What to eat at Amaya Bread Bar
I am attending the Bread Bar this weekend with a party of 8. It looks like a lot of people ordered the tasting menu... is that the way to go? Or is better to mix and match some dishes. Any recommendations? Looking forward to it!
I went to Bread Bar for the first time at the end of September for a friend's mini birthday celebration. Two kids at the table had jalapeno onion rings, a veggie dish, a butter chicken and assorted na'an plate à la carte. My friend and I each had the tasting menu.
The tasting menu is a LOT OF FOOD. I am a big eater but this thing totally did me in given the number of courses that they cram in. They do, however, let you doggie bag the tasting menu so, if you want a little bit of everything, this is the wya to go. If you have a teeny, tiny appetite (rare for 'hounds, but who knows) I would pick and choose off the à la carte.
Of everything I tried, the lentil dish included in the tasting menu was my favorite, followed by the watermelon shooter amuse. The fish and beef were also excellent.
The kids loved their butter chicken and the jalapeno onion rings. The na'an went quickly too. The veggie dish was a little boring (although that may have been a result of too many other things to taste!)
I doubt I will be able to make up a review before your visit, so here is a summation of the main points without too many details:
- not everyone at your table has to order the tasting menu
- there is a lot of food for the taster, but I would say that none of the items really 'wowed' me, except the appetizers and the watermelon shooter
- I really enjoyed the lamb shank (lamb roganjosh) as the meat was really tender. It was unlike any roganjosh I'd ever had before though (a la carte)
- lobster naanini was cold when I got it, but it had potential
- dessert was actually pretty sub-par (rice pudding) - came with tasting menu
Therefore I would recommend getting a mix - order a couple of tasters amongst you to share, and then order some dishes that interest you off the a la carte menu. I enjoyed my visit there and found it to be the best Indian restaurant I have been to so far in Toronto. I still have yet to visit some of the other big-name-players, such as Tabla, or Debu, but they're on my radar.
I have photos up on my flickr site under the Amaya Bread Bar photoset if you wanted to take a look and see the food beforehand.
Have a great time
It's a copy of a New York restaurant. It's just a name.
Tabla in New York is generally considered one of the best Indian places. They opened a more casual version which they called Bread Bar.
Conspiracy theorists may find it 'not coincidental' that Bread Bar (Amaya) opened within walking distance of Tabla (Toronto version - not affiliated in any way with New York restaurant of same name). Given that Amaya and Tabla are the most recommended upscale Indian Places on this Board, one might wonder if Bread bar is intended (hoped?) to bleed patrons away from Tabla.
Incidentally I prefer the a la carte to the tasting menu at Bread Bar. Some items in tasting menu were good, some just OK, but, on a busy night the service was erratic and I think more effort went into presentation (extremely good) than into flavour combinations.
Bread Bar still strikes me as a great place for a 'first date'.
I was just wondering what a Bread Bar was and what it had to do with Indian food.
Hmm, thanks for the NYC connection insight. I did not know this. I wonder why Bread Bar in NYC named themselves that, considering that the western idea of bread doesn’t really seem to be a component of Indian cuisine at all. At least to my limited knowledge. ‘Naan Bar.’ Okay, that name would make more sense… I guess.
Now the name AMAYA has been prominently added to their sign outside, with ‘Bread Bar’ being featured much less prominently.
I’m sure this is all terribly fascinating to everyone : )
Thanks for posting bokchoi. Just read your review and agree with most of it. All 8 of us ordered the tasting menu (I tried to convince them to order some a la carte but my protests fell on deaf ears). Most of the items were the same... the watermelon shooter, pakoras, prawn and chicken tikka to start. All EXCELLENT.
Our mains were slightly different, we did not get the aloo gohbi but instead got a beef, lamb, fish and mushroom dish. The lamb dish (I think it was rogan josh) was FIERY hot. It was a strange contrast to the other dishes which were minimally spiced. Overall, I enjoyed the appetizers the most but also liked the mains just fine.
The one thing I was dissapointed in was the service. Our appetizers had already started arriving before we even had a chance to place our drink orders... and then the drinks took over 15 minutes to arrive after all the appetizers had finished. It was also blazing hot in the restaurant and our waters were not refilled once... we had to keep flagging down our waiter for everything.
Overall, the food was good but I'm more keen to try the original Amaya than running back to Bread Bar.