Indian for Indians
Next week I am hosting a team from my company coming over from India. They have requested that we bring them out for Indian food while they are here. They are really interested in seeing the differences and simularities from home.
I am not sure where to bring them...little india or maybe on of the more high-end Indian restos? Ideally it would have vegetarian options but not be a fully veg restaurant.
There are lots of great smaller and more casual places if you are looking for take out or lunch options, its a bit further but I like Rexdale Sweets in Etobicoke at Islington and Rexdale Blvd. There are quite a few Indian restaurants in Etobicoke and Mississauga area, but most of them are going to be smaller and dingier than the ones downtown lol. If you dont mind hunting and are looking for an adventure I would check out the Indian cultural influence in this area as well. I cant remember the name of this one place but it does Chinese Indian food and is in the same strip plaza as Rexdale Sweets. It's Chinese food with Indian spices. I never heard of this before I moved to Toronto but its delicious and something different!
Rexdale Sweets has a really nice selection of Indian cookies by the way. And spicy snacky snacks. A big box of cookies is quite inexpensive. Their butter chicken is also very reasonably priced for the portion size. If I were you I would also get a big bag of curry cashews to eat later...
Another great place in Etobicoke is the CRISPY PIZZA GROCERY STORE. It has an incredible selection of Indian foods if your folks are looking to explore...
The address is:
Singh Food Center & Crispy Pizza 1729, Albion Road Etobicoke
Based on my recent experience at The Host in Mississauga, I would definitely steer clear of that location. I can't comment on the other locations. Most of the food was passable but very mediocre. A better bet is Brar Sweets, Madras Dosa Hut, or Lahore Tikka House. Atmosphere at all of them leaves something to be desired but the food is great (although as a previous poster stated, veg options are minimal at LTH. Also though it is Pakistani the food is basically north Indian food).
I would avoid little india...frankly I've never had a good indian meal there (and this is from an indian).
For North Indian food, the Host isn't a favourite of mine, but its probably your best centrally-located option. Cuisine of India (in north york) is good but only for tandoori dishes, stay away from the curries.
For south indian dishes, I quite like Madras Palace (one in scarborough, another in richmond hill). Not fancy digs though.
LOL. Trust me if you were born and raised on Indian food, it's very difficult to go over a week without it.
Btw, survey 10 Indian people with respect to which restaurant serves the best Indian food and you'll get 6-7 different answers. Indian palates vary just like any other "aficionados" of other cuisines. I've taken Indians from Mumbai and Hyderabad to Bombay Bhel and they have loved it. What does that mean? Nothing other than food preference will always differ for each individual. I laugh reading all these posts about "authentic" Indian food, when most Indian restaurants only serve the popular dishes from each region. I guess people have forgotten or don't realize that Indian food, like Chinese, is very regional and the food preparation can differ greatly to cater to those regional palates (e.g. Gujarati Shak).
Actually In toronto there are many posers of Indian restarnants alot of ABCDs or I should say CBCD's (AMERICAN BORN CONFUSED DESI)
They have No idea how to cook nor have never been to India/Pak. Like NYC and Chicago Mostly mexican's are cooking our and every other food and the taste has dissappeared. In toronto I'd stay away there are a few places how ever in BRAMPTON! Brar is pretty alright how ever MY fav is KWALITY SWEETS on TORBRAM and STEELS. HANDS DOWN THE BEST SAMOSA'S IN THE CITY AND BEST CHANNA BATURA ALSO THALI.
GIVE IT A TRY.
If they will be here for a little while, perhaps they might like to try a range of places. If so, some of the suggestions already made are for higher end Indian. I know a few people from India who frequent Lahore Tikka House on Gerrard. It's not high end, but they all seem to think it's the best.
Tabla has the best vegetarian that I have eaten in Toronto.
If you want less expensive, and downtown, in a nice setting, I would suggest Trimurti, on Queen near Duncan.
You don't say where your guests are from, but I find that my Indian guests prefer their own types of food, and are not very responsive to the others.
Both of these restaurants have enough variety.
Indians tend to be gracious hosts, when I am in India, so I prefer not to go to little India, although some of the restaurants are decent,(none better than than Trimurti in my opinion) it is not a refined setting.