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Indian Kiss leaves you breathless!

I ran across a fantastic gem in the Junction called Indian Kiss. They're doing strictly take-out with the option to call ahead so they can have your dinner ready when you arrive.

Fabulous fresh flavors, homemade yogurt and a to--die-for mango lassi. Butter chicken, the chef's specialty, is bright, fresh and rich. Their entire menu is focused on healthy eating: nothing deep-fried, nothing oily and the meat is lean and well-trimmed!

Hands down the best Indian cuisine in the west end! I can't wait to go back.

Indian Kiss (416) 769-KISS

399 Keele Street (NE corner of Keele and Dundas)

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  1. How can butter chicken not be oily?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Humbucker

      I promise you...it's rich, fully decadent and not the slightest bit oily.

      1. re: Humbucker

        The basis for Butter Chicken is a tomato cream sauce, and spices, had lunch at Exotic Indian Cuisine on Friday and there was absolutely no hint of oil in dish!

      2. I've been wondering about this place but it seemed to be boarded shut for awhile. Glad to heat it's opened and I will definitely try it out. Thanks.

        1. Do they do delivery or takeout?

          1. What are the portion sizes like? Seems a bit expensive for the meat dishes. But if the portions are good, then it might be worth it. Find High Park Hot Spicy House has small portions as a comparison.

            1. I took a look at their menu on-line. I was expecting the lower overhead of being take-out only and located at Keele and Dundas would be reflected in their prices. Boy, was I wrong! All things considered, they're grossly overpriced at any portion size. For example "Steamed Rice: Aged Basmati Rice steamed to perfection. 3.95" And no biryani!!! No dice.

              Mihaela can you tell us what your other favourite places in the Junction are and the other Indian restos you like, just for the sake of context? Maybe tell us about the dishes you've had at the other places too? As a new CH'er you're bound to run into others who have been where you've been.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Googs

                My favorite Indian restos: Biryani House at Wellesley subway station, Little India on Queen St for excellent price/quality, great buffet at Chef of India, I had a fish curry to die for at Babur, been to many Indian restaurants in Mississauga, Toronto, Oakville, Little India...but I always rely on advise and recommendations from close Indian friends as I am def not an expert in Indian food. This is the first place I tried in the Junction, I moved here recently, and I liked it. I found it a bit pricey, too, but what we had (1 butter chicken, 2 naans) would have been enough for 3 people.
                Speaking about Indian friends, one of them was telling me last week that he found an amazing Indian restaurant where the food is so similar to what his grandmother used to cook for him that he had a regressive experience to his childhood in a village in Kerala!
                I will post with info soon, promise !

                1. re: Mihaela

                  what else have you tried there that you would recommend?
                  thanks.

                2. re: Googs

                  "I took a look at their menu on-line."

                  Googs, can you please post the link to their web site? Google can not find it.

                  Thanks.

                  1. re: blue bike

                    http://www.indiankiss.ca/Menu.html

                3. Well, after all this back and forth I had to go try it out.

                  I didn't know what to expect about the appearance of the place itself given the neighbourhood (Half-gentrified, half-old dirt Junction). When I walked in I have to admit I was surprised. Very nicely done out for a take-out place, clean and modern with some paintings on the walls and some very comfy chairs and a sofa. Don't know if they were leather, but they looked like it.

                  But really, the place smelled good when I went in. Didn't smell like old oil or the ghosts of ten thousand curries, it smelt really good. Maybe they do roast their own spices there.

                  I ordered the palaak paneer (spinach and paneer) and a naan. Sat down in a comfy chair and yes, it was comfy. Waited for fifteen-twenty minutes and my takeout was presented to me with the paneer container inside a chic clear plastic bag.

                  When you read this, remember that it reflects fifty minutes of transit time before I actually got to open and eat. I don't know any take-out that handle fifty minutes gracefully, and in this case I got dreaded spinach leakage. But the plastic bag saved my clothing. Which is nice.

                  The actual food itself was very good. The spinach mixture was thick and rich without being oily. Some sweetness from the spinach, a hint of bitterness, a hint of heat. The paneer squeaked as I bit into them, which made me feel like an eight year old as I ate my food. Squeaking paneer might be my new standard for paneer because these were firm without being chewy. I also enjoyed them.

                  The naan was a decent size, as noted before. Perhaps it suffered the fifty minutes the most, but it had a lot of things I like in a naan. A good blistered char on parts of it, a stretchable consistency when I pulled on it. Maybe the steam had made it a bit too chewy, but then I ate it all and enjoyed it, so this is a minor quibble.

                  I didn't fish the spinach out of the plastic bag to eat it, but I did consider it briefly.

                  So, portion size was to me, large. This almost filled up one of those aluminum bowls similar to something you get from Chinese take-out places. I've paid around $11.95 for this kind of dish in a sit-down Indian place and gotten a metal teacup worth of serving. I could see how you could get two or three meals out of this, but I shamelessly hoovered the whole thing down. And yes, they did not skimp on the paneer.

                  I will return again, but maybe next time I would look for a nearby park. Now, if they could open a branch next to the Monarch Tavern, I could get take-out and then pair it with some beer. That would be foodie heaven for me.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Pincus

                    I went last week and ordered the butter chicken, and the chicken tikka masal meal (which was supposed to come with raita, but I guess they forgot). Overall, the quality was just good. I only live a 5 minute drive away, so I don't think the quality would have degraded very much. The butter chicken was less oily then at other spots, and honestly quite good, but not for almost $16. The naan was actually somewhat disappointing, a little more dense than I prefer. All in all, I think I will probably give them another shot, but not return regularly unless prices drop by 30% or so. I really don't think that this is a destination spot. I guess we're still stuck making the trek to Banjara.

                    1. re: DDD

                      Yeah, having tried it I would not leave the comfort of my home to get food there when Udupi Palace or Siddhartha buffet is just down the road. But I am in the west end constantly, so I will definitely be exploring their cheaper offerings when I have time to spare. But, correct, not worth a drive from Scarborough unless you are really curious about the place.

                      1. re: Pincus

                        Thanks for the feedback, I won't waste my gas or time.

                  2. Went for the first time last night. Originally we were planning to try High Park Spicy House, (I'd read some good things, and since I live in the Junction, I'm always looking for a good local Indian resto) but they were closed for the Labour Day holiday. I remembered seeing the sign for Indian Kiss on Keele, so we went over there to give it a look.

                    We were dithering outside the front door, wondering if we should try it, when a customer came by and told us that the food was fantastic and we should eat there. We decided to give it a shot.

                    Place is very clean and inviting inside. They only do take out, and consequently have a large, comfortable waiting area. They have some "single take home meals", but we decided to order from the a la carte menu. We ordered Butter Chicken ($15.95), Palak Paneer ($11.95), Channa Masala ($10.95), Steamed Basmati ($3.95), and Raita ($2.95). We were told that it would take around 25-30 minutes so we went to get a beer at the watering hole around the corner.

                    When we got back, the food was ready to go. They had noticed that we arrived by bike so they packed everything so it would fit in my wife's basket. They also gave us a free Naan (I usually don't order these to take out, I find they don't travel well).

                    The chef was behind the counter when we got there, so I asked him a bit about his experience. Turns out that he was in the corporate world for 12 years, but decided to become a chef. He studied at the Stratford Chef's School, then worked at Indian Rice Factory, and spent some time in Ottawa at the Little India Cafe before opening Indian Kiss. We talked a bit about his cooking (and the state of "Indian" cooking in the neighbourhood, he was very diplomatic, IMHO). He told me that his butter chicken is made with all breast meat, all cooked in the tandoor, and everything else is made with fresh ingredients.

                    At this point, we hit the road because our mouths were watering. Got home, and saw that the portions were huge. We had enough food for two full meals for 2 people (and we're big eaters) Everything smelled fantastic.

                    The food was delicious. Portions were very large, filling those dinner plate sized aluminum take out containers. Butter chicken was probably the best I've ever tasted in Toronto, just as billed. All of the dishes had fresh, clear flavours, and a building heat. The naan was great, not too chewy, a little bit charred and crispy. Raita was wonderful.

                    I highly recommend this place. It was well worth the price, both in quantity and in quality, which is well above the average Indian restaurant in Toronto. That having been said, I probably wouldn't make a special trip if I didn't live relatively close by, since they only do take-out. Also, the prices mean that I won't be having it every day, but I'd rather have this once a month than North of Bombay every week (they put frozen peas, carrots, and CORN in their pilau!) For people living in the Junction, this is a real find.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Marimba

                      What I had (paneer and spinach, and regular naan) given the problems associated with a 45 minute transit was quite good. If it was local, I'd be going there quite a lot for takeout. But with Little India at my home's doorstep, it's not worth it for me except when I am in that neighbourhood on business.

                    2. To all those that have been there already: which is better, the butter chicken or the chicken tikka masala?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LTL

                        I loved them both, but the butter chicken is superb. The chicken tikka masala was hotter, though. Depends on what you like.

                        1. re: rbcj

                          Thanks. Guess I'll have to try both!

                        2. re: LTL

                          Hi!
                          I was eager to try this place since fellow chowhounders recommended it but the location is bad. Twice I tried to park in that teeny tiny lot and the lady that owns the boutique 2 stores over chased me away from parking in front of her store. I only wanted take out so wouldn't be long. I explained this to her but she kept ranting, so being the nice and polite Canadian that I am, I quickly backed into rush hour traffic and drove off.
                          It happened again so I didn't bother trying to get out of the car this time.
                          She made me so mad! I told her I will never shop in her store EVER!
                          Someone should tell Indian Kiss they are losing business because of her. Well, my business.
                          She was so annoying.!
                          ( well yes, i suppose i could have searched around for another spot, but i was hungry and irritable and in rush hour traffic so....i went and bought a pizza instead..... quick and easy).
                          HMPH!

                          1. re: froglegs

                            Hi froglegs,

                            I got to Indian Kiss ALOT and they have two parking spots speifically for their customers right in front of their window underneath their sign. Also, I've parked at the side of the building in the Canadain Tire parking lot (they've told me this is not a big deal). This place is definitely worth making your way there again. I noticed no one's mentioned the Lamb Korma here its AWESOME. The lamb is so tender.

                        3. Recently tried this little place as it is fairly close to home, and I have always been curious about it, even though I am very inexperienced in Indian Cuisine. Also the gf was hankering for Indian after I said no to Thai food (recent case of food poisoning has made me wary of all Thai restaurants...but I am getting better...thanks for asking).

                          Ordered the Butter Chicken, Aloo Gobi, and a Naan, the cost came to around $35. When we got home to eat, I was a little surprized. The Naan was a good size, as was the portion of rice. The chicken and gobi however, were very small portions for 2 people to share given the price.

                          I wish I read the comments here before I decided to give it a shot.

                          I will say that the food was very good, I did enjoy it. But the portions, ridiculous. 10 small pieces of chicken in a veritable sea of sauce. I don't think that the 10 pieces would even equate to one half of a boneless chicken breast.

                          Needless to say I was still peckish after dinner.

                          I really wanted to like this place, but the portion size/cost ratio ruined it for me.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Lazar

                            oh wow, Lazar... that sounds like a totally atypical experience at Indian Kiss. we're pretty much there once a week and get basically the same order as you do (only with the Garlic Naan instead). the two of us are usually too stuffed to make much of a dent in the Aloo Gobi, so lately we've been passing it up unless we're planning for leftovers or lunches for our kid. don't let this one experience deter you!

                            1. re: jellybean1972

                              What other Indian restaurants do you recommend?

                            2. re: Lazar

                              I have to say, the one thing I would not have found as a fault in my order was the portion size. Although this was a long time ago, I too was surprised to hear about the portion size having shrunk.

                              1. re: Pincus

                                The food here is very good, definately in the higher quality of Indian resturants, but unfortunately the price is higher than it's worth. A take out for 2 that leaves some next day leftovers can be < $50. This is a shame as it becomes only visited once every few months or when High Park Spicy house is shut ( which is the best in terms of high quality / price in the area).

                            3. The food is quite good, the Vindaloo the best i've had in Toronto - but the prices/portions ratio? what a joke. How a take out only place can charge $18 for a meat dish and then have the audacity to give you puny portions (that is their schtick) is unbelievable. I still crave that vindaloo, but will never return because of their cheapness.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: dannyboy

                                Most Indian restaurants have tiny portions, but I agree, they're not paying a wait staff for overhead and they are in a relatively low rent area of town. They must have gotten stingy on their portions since the last time I was there. Too bad.

                                1. re: Pincus

                                  That's why it's so annoying - i don't even mind paying a premium of a few or 5 dollars if i like the food - but 1/2 the overhead, 40% higher prices, and stingy portions to me are just an insult to the customer.

                                  1. re: dannyboy

                                    For a better experience, go to Copper Chimney on Avenue rd. The portion/cost ratio is much more reasonable.

                              2. Reading all this I had to write again...I have been going to Indian Kiss a couple times a month, since they’ve opened for the last 2 to 3 years. I have never had an issue with the portions. I have also eaten at a whole bunch of other places around the city and I can honestly say that I have never had portions as plentiful as they are here.

                                These guys serve up IMHO,the best indian food I have tasted. No doubt, they seem to be a little more pricey, but when something is the best, I expect to spend a little more. Judging by the number of people I know, and the number of people I see walk through their doors and order food, clearly most people find everything at Indian Kiss on the up and up!

                                -----
                                Indian Kiss
                                399 Keele St, Toronto, ON M6P, CA

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: dale_

                                  When they first opened up and I paid a visit, I found the portions generous. I was there a year ago and found the same thing. Things can slip in a year, but it seems maybe they haven't. Good to know, it gives me a reason to go visit again!

                                  1. re: Pincus

                                    Went tonight and I found the portion sizes large, lots of left overs! Food was delicious!