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Nov 8, 2009 06:38 PM

Tandoori Host -- Gerrard Bazzar

Having been a Lahore Tikka devotee and a Motimahal fan, I have to say I've found my new favourite Indian restaurant in the Gerrard Bazzar. It's a hole in the wall. It's a mom and pop place. It's got no character, and no ambiance, but we're talking the Gerrard Bazzar.

What it does have it the best chicken tikka I've ever had, and darned excellent food -- kind of like stumbling into an Indian friend's mother's kitchen.

Don't go there on a date.

Don't go there is you want to drink.

Don't go there if you think it's a night out.

But do go there for great, and pretty darned inexpensive food.

We discovered this place (it's actually north of Gerrard, on Ashdale) during the summer, when the tandoor was sitting outside on the patio. We've had the butter chicken (excellent), the chicken tikka (terrific as I mentioned earlier), wonderful chana masala, great dal, the onion naan is great. Chicken biriyani may not suit everyone's taste -- the chicken is dark meat, and has bone in it, but I love it.

Best two parts -- no Dehli belly afterwards, and you're out of there for four people for about $40.00.

Check it out.

1422 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L1Z6, CA

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  1. My wife and I ate there durinig the first week they opened, it must have been sometime in July. We ordered th chicken tikka, naan, some curried cauliflower and 2 mango drinks, the price was around $35 and it was served on foam plates with plastic cutlery.

    I didn't write a review at that time as even though the food was good, I didn't feel that for even the low sum of $35, I needed to feel like I had gone on a picnic. I just can't imagine actually going to a restaurant and eating from white foam plates and plastic utensils.

    I have not been to Makkah, but the reviews here seem to indicate you can get similar food for much less.

    Makkah Restaurant
    1020 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1M2, CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      Ah yes, the ubiquitous styrofoam plates. You'll be glad to know they've moved up in the world to real plates, but have kept the neighbourhood norm of plastic forks and spoons (with no knives in accordance with tradition).

      It's definitely not about the atmosphere as I had mentioned -- my wife resists going there pretty frequently when I suggest it, as the atmosphere is pretty grim, but for me, the food and price trumps the lack of atmosphere. LIke I said, it's like eating at your Indian friend's mom's place.

      I'll have to try Makkah.

      Makkah Restaurant
      1020 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1M2, CA

      1. re: m4240z

        What's the rationale behind the plastic cutlery? It's so wasteful. If they now have real plates, presumably they wash them, so what's the big deal in washing some cutlery as well? They'll spend less on the purchase and maintaining of cutlery than they do on disposable plastic, ultimately, so I don't get it. I'll happily visit this restaurant for tasty tandoori, but not until they amend this silly plastic cutlery situation.

        1. re: 1sweetpea

          I never thought about this before but maybe the rationale is that they don't want to wash cutlery, and also many Pakistanis don't use it, they often just eat with their hands. Or the plastic utensils and no knives may be for security reasons, what else could it possibly be?

      2. re: foodyDudey

        Well, if you go to Makkah then you will be stuck with styrofoam. I enjoy the food but the atmoshpere ... er .. isn't.

        Makkah Restaurant
        1020 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1M2, CA

        1. re: Paulustrious

          Nope's a bit of a dive and the dining room feels like an islamic school canteen, complete with humongous photo of the square in Mecca. You have to be willing to close your eyes and open your mouth and mind, brother. Anything out of that tandoor is magic. I will eat the Bihari Kebab till it comes out my ears!

          1. re: Paulustrious

            I haven't really found an ethnic restaurant that offers good food, decent service, good ambiance, at a reasonable price at all. For Chinese food, Lai Wah Heen offers an excellent service, good food, at a stupid price. Indian food -- The Host on Prince Arthur is great, but an arm and a leg. The list goes on.

            So, I can live with the plastic forks and spoons (environmental issues notwithstanding), the friendly but frazzled service, and the really weird atmosphere (DVDs of Bollywood movies on flat screen TVs -- most of which are bootlegged), because the food is authentically good (to my non-Indian palate), and it's great value.

            Lai Wah Heen
            108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

            Wah's Restaurant
            23 Simcoe Plaza, Terrace Bay, ON P0T2W0, CA

        2. The original comment has been removed