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Review: The Copper Chimney 2050 Avenue Road, Toronto, M5M 4A6 416-850-9772

  • i

We were really pleased to catch the grand opening of The Copper Chimney.
2050 Avenue Road.
ph: 647-436-2538

Service was very gracious, the ambiance was simple yet warm and the food was very good, portions larger than Amaya and way more tasty than both the other south Asian restaurants around Yonge/Ave & Lawrence (IMO).
Naan was spectacular. The management told us their tandoor chef came from Cuisine of India (where I had in the past really enjoyed the naan as well).
The asked for a lot of feedback on the dishes such as spicing and heat levels of chilies.
We ordered:
Amritsari Fish appetizer (crispy fish
)Butter chicken (they customized the spice level for my kids)
Beef Vindaloo
Daal Bukhara (black lentils simmered for 8 hours)
Plain yogurt instead of raita
Naan and Rice
The desserts were amazing, pistachio crunchy textured frozen creamy dish (Kulfi?) and Galub-Jamun.
The owner generously didn't charge for the desserts. They served our girls chocolate and vanilla ice cream free of charge as well.
My girls loved it, the restaurant owner made sure to check the butter chicken was mild enough for them and my naan critic 8 year old declared it the best naan ever (she is hard to impress given her love of naan)
I would definately encourage people to visit. The people are so very kind there.
I can't wait to try more fish and vegetarian dishes there.

Notare Bene: %20 off dine-in Tues-Thursday until Dec. 31, 2010., %10 off takeout. (I took their menu on the way out)
We ate at the Copper Chimney on Avenue Rd. on Tuesday night., and what a nice surprise I must say the %20 off was.

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  1. I think this is the first time I've seen a postal code in a review title. Kudos!

    Wil check it out when I'm in the neighbourhood.

    1 Reply
    1. Desserts sound xtra good - What mains would you recommend, in particular?

      1. Oops, I goofed on the URL

        I really liked the Dal Buhkara, so creamy and flavourful.
        The fish appetizer had a little chili but otherwise a very simple cubed fish, very fresh.
        I am a reluctant omnivore due to my Thalassemia, so I tasted just a bite or two of the Vindaloo beef and it was succulent and perfect spice/heat level.
        I went tonight to try our tandoor items but alas, it is closed on Mondayds (fyi).
        Yes, I posted full address to avoid confusion with another restaurant by the same name.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Idas

          thanks for the review. I live close by so hopefully I can check it out soon.

        2. Do they have a thali on the menu?

          2 Replies
          1. re: trane

            Hi trane, here's my answer exactly a year after you asked!
            I was just looking at the website and saw this: http://www.the-copper-chimney.com/cop...

            1. re: foodyDudey

              I. CANT. WAIT.
              thanks for sharing foodyDudey!

          2. Got takeout from Copper Chimney tonight. Please please please go there and make sure this little gem stays in business for a long time. Not that they have to worry; barely a month open and the place was packed at 7:30 on a cold Thursday night. People just kept coming in as we were waiting for out takeout. I had my two kids with me and they helped me choose a menu that they would like. I can't remember the names of everything but we had samosas, aloo gobi, a chicken in a mild yellow curry-like sauce, and some vegetable dumplings in a spicy tomato sauce, freshly baked naan, and raita. Everything was delicious! The ingredients were all so fresh and it was obvious that everything was made to order. As others have noted, you do wait a bit for your food but for the quality you get, it is what you would expect; good food can't be rushed. While we waited for our food, the owner was kind enough to bring us some papadums, my children mango juice and offered me a glass of wine...all on the house. All this and it only cost $37! I almost felt guilty because it was so reasonable. My only (small) criticism is that I think the owners and us had a very different concept of "spicy"; we are not used to spice and this was a little more than we were expecting (good thing we had the raita). Not a biggie...turns out my 11-year-old can handle more spice than me!

            1. Thinking of going there next weekend - is ambience nice for a leisurely night out with friends? Is the room more like The Host/Amaya or Maroli/Saravana? Thanks.

              1. It is a more traditional design rather than modern. Amaya is slightly more edgy. It is a relaxing place to go with friends; the crowd was a mix must mostly adult couples parties out for dinner.

                1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                  Thanks TFF - I'm less fussed about the decor and more interested in the pacing - this will be our whole evening out so for this occasion, just want to make sure we're in a spot where can comfortably linger for a couple of hours (as opposed to a "grab a bite" spot).

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Then it is definitely the place...very calm pace.

                2. I will chime in here and say thanks for the recommendation! When I see a thread with only one or two posters raving about how good it is, it is hard to not going in being very judgmental, but, this place lived up to my expectations... Again, not to hype it too much, but, it was one of the best Indian food places I have been too. The food did taste very "fresh" as others said, I didn't notice oil pooling on the top of dishes. The flavours were very profound, nice spicing.... although, my dish did taste a lot hotter than I normally find at Indian food places which was both good and bad! If you are sensitive to heat, be sure to let them know...

                  I had the fried garlic veggie balls to start (shared amongst 3 people, I think the serving was at least 4 balls which were large sized), really enjoyed that, hadn't had it before. I then had the lamb Vindaloo (sp?) , and one of my friends had an eggplant dish (forget the name, I tasted it and it was very good too, although, again very hot). The other friend had a chicken dish, he said there was a persian word in the name of the disk (don't have the menu in front of me) but he enjoyed it and I tasted it too... So, is this place related to the one in Ajax?? I guess I could have asked.

                  Anyway, this place definitely has a neighborhood feel but it is close off the 401 and worth a trip if you are in the area. It was the first time I had been in the Avenue road area and will definitely consider other restaurants in that area in the future. I didn't pay for the bill but we did get 20% off and the normal prices are reasonable. The portion sizes don't look big in the little copper containers they bring out but they seemed almost bottomless :) Oh, and the rice/ naan servings are pretty big.... We could have almost done ok with just one serving of each between the 3 of us, we got 2 servings of each.. and to confirm that other posters said we got 20% off for Tues to Thursday dining.. (until Dec 31)

                  1. Add me to the list of fans.

                    Thanks to the rave reviews above, I HAD to check out this place and it delivered (metaphorically).

                    The first test came with the Onion Bhaji - and a pass rating, although not outstanding. It came so quickly I expected greasy, but it was very crisp on the outside, yet not greasy. Relatively small patties (my best versions have been much larger) which meant the onion was a little mushy -almost seemed as if there might have been some mashed potato mixed in as the texture lacked the onion 'crunch' but, to be fair, the crunch on the outside did give a texture variation. The flour was also good - didn't give the 'dry mouth' of too high flour to onion ratio.

                    The mains were excellent to superb. One of my favourite dishes is Lamb Pasanda - not commonly served in T.O. but it was on the menu here. Yet, they had a 'new' dish to me Nalli Lamb, so I skipped the Pasanda to try this - and went for the Chicken Pasanda instead. The Nalli Lamb is a lamb shank, roasted and spiced - not as hot as a Vindaloo, but certainly spicy. Excellent flavours and spicing, although it is a bit of work to separate all the lamb from the bone. The vegetable pulao, was really good. Great presentation, fluffy rice and excellent fresh vegetables, giving great textures throughout.

                    But I skipped over the Chicken Pasanda - possibly the best Pasanda I've ever had - certainly the best in Toronto. Mouth feel, flavour, texture - all top notch.

                    Breads were also above average albeit a little gheesy. Had the onion kulcha and a regular naan. Both recommended.

                    This is the best Indian meal I've had in Toronto since the demise of Tabla - also cheaper than Tabla, but a little more than many Indian places in Toronto ($50 for two with 1 beer and before gratuity - no 20% discount on the night I went). But still cheap for a meal of this quality.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: estufarian

                      Having had a good meal at Amaya Bread Bar a few weeks back, it is good to hear of some healthy competition in the area.

                      I will have to give this place a shot next time Indian is on the mind.

                      1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                    2. Add me to the list of fans.

                      I'm mindful of the thread that got moved off this board, the one that talked about new restaurants being overwhelmed in the early days by too much chowhound love. I hope that doesn't happen here because this is the exact kind of restaurant and restaurant owner that I want most to succeed. We spoke quite a bit with the owner - he is a modest and lovely man, so eager to please. This is his first restaurant (and no, not related to the one in Ajax), though he has managed and operated many before (in Toronto and internationally). There is an earnestness and humility about him that is so genuine and endearing. As others have noted, one of the chefs was from Cuisine of India, the other he sourced directly from Delhi - let's hope he doesn't leave when he experiences his first Toronto winter.

                      I'm not as much of an Indian restaurant connaisseur as estufarian and others on this board but for me, it's the best Indian food I've had in Toronto. The menu is long and interesting with many tempting dishes that are new to me. I wish we had been there with a larger group so we could have sampled more things but what we had, we loved. Fish tikka was fresh, moist tandoori cubes of fish served with red onion and a few other crisp veggies - really bright flavours. The owner recommended "kadai chicken" - chicken cubes cooked with tomatoes, onions, green chillies and ginger. An outstanding combination of flavours. We also had the eggplant dish - Baigan Patiala - eggplant stir fried in tomato, garlic, ginger and dried mango. Not as good as the chicken but still really good. I tried Pudhina Paratha, paratha flavoured with dried mint leaves, which complemented the curried dishes quite well. The basmati had a lovely texture and flavour of cardamom.

                      Little touches made the evening extra special - my sister's wine glass being topped up for no charge, complementary desserts, lots of friendly conversation and inquiries about how we were enjoying our meals. Prices are excellent to begin with, even more so with the 20% discount. This place is a gem. I hope it succeeds. I will be back there soon.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: peppermint pate

                        peppermint pate, what type of fish was used in the fish tikka?

                        I noticed The Copper Chimney's menu just lists "fish" or "fish fillet", rather than the type of fish in their fish dishes, and I wasn't sure if this is because the fish varies from time to time. I'm usually concerned that a restaurant is using tilapia or basa when they don't mention the type of fish in the description of the dish. My favourite Indian restaurant in London, ON (Massey's) uses mahi mahi in their fish tikka, which I really like.

                        Has anyone tried the Malabari Fish at TCC yet?


                        1. re: phoenikia

                          Hi phoenikia - it's funny because I did ask what kind of fish it was and the truth is I didn't entirely understand his answer...and I didn't bother to ask again. It definitely wasn't tilapia. I'm not familiar with basa so I don't know. Texturally, it was similar to swordfish (though it wasn't that either). Not sure if it varies from time to time. Sorry.

                          1. re: peppermint pate

                            Thanks for your quick reply, peppermint pate. Glad to hear that it was a firm fish, and not tilapia. Basa is a type of catfish from Asia, usually with a mushy texture. If the texture was similar like swordfish, I'm sure it wasn't Basa that you were eating.

                            1. re: peppermint pate

                              If they are keeping to Amritsari tradition, then they are serving 'Surmai' a.k.a King Fish.

                              In reality any firm white fleshed fish can be subbed in but, King Fish is what you'll find on the streets of Amritsar

                        2. I saw the name Copper Chimney and immediately thought of Jaipur, India where I enjoyed a great meal at a restaurant of the same name. I'll have to try it out.

                          1. Has anyone tried the Biryani at The Copper Chimney yet? How is it?

                            Copper Chimney
                            619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: phoenikia

                              I tried the chicken biryani excellent flavour. I was their this passed weekend and want to go back asap.

                            2. Got take out from here last night -- ordered the "dinner for 2" which included a chef's choice appetizer (in this case, papadums and a large order of tasty pakoras), 2 meat dishes, 1 vegetable dish, 2 naan and 1 basmati rice. With the 10% carry out discount, the total was $41 and change.

                              I tried the chicken pasanda, beef madras and daal bukhara. Everything was tasty, but I think the subtle flavours of the pasanda were lost amidst the daal and the madras. I'll need to try it on its own to see if I have a better experience. I did appreciate that each dish was uniquely spiced. The naan were good and had a nice chew, but I definitely need to have them in the restaurant to get the proper experience -- naan wrapped in foil for carry out suffers.

                              I look forward to going back and having a proper meal in the restaurant. When I picked up at 5:30, the place was still empty, but there were already 2 other carry out orders packed up next to mine. Yay for new restaurants close to home!

                              1. this is good to hear. after a disastrous meal at the bread bar which used to be my highest hope I had all but given up on Indian food in Toronto. should try this out

                                strange, but the best Indian food I ever had in Toronto was in a hole-in-the-wall on bathurst north of steeles called Khana Khazana, which closed some time ago, I should start a post looking for the owner/chefs

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: shekamoo

                                  It's a pretty good joint, Copper Chimney is. Clean, attractive, well laid out, large tables, good service. The soups are first-rate - both the tomato, and the mulligatawny - one of the best mulligatawnies I've had. If an Indian spot can't do a decent mulligatawny - which is pretty basic - I don't bother going back. Main dish chicken vindaloo had just the right amount of heat for my taste. Tasty rice and naan. Careful cooking. Small but good beer list (which is what I like with Indian cuisine), and some decent wines by the glass and bottle, all fairly priced. It'll provide good competition for the upmarket Bread Bar, a short drive away, which is priced substantially higher. I like Bread Bar - unlike shekamoo, I've never had a dud meal there - but, at the moment, Copper Chimney is its match, and somewhat better value (especially with its 20% off food prices on some weekdays for the next little while). We got out for $55, all in, including one beer and one glass of wine. There's another Indian spot nearby - Mela, it's called - but I've found it neither here nor there, with some frightfully high wine and beer prices. Along with the nearby bistro, Kitchen, Copper Chimney is, in my view, the class of that stretch of Avenue Rd., which was previously something of a resto wasteland. I hope Copper Chimney sustains its quality. I find Indian restos in Toronto have a habit of taking a dive after the shine of first love wears off. Maybe that's what happened to the late Khana Khazana, mentioned above.

                                2. Went there for dinner last night after it being recommended by a friend and reading these Chowhound reviews. We had the vegetable balls to start, which were well cooked in a delicious sauce, and served on a plate with fresh vegetables that had a bit of crunch. For our main, we shared a Daal Bukhara and a Chicken Pasanda, with a basmati rice and plain naan on the side.

                                  Everything was cooked to perfection -- everything was fresh, the rice was perfectly cooked, and the naan came out piping hot and moist inside. Overall, the spice levels were just right for my taste -- spicy enough to add to the dish, but not spicy enough to take away from delicate flavours.

                                  The Daal Bukhara was good (but didn't blow me away), but the Pasanda was exceptional. It's a mild dish, but the chicken was tender and it has a perfect balance of flavours that made me savour every bite. the chef does an excellent job using spices to make his dishes great, and doesn't pour tons of oil and fats to make it tasty!

                                  It looked like the table next to ours ordered the chef's lamb special, and by the looks of it that would be something not to miss if you go -- I will try it next time I get a chance. There is a great deal of options to try on the menu, and if the quality of the meal I had is an indication of the rest of their menu, I will be going back to eventually try a bit of everything!

                                  We both drank two beers with the meal, and they have some local selections (Creemore, Mill St.) and Kingfisher. With their 20% discount, the total with tax (but without tip) came to just over $50 -- the place is well priced.

                                  Overall, the restaurant is clean, tasteful, and elegant inside, and our dishes came out in some beautiful copper pots. I wouldn't hesitate to go with friends and family or to bring a date there; there's some music in the background, but it is not too loud and you won't have trouble having a conversation there. The service was friendly and attentive (though I have no stories like what others had here -- they didn't ask any questions about our food or the spice levels). All the tables were taken except for one, and several people came in for take-away while we were there -- it is clear that many people like the food, and it is certainly a good sign for it to be packed on a Wednesday night.

                                  Unfortunately for Mela - an Indian restaurant down the street which I also enjoyed in the past - I think The Copper Chimney makes their food a cut above, and going by my one visit I think it is going to take the title of best indian food in the area (probably some of the best in Toronto too, but I leave that for others to judge). I will certainly return.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jamesphw

                                    We thought that the Daal Bukhara was one of the best we have ever had.
                                    Ordered it both times.
                                    Sorry you were disappointed
                                    The Lamb special was excellent as well.
                                    We have been a couple of times, and enjoyed everything with the exception of the Biryani, which we found a little too wet, and bland .
                                    We inquired about the chance of the addition of a Whole Tandoori Fish, and were told that they are considering it for their new Menu.
                                    Second time the Restaurant was packed on a weekday, and people were turned away.
                                    Suggest reservations.

                                  2. loooooooooooved it, paneer tikkah, tandoori prawns, chef special lamb dish, aloo kulcha, all very well done, reminding me why I love Indian cuisine in the first place. great combintation and layering of spices with no unnecessary and ruinous obsession with heat, good presentation, very good service. Here's hoping the quality stays this high, and I will be a regular.

                                    1. First, a word of 'Thanks' to our OP and also to fellow chowhounder Estufarian for bringing to my attention and recommending this 'gem of an Indian place' to me in another posting!!

                                      For a while now, I have been pain-stakingly travelling around the GTA, in search of good quality Indian food and curries that would hopefully resembles some of those tasty ones that I so enjoyed during my stay in London, England. So far, my efforts had been futile, until today!!

                                      The food that I had at CC was a delight! Expertly spiced and well executed. Every dish has its own distinct flavouring. NO generic mother sauce here!

                                      I ordered the following:

                                      - The Patiala's Royal dish, 'Baigan Patiala'. This ' Indian Ratatouille' of eggplant stir fried in tomato, garlic, ginger and dried mango posseses some complex spicy flavouring which made it an excellent vegetarian side dish for the pulao rice.

                                      - 'Chicken Pasanda' - Following Estufarian's recommendation, this dish was a great choice. The mild cashew and saffron sauce was very tasty with just the right hint of sweetness. IMO. the use of boneless 'dark meat' instead of the overly tender white breast meat would further enhance the textural feel and flavour of the dish?!

                                      - Lamb Roganjosh - Finally, a decent Roganjosh that brings back memory of London. If the lamb morsels are cooked a little bit longer and from cuts of meat that has a bit of tendons and less lean, the end results will even be more enjoyable.

                                      - Prawn Coconut Curry - Undoubtedly, the star of the meal! The dish tasted subtle yet complex with just the right touch of coconut and tamarind flavour. Yummy indeed!

                                      Overall, the food was very enjoyable. Sangjay, the co-owner who looked after me, was most friendly and courteous, providing me with detail of the dishes and his chefs. One such detail was the fact that they do not use canned tomatoes in their sauces but fresh peeled tomatoes from scratch!

                                      Yes! Fellow chowhounders, lets hope this place will survive and thrive! Its about time we have a good Indian place north of Gerrard to go to!!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        on that note, everyone, please DO NOT start ordering upgraded omakase ;)

                                        1. re: shekamoo

                                          Ha! Ha!! Very funny!
                                          Omakase in an Indian restaurant?! Japanese/Indian fusion! Yummmmm!

                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                            I think this might be a inside joke about other places that were good to start, but, when people started ordering the more expensive thing (Omakase) it started going downhill.. I think a place in the annex... but, I didn't follow the thread very much so maybe I am off on that!

                                            1. re: ylsf

                                              I'm pretty sure that Charles is in on the joke since he was the one that started the thread about upgraded omakase, and expectations, at Sushi Couture.

                                      2. We ordered Lamb Pasanda and Paneer Makhani. The Garlic naan and Methi paratha were excellent and the sauce in the Pasanda was great. Even the gulabjamun (dessert) was very tasty.
                                        But what spoiled the meal for me was the meat in pasanda. The lamb pieces were rubbery and completely tasteless. I was very disappointed specially after I was expecting perfection after the hype here.
                                        I am not going back.

                                        20 Replies
                                        1. re: garfield

                                          Wow! You are making your decision and closing the door on a restaurant based on 'one' single meat dish?!
                                          Where in Toronto, may I ask, can one find 'perfect' Indian food?! Unless one goes to India, even the great Indian food I had in the Midlands and London England or VIJ's in Vancouver were not 'perfect'!!

                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                            It does sound a bit harsh, I agree. But that was my reaction after the meal. In my opinion the dish suffered because of the quality of the ingredient and this is the thing that puts me off the most. I mean, the cook can have a bad day etc, but if you are cutting corners on the quality of the ingredient then its difficult to hope that it will be better in other dishes or on any other day,.

                                            1. re: garfield

                                              For meat stews...etc, I like my meat to have a bit of tendons tie to them. Cuts using brisket or 'Osso Buco' are my favourites. As such I too find the lamb in my Roganjosh a bit too lean for my liking.
                                              Worst practise I find in Canada nowadays are that Indian restaurants, in order to satisfy the western palette, use ' mushy and tasteless white breast meat' in their chicken dishes. ( if one is using boneless meat at least consider the tastier dark meat!! )Elsewhere in the Orient, Asia or even the UK , the use of bone-in free range chicken in chicken dishes really elevates the taste and texture of the whole dish!!

                                              1. re: garfield

                                                There are very few places that will give you clean, quality pieces of meat. In fact I think any place where you find that is the exception. I have only seen it at the more expensive restaurants like Host and Amaya. Not that I am excusing or condoning the dish that was served to you at Copper Chimney. It would put me off going back there as well.

                                                Copper Chimney
                                                619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                                                1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                                                1. re: garfield

                                                  Hi garfield - you obviously have every right to your opinion and it's unreasonable to expect perfection or a 100% approval rating on this board. Way too many hounds, way too many opinions and perfection is elusive at even the best restaurants. I would only say that having now been there twice, this truly doesn't feel to me like a restaurant that cuts corners. It's a large and thoughtful menu and I think there is a lot of care and attention that goes into the preparation and service of each dish. Having said that, I tried the chicken pasanda after th recs on this board and I would agree with Charles that dark meat would be preferable in this dish. I actually found the sauce to be too rich for my taste - I'd like a bite or two of it but beyond that, it just didn't sit as well with me, I much preferred the kadai chicken from my original visit. Anyway, glad you enjoyed everything else.

                                                  1. re: peppermint pate

                                                    Going back to Garfield's original posting.
                                                    One reason that might explain the lamb being tasteless could be the fact that the chef is actually using the pricier 'Ontario lamb' which I find to be way milder than the usual cheaper and 'gamier' New Zealand lamb?!
                                                    As for the use of the word 'rubbery' as an adjective for the meat texture. Does it suggest the meat to be tough and chewy or soft and yielding? Unlike the preferred 'fork tender' texture of most western braised or stewed meat dishes, I normally find the 'hoof' meat in Indian dishes to be a bit more chewy. So to me personally, I'm not that concern about the meat being a bit rubbery.

                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                      more pertinently, most Indian dishes call for mutton and not lamb. It's all from the same animal, but mutton comes from older goats which gives a different, distinct taste and texture.
                                                      Sadly, mutton is available only at very few Indian grocery stores, so lamb becomes the fall back.

                                                      1. re: meatnveg

                                                        In most of the world, mutton is the name for older sheep. But in India and a few other countries, it could refer to either sheep or goats, which is confusing.

                                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                                          Sheep are fairly rare in India due to the temperature and are found only in the northern most regions. So, goats are the default for mutton.

                                                          That being said, the age at which the animal is killed that decides the name. I can tell the difference between lamb and mutton easily, as mutton has a gamey taste to it which, when handled correctly is amazing.

                                                          1. re: meatnveg

                                                            I believe mutton dressed as lamb is fairly common in Toronto, especially at Le Petit Castor. I agree, it is all about how you handle it.

                                                            Le Petit Castor
                                                            Toronto, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                2. re: Charles Yu

                                                  Vij's dishes were as close to Indian perfection outside of New Delhi.

                                                  1. re: Sadistick

                                                    In my opinion, Vij doesn't cook Indian food. He uses Indian spices in 'european' cuisine.
                                                    Hence doesn't rank anywhere in my top Indian restaurants.

                                                    Some of these dishes are excellent - just not Indian!

                                                    1. re: estufarian

                                                      Again Estufarian,
                                                      Depending upon where you eat in India.
                                                      You eat Calfs Brains there, and i must admit that in my six visits to India, have never seen them on a menu.
                                                      I enjoy the food at C.C., with the exception of the Biryani, but am not enraptured by it.
                                                      We usually are with Indian friends, and yes they mainly eat at Hotels or very specific restaurants, or at their homes, and the food at C.C. is very similar to our experiences in India.

                                                      1. re: erly

                                                        Eating brain in India is not very popular, but you may find it in some Muslim areas. So unless you specifically go looking, it's not just going to pop up on a menu.

                                                        Here is a bit more info on Offal in India http://www.indiacurry.com/faqhints/of...

                                                        After reading that, I wonder what someone with the last name "Kapoor" would be called at school :-)

                                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                                          Hi Food Dudley,
                                                          Not really looking for Offal in India, just referenced it to what is "authentic".

                                                          1. re: erly

                                                            It's about as "authentic" as people eating praire oysters here, don't you agree?
                                                            I posted that link so you could could see that brains are not all that common, and mainly eaten in some rural areas. Again, it's like saying that authentic Chinese food is bbq rat on a skewer.

                                                      2. re: estufarian

                                                        I must disagree.

                                                        What constitutes Indian Food, if not for the cooking methods and spices?

                                                        Both of which he employs in some traditional, and some non traditional manners.

                                                        1. re: Sadistick

                                                          What constitutes "Indian" food? There are a zillion regional cuisines. Vij, as estufarian states rather correctly, isn't really an "Indian" restaurant, in the sense that it is authentic Indian. That would be like calling Susur a Chinese restaurant.

                                                          1. re: tjr

                                                            Love the Susur = Chinese Restaurant comparison!

                                                            601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                                            1. re: tjr

                                                              As the world evolves, so does cuisine; but always from the same source...our roots.

                                                              Vij puts his twist on Indian cooking, just as Susur does to Chinese cuisine.


                                                              Back to the topic at hand.

                                                              Some friends and I ate at 'CC' tonight and overall enjoyed our experience.

                                                              I can see the Cuisine of India influence in the complementary pompadom and chili/coriander yogurt - almost identical.

                                                              The Onion Bhaji and Veg Pakora were very similar, both pleading to be either skinnier or offering more surface area at higher temps so more crispeness could be achieved - but the flavour was there.

                                                              The Baigan Patiala was a bit oily for my liking.

                                                              The Beef Madras and Paneer (simmered in the butter chicken sauce) were both fantastic, as was the naan and onion kulpa (I think that's what it was called).

                                                              Overall, the chef's ability to offer various identifiable layers of flavour, while attaining a nice level of heat that does not overwhelm the taste buds (I tried my DC's Chicken Vindaloo - couldnt eat more than a few bites however) speaks to their talent.

                                                              We will be back.

                                                              601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                                  2. We went tonight and it was one of the better Indian meals I've had in Toronto.
                                                    The sauces all had a great depth of flavour and excellent balance.

                                                    Butter chicken - not too sweet. A nice hint of cardamom. The white meat was a bit dry.
                                                    Baingan patalia - my favourite dish. Sweet stir fried eggplants with tomatoes and onions and lots of kalonji seeds.
                                                    Beef madras - tender beef in a rich dark gravy, quite heavily salted without being overpowering.
                                                    Malabar Fish - the hottest dish of the evening. Sweet coconut gravy seasoned with curry leaves. The white fish was moist and flaky.
                                                    Dal Bukhara - made with black lentils like Dal Makhani but without the kidney beans. Very smooth and rich.

                                                    Naan was the right combination of crispy and chewy and the rice was light and fluffy. The service was attentive. I'll be back.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                        If I had to guess, I'd say haddock, but it seemed too thick for the typical haddock fillet.

                                                        1. re: hal2010

                                                          CC uses basa in the fish tikka AFAIK. Not sure if basa is also used in the Malabar Fish.

                                                          Hopefully the owner will read this thread, and update the online and hard copy menus to indicate which fish is being used in each dish.

                                                          1. re: phoenikia

                                                            When i was last there they said they use basa.

                                                            1. re: phoenikia

                                                              It is supposed to be King Fish; but if unavailable folks use any firm textured white fish

                                                              1. re: meatnveg

                                                                These days, most restaurant owners seem to choose to use the cheapest firm-textured white fish available ;-)

                                                                1. re: phoenikia

                                                                  Basa is Vietnamese catfish. This is a really poor choice for any fish served in a restaurant. The new Indian reataurant on Danforth "Arvind" is using fresh Ontario lake fish, when I wad there they were serving a whole trout in one dish, and I think pickerel in two others.

                                                      2. A discussion of white vs. dark meat in restaurants has been split to the General Chowhounding Topics board:


                                                        1. We ate here recently and were impressed with the spices and quality (as well as quantity) of the food.

                                                          The naan, in particular, was free of that peculiar baking powder taste that some Indian restaurants' naan has. It was simply light and slightly chewy.

                                                          The lamb vindaloo was the best I've ever had in Toronto - complex flavours and the heat, although substantial, did not linger in my mouth - instead I felt it afterwards in my tummy, but pleasantly so. Certainly not painful!

                                                          One minor quibble: I found the service hit and miss. The wait staff/owners are really nice, but not consistently attentive. We kept on having to hunt them down to ask for another drink, the next course, our cheque... But they are so eager to please and the food is so good - I'm sure they will improve.

                                                          1. We had another great meal at this now becoming 'our favourite Indian restaurant in town'. This time, we had the Grilled assortment platter, Saag Chicken, Butter chicken, Nalli lamb and Prawn Marsala to go with our Naans and Basmati rice. As in the past the flavouring and spice usage presented us with some interesting, pleasant and enjoyable taste sensation. Stand outs included the Hariyali Tikka and Tandoori Tiger Prawns as well as the Nalli Lamb shank. The use of cashew paste with the spinach in the Saag chicken was an interesting approach and produced a wonderful sauce.
                                                            However, what made this meal another memorable experience was the desserts introduced to us by the owner. We had the Gulab-Jamun and Saffron Kheer both of which were very refreshing, aromatic and tasty. A lovely end to a wonderful meal.

                                                            1. We've been there twice, tried veggie, lamb, chicken dishes, as well as onion pakoras, and every time the food was great. Service was wonderful, the staff are kind and attentive.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: aparker

                                                                Any other recs on veggie dishes other than the eggplant dish?

                                                              2. Had another great tasting meal there last weekend. This time, we had:

                                                                - Grilled/Tandoori mixed platter

                                                                - Nalli Lamb

                                                                - Saag Chicken

                                                                - Butter Chicken

                                                                - Prawn Masala

                                                                - Basmati Rice and Garlic Naan

                                                                - Gulab-Jamun

                                                                Every dish has its own unique flavour and spicing. Very tasty and enjoyable!

                                                                11 Replies
                                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                  i noticed on the business cards they leave out it is also a coupon for buy one entree get one free, i should have noticed earlier!

                                                                  1. re: Pigurd

                                                                    I believe it only applies during Tueday to Thursday, Offer expiring end of this month?!

                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                      I also noticed the cards, as our table was right next to the bar. I jokingly handed it to our waiter (believe he was a co-owner) as he was very amicable the entire evening, and he smiled and laughed and told me the next time I came in, we could use it, so I will assume there are no restrictions (nothing noted on the card either).

                                                                      Regardless, the value here, compared to other Indian restaurants in the area, is fantastic. The 3 of us ate for $90 and had a good portion to take home.

                                                                  2. re: Charles Yu

                                                                    Charles, what did it cost for that meal and how many of you were there? It looks good and reminds me of the food at Cuisine of India when it first opened around 1991. It appears to be a $275 meal if it was on Danforth Ave. I'm waiting for a chance to try CC out, but it's hard to round up a few people to eat with us, especially with all the events this month.

                                                                    1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                      There were five of us and the meal came to $127 inclusive of tax and tips! Great value? No?!

                                                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                        Wow, that's great value for high quality food/service!

                                                                        1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                          Walked by yesterday to consider for dinner (weren't sure if they were open) and they've posted a giant colour print out in the window of your (Charles Yu's) review lol

                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                Lol no joke. Should have snapped a pic on my phone. It's like in the window next to the Health Inspection green card. It has. Big Chowhound header and your exact review and your name.

                                                                                1. re: girlstar

                                                                                  Went by tonight to try for dinner for the first time and we definitely enjoyed our meal. Very nice food and service. As recommended here on Chowhound we tried the Chicken Pasandra which I had never tried before anywhere else and really liked the flavouring. We also had the coconut shrimp that had nice flavouring and had a nice little kick of spice. We also tried the spinach paneer which had a nice consistency of the spinach and also a good flavour. As someone mentioned in this thread, the food all had distinct flavourings. We will return! Another table had a sizzling plate. Overheard the man dining at that table say to his guests it was chicken tikka? Not sure but smelled good! Will try next time :) Oh! And I snapped a pic on my phone of Charles Yu's review in the window :P

                                                                      2. Tried this place this weekend and while I liked it (very good Malabari fish and excellent eggplant dish, as noted in this post). But the aloo gobi and Channa were decent without being overly impressive--and channa was a bit overly salty for my taste.

                                                                        Very popular place, certainly and very nice people (though food takes a bit longer than other places due to that popularity). Overall, definitely good Indian food but due to a lack of certain veg dishes I'm very fond of (and length of time to be served), probably won't add it to ,my Indian restaurant rotation.

                                                                        1. Updates:
                                                                          CC is now open for Monday dinners 5pm onwards and deliveries (YAY).

                                                                          1. I went for my third visit tonight and the food was good as always. Had to try the butter chicken and it was excellent - tending towards the Moti Mahal, Indian style rather than the overly sweet and tomatoey stuff you often see in the west. The spinach and paneer kofta was great and the daal bukhari too. Pakoras were a bit heavy and the portion size was enormous! 6 large pieces for $4.

                                                                            However, they need to add some more wait staff or their popularity will be their undoing. There were three servers tonight and they couldn't keep up with the full house. It took us 25 minutes to get the bill settled after we'd asked for it.

                                                                            1. Nods to the CH crew from James Chatto: http://jameschatto.com/2011/01/the-co...

                                                                              ... sigh. I still need to go.

                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                              1. re: jlunar

                                                                                I would like to request that no one else add to this thread, please.

                                                                                My reasoning is purely selfish - I live a few blocks away, absolutely love this place, and have enjoyed eating in and taking out tremendously. But it's getting so busy, in large part due to all the Chowhound buzz.
                                                                                So please... shhhh...
                                                                                don't tell anyone else about it, so I can get a table ;)

                                                                                1. re: FresserGuy

                                                                                  Don't worry if you can't get in, just hop in your car and drive down to Aravind in Greektown - it's always got many tables available. Chatto reviewed it here: http://jameschatto.com/2010/12/aravind/

                                                                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                    And of course, provided you don't eat (or want) meat. They don't serve it at Aravind.

                                                                                    1. re: estufarian

                                                                                      It was a tongue-in-cheek reponse but I thought it was worth posting since Chatto reviewed both places.

                                                                                      1. re: estufarian

                                                                                        Last time I checked, fish was still meat.

                                                                                  2. re: jlunar

                                                                                    I'm genuinely pleased to see that Sanjay and his team are getting the accolades and business that they so richly deserve. I'm also impressed that they've been able to manage the uptick in business and maintain a consistently high quality of food. For those that don't know, they also started delivering food a few weeks ago - though I'd always prefer to dine in the cozy room and eat fresh from the kitchen (especially those breads, those frickin' amazing breads...), when a sickie child sidelined our plans a couple of weeks ago, we enjoyed a delicious Copper Chimney feast at home.

                                                                                    1. re: jlunar

                                                                                      Well I don't think his review got the place hopping, I was there last night from 5:30 till around 8:00 pm and it was never more than 1/2 full. I counted seats for 20 to 24 people available at all times. Has nobody else noticed that the "lamb" is actually more like 5 year old mutton? And the chicken dish we had contained extremely dry chicken breast. The various curries themselves were quite tasty, but I don't expect tough, dry "lamb" and dry chicken. The surprising this that nobody else has mentioned this.

                                                                                      On the plus side, four of us ate with a little left over for the same price that it cost two of us at Aravind.

                                                                                      I'd like to see Chatto review Maroli, so I can see what he thinks of that one. When they have one of the Malabari food festivals you get a chance to try many authentic and hard to find dishes and it deserves a mention also.

                                                                                      One last thing: if you can not handle sitting in a dining room where the temperature must be around 80F, don't go.. I just about died in the heat.

                                                                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                        I'm guessing nobody mentioned this because no one had encountered it?dry lamb and dry chicken I have never had there. an off night perhaps? (I hope)

                                                                                        1. re: foodyDudey


                                                                                          It just so happens I was there last night as well at 7PM, though it was not full when we arrived, by the time we left (8:30ish) the place was packed, and people were even eating at the little 'bar'.

                                                                                          I have not tried the lamb so I cannot comment, however, the guy sitting at a table behind us was licking the bones clean and I overheard his raving comments to the owners.

                                                                                          The chicken pieces in the butter chicken we ordered were definitely not dry, in fact, exactly as one might expect from white meat.

                                                                                          My only request would be for them to make the Onion Bhaji a little thinner/crispier - besides that, 2 of us dined for $35 after tip. Can't beat it.

                                                                                          1. re: Sadistick

                                                                                            Were we at the same place? As I said, Copper Chimney was 1/2 empty (or 1/2 full) when I left at 8:00 pm. Ther was no table with two eating except for two women eating together, maybe that was you. I guess it filled up soon after we left. And yes the Chicken in the chicken Saag was very dry, and in bother that dish and the lamb pasanda, it appeared the meat was cooked separately and added in.

                                                                                            1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                              That was not I, but they were seated next to us.

                                                                                              Perhaps just after you left it began to fill; as by the time we departed, as I said, it was packed and they had an 8 top reservation coming in.

                                                                                              I cannot comment on the Saag, but I presume they cook all their meats the same - from what I could gather, it appears as if they cook the chicken (at least for the Butter Chicken) in the Tandoori prior, and placed in the sauce. Perhaps you were unfortunate enough to get a few dry pieces? Did you mention it to the owners (they are more than willing to do anything to accommodate)?

                                                                                              We have been there a half dozen times now and have always had consistently good food.

                                                                                          2. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                            Agree with you about the chicken. I ordered the Chicken Kadhai and it was a bit on the dry side. The actual flavour of the dish was good, but the chicken itself was disappointing. The lamb saag on the other hand was fine. I didn't find the pieces tough and they were free of too much fat. I have had a lot worse at many places. The lamb seekh kebab was also good. Most places make the seekh kebab too dry and hard. This was moist.
                                                                                            Had the same experience with the heating. It was boiling in there. Maybe you had the same table we did when we went. It was the table in the corner next to the wall where the stairs go down. We went on a Wedneday night and it was mostly empty.

                                                                                            1. re: ManAbout

                                                                                              I finally went to this restaurant!! What took me so long?
                                                                                              I ordered take out: baignan patiala (eggplant stir fried in tomato, garlic, ginger and dried mang) and Mutter Methi Malia (green peas and mildly spice fresh methi leaves, cooked with creamy yoghurt).
                                                                                              Everything was flavorful and you can tell that someone knows what they are doing in the kitchen. I cant wait to go back to try more.

                                                                                        2. I have had good things to say about this restaurant in the past. But, my most recent experience was severely disappointing. Almost every dish was bad. It was nowhere near the level of taste or quality I have had here before. The food was either severely lacking in flavour, or overdone. Sometimes both. It was like the food was coming out of a different kitchen. Even the papaddum they serve before the meal was soggy. Yes, it was Mothers Day. And yes, the restaurant was packed. So? It's not like they reduced their prices to go with the substandard food.

                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ManAbout

                                                                                            Personally I don't find this restaurant "as good" as everyone says. I've eaten there multiple times and I what I enjoy is their Palak Kofta and Baigan Patiala (though I find Amaya's sweet & sour eggplant the best Indian eggplant dish that I've tasted). I haven't found any of their meat dishes "noteworthy".

                                                                                            1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                                                                                            1. re: Apprentice

                                                                                              I was there again last night - it wasn't particularly busy and there were no service issues at all. Also no problems with textures - NOTHING was soggy.

                                                                                              But the spicing (although still layered - which for me is their best aspect) didn't seem as hot as usual. Has anyone else noticed a slight taming of the heat?

                                                                                              1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                What did you order? We found there was more heat to the eggplant the third time we ordered it (sometime last week).

                                                                                                I haven't found any textural issues either. However I rarely eat papaddum at restaurants - they are ALWAYS stale (this is not CC specific).

                                                                                                1. re: Apprentice

                                                                                                  Onion Bhaji
                                                                                                  Tandoori Mixed Platter
                                                                                                  Chicken Pasanda
                                                                                                  Lamb Vindaloo
                                                                                                  Aloo Gobi
                                                                                                  Subzi Sangam
                                                                                                  Vegetable Pulau,

                                                                                                  1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                    Did the platter come with the prawns? Their prawns remind me of the way my father would make seafood (which of course I like). Interesting you enjoy their pasanda - I find it too "sweet", if you know what I mean.

                                                                                                    1. re: Apprentice

                                                                                                      More like 'prawn'! But yes!

                                                                                                      I find 'sweetness' to be a good counterbalance to spice - especially in Indian (sub-continent) cuisines. So, if anything, that would be an attraction.
                                                                                                      However, I didn't find the Pasanda particularly sweet - it's more of a mouth-feel thing. And, in particular, I do like their chicken version of this - the meat still has some texture, not having been overcooked to a mushy texture (although I understand why other contributors would prefer the inclusion of dark meat).

                                                                                                      But, to emphasize the core issue - it is the balance of spicing that draws me back - a distinct contrast to the many other places in Toronto that use only 'heat' variation (via chilis) and adjust their one (maybe two) mother sauces for each dish.

                                                                                                      I can understand a texture issue too - even if it hasn't affected me. I have/had several restaurants where I would only order specific dishes if they were empty - when full they'd combine orders and make larger portions of an individual dish (then split it) and some dishes just don't work if you double (or triple) the portion size. For example, I would expect Pakoras and Bhaji to be less crisp if a larger portion was prepared (compared to a 'normal' serving).

                                                                                                2. re: estufarian

                                                                                                  YES the layering, the essence of Inidan cuisine as I understand it, and this chef does get it, doesnt he?

                                                                                                  1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                    Yes. I am sure everything was fine. The kitchen seems to perform well enough when there are only 2 or 3 tables seated in the restaurant.

                                                                                                    1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                      Yes. I found their dishes extremely spicy before, and so have been asking for my order to be mild, and it was still very spicy. This time I asked for mild and it was completely mild, so I don't think I will ask for it that way again. Food is still great I think.