Best Indian restaurants in Montreal?
Curious to hear people's assessments on the best Indian restaurants in the city. Extra special love to those that know which of these boast delivery service. I've been minorly obsessed with Beau Village on Jarry for delivery for a while now (and the sister location on Parc for eat-in on occasion, but the Jarry location tastes better somehow).
Indian and Pakistani, eh?
Let me first declare a bias. Long ago, the food of the Bombay region has been put through a British filter, not unlike the Chow Mein/Egg roll transformation made to Chinese food here in North America. Some people may like this pseudo-Indian food but in my view, it doesn't hold up as authentic Indian food. It is too sweet and lacking in spice. On this basis, I exclude most of the older Indian restaurant in Montreal from any list of serious sub-continental food. I mean the Curry House, Golden, Ganges, Étoile de l'inde, etc. Lovers of the real stuff should stay away.
Allo India, by the way, is a disgrace of a restaurant. As are all of the buffet restaurants. Suitable only for donkeys and unscrupulous face stuffing sessions.
As it turns out, most of the serious sub-continental restauratns are newer establishments in poorer neighbourhoods and specialize in Punjabi and Northern cuisine.
Dev can be excellent, but isn't always. Though, once they pulled off the best Bhindi in town and their paneer dishes are always top-notch.
Pushaps (the first location on Paré) remains authentic and excellent. The family there are also wonderful human beings.
The Pakistani restaurants also hold up. Halal 767 on Jean-Talon is usually fierce and legitimate. Sana on Jarry can be downright terrific.
The best naan in town is still served by the Chicken Tikka stand at the Faubourg. You haven't tasted naan in Montreal until you have tried theirs. Though not exactly legitimate, their chicken tikka sandwich is simply one of the best sandwiches in town.
I should also declare another bias. Sub-continental dishes are better if they are served days after preparation. If the food is too fresh, the spices won't have time to infuse. For this reason, restaurants that see too much traffic are usually serving recently prepared dishes. As such, ironically, Sana was better when it was unknown and serving week old Channa. Brilliant!
Only Pushaps seems to have mastered the art of consistently serving properly aged food to steady traffic.
Finally I couldn't write about sub-continental food in Montreal, without saluting the long defunct Bukhara on Crescent. Who knows why the gods of food briefly graced our humble city with such an extraordinary restaurant! Their Tandoori work was incomparable to anything else. Anyone who tasted their nawahari kebab knew instantly that Bukhara was in a league of its own. Apparently there is still a franchise in Dehli for those willing to travel 22 hours for a meal.
Re: Bukhara. Isn't that the place Bill Clinton dined at when he was in Delhi? Thanks for your write-up! I always love hearing opinions on the indian scene here in Mtl. BTW, the Faubourg place also makes an excellent mango lassi and the serving is quite generous for 2$ and I wholeheartedly agree with your take on indian buffets in this town. Any opinions on Bombay Choupati, Bombay Mahal, Malhi Sweet, Maison Indian Curry, Tabaq and West Island places (Shahi, Kwality and the recently opened Shalimar)?
Hungryryann, I recently tried one of several places on Sources (just north of the Adonis). I am afraid I forgot the name. The Pakistani one, Shahi maybe. Next to an Indian place. It was spectacular!
Then I went and had desert at the Indian place (the next door south) and was also very impressed by their sweets. I am eager the return to try the savoury dishes.
In any case, not being from the West Island, I was inspired by the sub-continental restaurants on Sources...
Welcome! Not sure if you've searched the boards yet, but here are a couple of threads you should check out:
Indian in Montreal (the "definitive" thread - 100+ posts here, including numerous delivery reccos )
Favourites in Little India
Best delivered indian to plateau