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Babu Indian Take out - slow burn (+ photos)

Just got back from putting out a fire... in my mouth! Wow, talk about heat! I tried Babu after reading about it elsewhere on Chowhound today, and boy, were they right when they said that it was a bit spicy. I think I'm typically more accustomed to more tame Indian dishes, hence this was quite a shock to the taste buds. I'm sure it was quite authentic though - I went around 9PM and it was PACKED with clients. Unlike others' experiences, I had an easy time conversing with the staff and he was patient enough to explain the different types of curries to me (even when I asked him to repeat a couple of dishes because his voice was being lost over the drone of the crowd). I tried the curried crab (super spicy, but nice curry - not a fan of the crab so much though. The texture was a bit mushy.) and the mutton curry on biryani. Each came with about 2-3 veggie curries and a soup/salad/coleslaw. The soup and coleslaw were interesting, but I found the soup to be a bit too vinegar-y for my tastes. I was never a fan of coleslaw, so it was bound to disappoint anyway. The chick pea curry was my favourite as it was the tamest of the bunch in that the heat was bearable for me. I would definitely return to try this dish alongside another selection. The price cannot be beat - dinner for two (with leftovers for lunch for each of us) came out to $12. And that included the most expensive dish (crab) at $6.50 or so. There was so much food - but it could have been because the spice caused us to feel full a bit earlier than usual. I truthfully could not tell if it was actually a good curry because I could not taste anything beyond the heat - my body has not adapted to this spice level, just yet. Thoughts from others that have tried it would be appreciated?

Would I go again? Maybe - but I think it's a bit out of my comfort zone with respect to heat. Would I recommend it to others? If you can handle the burn, and the amazing price, I think you'll fare quite well.

Photos
Dinner for 2 (or 4?): http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...
Curry Selections: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...
Spiced Shrimp: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...

Cheers and Happy Eating!

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  1. Where is this place? Crab curry, even though you say the texture was iffy, included in $12 total is amazing.

    I had a most awful experience last night. Was working late, got a craving for indian and did the buffet at Skylark on Gerrard. Brutal.

    9 Replies
    1. re: grandgourmand

      BokChoi, I really enjoy all your photos. They’re great. Keep them coming!

      (Your reviews are good too!)

      1. re: magic

        Thanks so much, Magic! I'll definitely keep posting up my food finds.

        With respect to location, Babu is located in the back of a little strip mall in Scarborough, just east of McCowan (on Sheppard): 4800 Sheppard Ave E # 201 (about 3 minutes north of Scarborough Town Centre).

        I would not say that the food is great, but I Indian food is not one of my fortes when it comes to judging what is authentic or good. I would like to hear if someone else has tried it and their thoughts. I honestly though it was just too spicy for me to tell. But it appears someone sure likes it - if it finds itself packed to the rim at 9PM on a Tuesday... so I don't want to discount it completely.

        It's purely a take-out joint. It reminds me a bit of McD's - with the red and yellow colour-schemed outfits.

        Caveat Emptor - the only thing I can comment on is that the price is good and the value for what you get is great. All I can say is you get what you pay for. Please don't be upset if it's not on the same level as the more gourmet restos out there...

        Cheers and Happy Eating!

        1. re: BokChoi

          The ladle in the chana masala looks inedibly greasy to me. So I appreciate the pics too!

          1. re: pescatarian

            I find pics help too - you know what you like and what you're looking for. Glad they helped.

            1. re: BokChoi

              Thanks. Have you tried Tabla? It's a bit pricier than the buffet type places, but it's delicious, balanced flavours, not greasy.

              Also, in terms of buffets, Siddartha on Gerrard tends to be pretty fresh.

              I like spicy, but I had an off the charts spicy experience at Ali's Curry House on Queen East. We ordered the tandoori beef, which is supposed to be spicy, but it was so firey hot, we were both sweating and couldn't taste anything else - and I swear I can handle heat. That kind of heat takes away from the experience anyways, because you don't get any other flavour experience.

              1. re: pescatarian

                No I have not tried them. I will definitely try to make my way over - I tend to avoid buffets though because I find the quality to be not as good as a la carte (plus the temperature is always a bit off). Would you say this is not the case with the places you recommended? Tabla sounds promising...

                1. re: BokChoi

                  Tabla is not a buffet. It's the best I've had in Toronto (well besides the homemade stuff that one of my Indian friends makes).

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    Great, sounds like it fits the bill. Thanks for the rec.

            2. re: pescatarian

              pescatarian, all I see is a ladle that should be replaced with a clean one. And this happens all the time on steam tables.

      2. I've just discovered Indian food (believe it or not). Don't know why I waited this long to try it? Now, I can't get enough of it!! The best so far, was Litttle India where we had a lunch buffet on Civic Monday (I posted a review on the forums).

        Last night, there was not time to go out, so I made Chicken Korma at home and bought some vegetable samosas from a nearby store! Hitting the scales has not been amusing lately, so I think I'd better cut down on the curries and naan.

        I don't think I could take the spiciness of the dishes you mentioned, but they sure sound good. Is this place a buffet or did you get take-out? I looked at the pictures and saw take-out containers, so I'm not sure. I didn't like the coleslaw at Little India, it was too sweet, but I don't mind the vinagrette type. The chickpea curry sounds very good!

        1. Who is this Babu you recommend...never heard of him...somewhere in the burbs?...Marimba!

          1. I thought it was Sri Lankan, as is was recommended to me by a Sri Lankan colleague. Does it sell hoppers?

            Marie

            1. Chowhounds will br reading this and us Heathounds will I suspect be checking it out.I to suspect it is Sri Lankan, not Indian. The low prices are a bit of a hint, but the fact is Sri Lankan food does not look as good as Indian. I have seen a few Sri Lankan places in the Eglinton, Birchmount, Midland, Kennedy Rd. area and the food appears on the less attractive side.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jar

                Terribly sorry if I was incorrect. You both could be right. My apologies.