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Amaya Review

I tried Amaya soon after they opened and was not impressed. OK, but not great. Given all they rave reviews, I began to think that I must have missed something, so I just gave them another try. This time it was even worse. Summary: Amaya is poor food, terrible value and about the last place I’d ever go for an Indian meal in Toronto.

Here’s a dish-by dish run down:

Fried squid rings. Four pieces of fried, shoe-leather tough squid coated with Shake & Bake. It was just the toughest fried squid I’ve ever had. You can do better getting bulk frozen squid rings in plastic bags from one of those discount seafood places around town. It was an outrage to pay a restaurant $9 for such crap. It would have been an outrage to pay 9 cents.

Baked White fish. Two small pieces of nicely cooked fish in an undistinguished and bland sauce.

Country chicken: A few lumps of chicken served in a sauce that had the consistency tomato paste. The dominant taste was heat, and there was only a mild taste of spice and seasoning.

Garlic naan. Wimpy and insipid with no garlic taste. I should have been suspicious from the start. I noticed that there were no tandoori dishes on the menu, which likely means that they don’t have a tandoori or a tandoori chef. Since you can’t make real naan without a tandoori, ordering it was a bad idea.

Rice. Average. They have the usual obscenely overpriced rice you get in Indian restaurants. $4 for 25 cents worth of plain rice. I’m willing to bet that this is where they make their money. It’s like the soft drinks at fast food places. The hamburgers are only a come-on to get you to buy a Pepsi.

For this substandard food, I paid about and extra third to half more than typical Indian restaurants with better food and no pretensions about being “fine dining.” (I did I mention the 400+% markup on bottled beer?) It’s not as if you were paying for fancy overhead. The restaurant itself is plain with no décor and has kind of informal service that you would expect at Milestones. They do get one plus, however, because no one addressed us as “Hi guys!!” That alone, is almost win me over these days.

In sum, Amaya is overhyped, overpriced and serves subpar Indian food. I simply cannot imagine how this place could get positive, let alone rave, reviews.

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Amaya
1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

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  1. I'm going to have to disagree with you. I've been to Amaya twice and have found the dishes to be excellent. Modern Indian fare.

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    Amaya
    1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sooo Goood

      More CH's please weigh in on this...I jave been wanting to try this place for a while and now I'm not so sure.

      Evansl, I note that you panned Dhaba, the Host, Cuisine of India in other posts (and LWH, which I like). Is it just a general dissatisfaction with Indian dining in Toronto or is there somewhere where you would recommend?

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Sorry you had a poor experience. I've only been to Amaya once but our experience was decent except for one disch which was inedibly "hot" (it was either the vindaloo or chicken curry).

        That being said we are frequent diners of Amaya bread bar/express. Their sweet and sour eggplant is the best Indian version of eggplant I've ever eaten (I generally dislike eggplant). Their dal makhani is on par with anywhere in the city for my tastes. Finally they consistently cook their lamb tender but with "bite". I've even had the "audacity" to serve their food to my Indian counterparts who were shocked at the quality of the food. This does not mean my opinion should invalidate yours; just providing another perspective.

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        Amaya
        1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

        1. The oven is called a tandoor. The food cooked in them is tandoori.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dimbulb

            And they do serve Northern inspired dishes with tandoori flavours.

          2. Since someone asked for more CHs to wiegh in... I went once and won't go back. I was excited about this place because they also focus on wine and someone said they could pair the dishes. Pairing wines with Indian food is not easy and Amaya definitely failed. The problem with the pairings, and their food in general, is the aggressive use of spices, to the point that some dishes had a grainy texture. I was hoping to find a fine dining Indian restaurant, instead it was average food that can be found at most indian restaurant, a wine list and slightly higher prices. On the plus side, service was great and they made an effort to pair the food with wine.

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            Amaya
            1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA