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Jan 30, 2012 09:44 PM

Indian restaurant with an open kitchen

I have recently had the experience of seeing the kitchen of a restaurant in Montreal. I could not believe how dirty it was. I have decided to not eat in any restaurants where I cannot see the kitchen.

I love Indian food...are there any Indian restaurants in the city that have open kitchens?

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  1. I worked in a handful of places and it's definitely scary stuff back there for a number of establishments. One just needs a quick peek into the kitchen to tell how clean it is and don't forget that some restaurants prep their foods in the basements.

    Karma in the West Island used to be open kitchen unfortunately it closed down recently, I can't think of any others.

    1. It isn't limited to Indian restaurants, all types of restaurants can be extremely dirty. It depends entirely on how professional the owner and staff are. Greek, French, Quebecois, heck even quick service Canadian can be disgustingly dirty.

      If you're truly worried, enter the name of the restaurant into the city's list of restaurants that have been caught.

      3 Replies
      1. re: EaterBob

        the greeks are the cleanest, by far.

        1. re: C70

          I think a lot of Greek restaurant owners understand that quick service and spotless restaurants are great marketing tools.

        2. re: EaterBob

          I do not want anybody to think that I believe only Indian restaurants are dirty...the restaurant that I saw the kitchen of was not Indian and it was disgusting. I have lost confidence in all I now like to see the kitchen as much as possible.

          I am just having a craving for Indian food and I am hoping to find a Indian joint that has an open kitchen...

          Tomorrow I may have a craving for Jamaican.

        3. Malhi does not have an open kitchen, but it's pretty easy to see what's going on in there from the dining room. It's also a rather good restaurant.

          That being said, I don't really see a link between apparent cleanliness and actual food safety. Surely a dirty, dirty kitchen does not bode well, but I would refrain from jumping to conclusions one way or another.

          10 Replies
          1. re: SnackHappy

            First of all Kenneth just said he doesnt want to eat in restaurants with dirty kitchens, how can you blame him. I dont know anybody who would rather eat in a place with a dirty kitchen.

            You do not see a link between cleanliness and food saftey??? I am not an expert but I imagine there are two major elements to food temp and prep and cooking areas where bacteria can grow and cross contaminate. I think the second certainly has to do with cleanliness.

            I was at a great Indian restaurant on St. Laurent near Fairmount that was time I pass it I will note the name.

            1. re: Napat

              I wrote "apparent cleanliness and actual food safety". What I meant is that just because a kitchen looks clean, it doesn't mean people are handling the food properly.

              1. re: SnackHappy

                Sorry, I misinterpreted what you said. You are right...just because a place is clean does not mean that they are handling the food well....but it is a good start.

                1. re: Napat

                  If the kitchen *is* clean, then it's easier for the staff to handle the food properly. If the kitchen is dirty, then it becomes much more difficult. It's the storage areas in restaurant kitchens that are the really scary areas (at least, if you watch Kitchen Nightmares) where you often see cooked and uncooked foods in areas where they can cross-contaminate.

                  I always like it in Greece where the owners of a restaurant would habitually invite you into the kitchen. Restaurants with the chef's table in the kitchen are always welcome in my book.


                  1. re: pyropaul99

                    Folks, debating whether the cleanliness of a kitchen matters is really off-topic here. We'd ask that people focus on the original posters request for open kitchens, rather than questioning whether it's even a reasonable request. Thanks.

              2. re: Napat

                I think you're referring to Atma.

                1. re: hungryann

                  If you are willing to come to Laval:

                  Restaurant Daata
                  1253 Boulevard Curé-Labelle Laval, QC H7V 2V9

                  I have been there a few times and the food is always great. I particularly like the chili fish and palaak paneer. The kitchen is open, I noticed yesterday when I got the above for takeout. They can make the food EXTREMELY spicy if you ask for it too, with these tiny green chillies.....

                  1. re: humbert

                    Thank you...I have been to Daata a few years ago. I think it was a different owner.

                    You are right..most of the kitchen is open...but there is a hidden prep area in the back and they do some of the cooking back there. Having part of the kitchen open is better than none at all.

                    1. re: kennenth

                      It looks like a pretty clean place, and they make it all in front of you so...I guess thats as good as its gonna get! What did you have when you went there? If you like fish the fish pakoras and chilifish are great.

                    2. re: humbert

                      I have wondered about Daata. Is it typical north indian fare?

              3. Along the same lines as my original post. I was in a take-out restaurant (bakery) the other day. He was ordering some food to take home. I am always curious so I went in with him.

                He ordered his food at the counter. There was a sliding door behind the counter, through it you could see part of the kitchen (the grill). When the girl who took the order went into the kitchen to give the order to the cook...she closed the door behind her. When she came out again she closed the door behind her. While we waited every time someone came through the door...even for a few seconds, they closed the door behind them. At one point someone left the door open about 8 inches, when the chef noticed he came over and closed the door.

                I guess they were doing some super secret cooking back there.