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Nov 7, 2008 11:52 AM

Amaya's 'Ino...Anyone Been?

Yet another Amaya resto on Bayview. Anyone been yet?

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  1. Walked in the other day, and will probably go back to order something.

    The menu is Italian, and from the look of the dishes, everything seems to be very well executed. It's mostly takeout, but is seating for around 30, so dining in is an option, too. Very good looking pizzas, thin crusts, lasagnas, paninis. From the look of the open kitchen, everything will be fresh and made on premises.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      We ordered take-out from Amaya Express the other week and received a manu from 'ino with our order. I was surprised to see the listings for panini, pizza, etc. Am I the only one who thinks it's kind of funny that the ever-expanding Amaya Indian food empire has opened an Italian cafe?

      1. re: peppermint pate

        Well, they've covered the bases on Indian takeout for the area with lots of fresh and packaged delights, what else would they do? Most chefs in the city end up learning the basics in French and Italian before getting the chance to return to their roots. Clearly, from the look of the products and the kitchen, these guys are grounded.

        1. re: Snarf

          i finally made it in.

          David Gaunt (ex Rosewater, Eagles Nest) is now the chef at the cafe...must have some sort of equity stake cause it doesn't really make sense to me why one would go from fine dining establishments to a mainly lunch cafe?! Furthermore while we were eating he was very loud, took more interest in bragging about his past achievements to diners and some quasi investors. Given the dining area was only 10ft by 20ft he was very brash.

          Food was good but nothing that knocked my socks off. Paninis were nice but at $9/$10 they should be. Given there are a lot of sandwich shops/bakeries in the area I haven't really figured out how this place will manage to survive.

          I agree with Peppermint Pate, i think the Italian isn't very consistent with their branding as being the guru's on upscale Indian. Seems confusing.

          Place inside wasn't very clean. Walls were painted terribly, again not in typical Amaya fashion.

          Overall a 5/10

          1. re: sydandsys

            Did you try anything else? The pizzas looked good.

            Based on your comments, I'm guessing that the business plan here is to build a credible cafe concept with real dishes, and prove the price point before branching out with a franchise concept. Good Italian cafes have done very well over the years, such as Cafe Doria, Boccone, and Pastissima in well-heeled areas.

            Not sure about the 'not very clean' comment. Tables and eating areas looked fine, and the kitchen looked 'in progress', not pristine, but what one would expect.

    2. Anyone have the exact address of this place? Googling is proving to be futile.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gregclow

        I don't have an exact address but Amaya Express is at 1574 Bayview and 'ino is either attached or within a few doors south - I think they're both on the same block as Alex Farm, if that helps you place it.

      2. What? Pizza and pasta? What is going on? Has the world gone mad? But i bet it's good....

        1. Looks like they're now calling themselves "Two Doors South" (a la Five Doors North?) - the 'ino sign was gone when I walked by today and they had a sandwich board out front with the new name. It's 2 doors south of Amaya Express, fyi. I still think it's an odd departure from their core brand and of course you don't need to be Italian to run an Italian place but Amaya itself hasn't been open that long and then in quick succession, we have Amaya Express, Tabla and now this. Will they be able to maintain the quality if they take on too much too quickly? I'm not saying they can't pull it off but it all feels a bit rushed and corporatey for me.

          4 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            wow--im going to check this out tonight. Did the menu look different?
            I agree, i can't really understand what they are trying to achieve, apart from dominating the Leaside resto scene...seems a bit odd

            1. re: peppermint pate

              Not that it really matters, but I don't think Tabla's an offshoot of Amaya. However, I think I saw a third Amaya on Yonge north of Lawrence the other day...

              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                That would be Amaya Bread bar, and it is fantastic.

                1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                  Sorry, sprry, yes, I meant Tabla (I knew it was also the name of a New York resto but I mixed up which one). And for what it's worth, we do take-out from Amaya Express fairly often and some of the flavours are quite good. It's possible they can pull off this venture as successfully as their other spots - it just feels awfully stretched awfully fast.