example, was $19.

Total bill for the two of us was about $75 plus tip, and worth every penny.

Place was packed on a Monday night, in mid-July, three weeks after opening. A very good sign, methinks. One of our new fave Indian places.

Other experiences?

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  1. I mentioned on another thread that I was attempting to try all of the new 'upscale' Indian places in Toronto.
    Have visited here once. Agree the okra dish was outstanding. And the cassava fries were fun. Not as impressed with the halibut - certainly tender, but the spicing was a bit 'muddy' - not as precise as in some other dishes.
    I agree it's worth a visit - but not sold yet on whether it qualifies as the best. Absolutely better than most 'downscale places' - which are typically around $40-45.
    Issue is whether it's worth the extra money. Tentatively a 'yes' - but not unqualified.
    I need to revisit a few places to be sure but I expect it to make my 'top 3' regardless of price. But at nearly twice as expensive as Trimurti I still need to be convinced.

    6 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      We live about a 5 min walk from Amatya Room so last Sat nite my wife and I decided to give it a try. We were seated promptly and our dinner started with some complementary poppadums which were totally greaseless and delicious. It was downhill from there. We started with the Rajasthani Bindi, strips of fried okra coated in mango powder. Thet were sliced so thin as to be totally devoid of any taste of okra and the overwhelming taste was that of oil. We also had the squid which was unremarkable. For mains, we ordered the beef short ribs, which was a very small portion of fatty meat on the bone in a very sweet sauce. The meat had not been braised for a long enough time to melt away the fat. The meat was stacked on some carrots and broccoli. We also ordered the curried chicken chettinad, which was a small serving of very dry chicken breast in a nondescript sauce lacking the fiery spicing described on the menu. As accompaniments, we had the dal which wa quite salty and relatively bland, and an order of steamed mixed rices, which for $5 was quite pricey considering the small portion.
      Servis did not impress us either. Our water glasseswere not refilled without our asking, and the waiter whisked away my wine glass without bothering to enquire if I wanted anothe glass of wine. During the 30 minute wait between our starters and mains, he came over to ask is we wishe to order tea or coffee. I noticed that the foursome at the adjacent table had an equally long wait for theiir mains, and this was after the evening rush with only a few table eating.
      When the hostess came to clear our table she asked how we enjoyed our dinner and we responded tha it was disappointing. She then asked what we were ot pleased with and I asked her how much detail she wanted to hear. She said "everything" so I told her. When the waiter brought the check, she was right behing him and announced thatthey had never had a complaint, and snatched the check from the table and told us that she would comp our meal. This was really not necessary as we dine out frequently and we expect to be disappointed from time to time , and it was done with a complete lack of graciousness.
      For straightforward Indian food in this neighbourhood, I recommend Kama Sutra or Jaipur Grill.

      1. re: neville nosher

        My husband and I made a reservation for 7 last Tuesday for Saturday - got a call back only 6:30 and 8:30 were available. Was the restuarant really that busy or is this just self importance? Secondly I read that the chef came from Kamasutra down the road. I have never been impressed with the food there - do you know if that is true?

        1. re: oaktree2

          I, similarly, have not been impressed with Kama Sutra - probably worst value-for-money in Toronto. But I don't think the chef moved up the road. I heard that all the chefs were brought directly from India - they boasted about it when I was at Amaya.

          Also, the style of cuisine is different - Kama Sutra is predominantly Bengali.

          1. re: estufarian

            There was an article in the North York Post that said as much - . It said that the founder of Kamasutra had sold the restuarant and was now opening Amaya

          2. re: oaktree2

            One of the owners of Amaya, Hemant Bhagwani, used to own Kamasutra. He now owns Mantra in Burlington, and brought Mantra's chef, Dinesh Butola, over to Amaya. (Or so says James Chatto on his blog this week.)

            1. re: gregclow

              Mantra on Elm — now deservedly deceased — was terrible. Indian food for tourists.

      2. They are about to open a second Leaside location - a takeout and delivery place on the west side of Bayview near Alex Farm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: embee

          Joanna Kates gave Amaya an excellent review recently. I agree 100% with her review. Quality of food is very high, and it is priced fairly. Service was friendly and appropriately attentive. I and my dining companions enjoyed the meal and experience, and all agreed we will be returning soon!

        2. We enjoyed Amaya a lot. However, I am not certain of how it stacks against other Indian restaurants as this was my first 'authentic' experience.
          We chose the chef's menu ($48). Came with 3 apps, 3 mains, and 1 dessert. The waiter mention the chef accomodates to your preferences. We told him to choose for us and make it adventurous with no limits to spiciness.
          There was an amuse bouche to begin: it was something along the lines of a pumkin spiced shooter and mini samosa. The shooter was delicious but the samosa was a tad chewy.
          Our apps were as follows: Prawns with a brown spicy sauce, a cold pomegrante rice salad, and samosa. The best by far was the samosa. Crispy on the exterior with a moist filling. The prawns got lost in sauce and while we didn't like the salad at first, it grew on us.
          Pappadums were also given to us, as well as a side order of cassava fries.
          The pappadums were nice and crispy but the fries were a bit too starchy for my liking.
          Mains: spicy fish in a mango sauce (If I recall it was Halibut), lamb lollipops, butter chicken--- sides: basmati rice with crisp fried onions, sauteed spinach with coconut, pomegrante raita, plain and herbed naan.
          By far the winner was the tender, perfectly cooked lamb. Everything else was quite delicious as well, the rice was very aromatic. The naan wasn't too outstanding though.
          Desserts were a variety of specialty cookies/chocolate (three types: shortbread, truffles, and pistachio brittle)-- the truffles were our favourite
          We also ordered a mango lassi and a sweet lassi. The sweet one was much better; infused with cardamom. The waiter was also very kind in giving us a sample shooter of the salty lassi. It was also delicious. The yoghurt based drinks were thick and tangy .
          On the subject of spice though, if you're looking for extreme spice, you won't find it here.
          The only problem with the evening was being rushed out after 1 1/2 hrs of dining. We wanted to order more dessert but were asked to leave because they needed the table for the next guests waiting.