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Nov 28, 2007 12:08 PM

Best Indian restaurant toronto suggestions??

Hi I am taking friends who love indian food out -where should we go??

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  1. Here's a recent thread on the topic:

    My personal favourite is Little India.

    Little India
    255 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z4, CA

    1. The best Indian food I've had recently was at Tabla, on Yonge, south of Lawrence. Delicious sauces, not as homogeneous as most Indian restos in TO. Service was great. Nice restaurant. Highly recommend it.

      1. I must say that hands down our new favourite is BANJARA on Bloor Street West just next to Christie ...check it our on this board...response has been really positive,,,they did have some 'service' problems in the beginning but they seem to have overcome them. It'll be a long time before Gerrard Street sees us again.

        8 Replies
        1. re: pearlD

          Banjara is cheap and filling. But the food is definitely below that served at Tabla (for more money).
          So depends on whether you're driven by price or quality - there's a place for both.

          1. re: estufarian

            I haven't been to Tabla...but I sure wouldn't call Banjara cheap and filling. I am driven by good tasting food period. In that regard I consider Banjara to meet the standards of my taste.

            1. re: pearlD

              Pearl, I have to agree with Estufarian...I am fond of Banjara, my husband and I have been 3 times now and will go again fro a FRidayn cheap and cheerful, but the place is definitely lacking in ambiance. Food CAN be great, but if you get there on a a night they are also doing a wedding or other big catering event from the kitche, you take your chances.

              1. re: pearlD

                Hi Pearl,
                My last visit to Banjara, the rice was overcooked to the point of mushy; the vegetables in the several dishes were similarly overcooked (specifically cauliflower) and the sauce used for different dishes was essentially the same (even though one was supposed to be a cashew-based sauce).
                The overall taste and spicing was pretty good - especially at that price point. But the 'quality' of the ingredients reflected the price charged.
                NOTE: Many Indian places similarly use a 'one sauce fits all' approach, with a few additions to complete each dish. It takes time to prepare Indian sauces and this "short-cut" is a cost-effective measure. But it results in an 'all-tastes the same' cuisine. Great if you always order the same dish - but just doesn't work if one desires defined flavours. I'm not 'harshly' criticising Banjara - it's the reality at many Indian places. I'm fortunate enough now to be able to afford to pay the extra. In my student and early-working days Banjara would have been perfect - tasty and filling. Good, solid but if you pay more you can get more defined sauces and spicing.
                A bit more upscale (in terms of price) is Trimurti (on Queen west of University). Their servings are smaller than Banjara, but the sauces show much more variation. Their Pasanda (almost the same description as the Korma at Banjara) is a totally different experience. My overall reaction to Banjara was that anybody who likes Butter Chicken could order anything off the menu and like it - it's all the same basic sauce.

                1. re: estufarian

                  Price is simply not an issue, I too, could go anywhere I please BUT I/we like has a friendly vibe, we have never had a problem with tastes 'homey' to me which is what I want... I don't want 'high end' food when I'm eating Indian food. I want high end when eating at Scaramouche/Auberge du Pommier. I do not agree with you when you state it all tastes the same...perhaps we're coming at this subject from two different 'palates'. I actually feel the same about Japanese...I want fresh, I don't care if my plate is decorated by a designer...I guess what I am saying is that yes, I can appreciate 'high end' in Ethnic food but basically it's not what I'm going to a 'neighbourhood restaurant' is not 'dining by any stretch. What it is, is, Fresh, Tasty, Hot when it's supposed to be and Cold if that's what it's supposed to be and served in a timely manner. If it's an upscale experience I'm after I'll certainly remember your suggestions of other places, thanks.

                  1. re: pearlD

                    Fair enough!
                    If we all liked the same places I wouldn't be able to get a reservation!

                    1. re: pearlD

                      Though isn't price always an issue when doing an "apples to Apples" comparison??

                      1. re: lowchen

                        I don't think so.........Hey you can buy Apples in No Frills, Loblaws. Harvest Wagon et al can also buy them at Pusateri.
                        The post(from my viewpoint) really refers to neighbourhood eateries as opposed to 'high end'. I am more than satisfied with Banjara when we go there...but, if I want an evening with a more 'refined' taste I will choose something other than Banjara.
                        As 'estufarian' has pointed out we would be pretty crowded in a restaurant if we all chose the same place whatever the reason/price.

            2. I like The Host, on Prince Edward near Bloor and St. George. Never been to Tabla or Banjara - maybe I should go to compare.

              2 Replies
              1. re: gps_shag

                I LOVE the food at The Host, but did you find the service to be a problem at all?

                We went once on a slow Tuesday evening and had wonderful, if rather over-enthusiastic service. The we came on a Saturday and found it a real challenge just to get the waiter's attention and waited FOREVER for the bill. Finally, on a Friday evening, with a reservation we were made to wait for 1/2 hour, then after being seated and having a drink served, we were asked to move so they could accomodate a big table right beside us. My husband, who has no patience with this sort of thing, said, 'just cancel our order and bring the bill'. That was that for him...I may go again with girlfriends on a slow night just because the food is so good...but that kind of erratic approach to service is not good enough for a cosy dinner.

                1. re: LJS

                  Hmmm... never had any problem with service. Then again, for whatever reason, whenever I've gone it's always been pretty empty.

                  I've never had a problem getting the bill in any restaurant - if you start to wait too long, just pretend to get up to leave, or start to head towards the door, making sure you tell them or they see you. You'll get their attention, and right quick. ;P

              2. The original comment has been removed