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Which restaurants do you visit most frequently?

prima Feb 2, 2012 07:25 AM

Anyone who has been following the top 10 now knows which restaurants are the favourites amongst the 39 people who responded to the top 10 thread.

I visited most of my top 8 restaurants only once or twice over the past 18 months.

Which restaurants have you visited the most frequently over the past 18 months?

No need to mention food court/fast food/coffee chains, but I'd be interested to see which restaurants Hounds visited more than 3 times in the past 18 months. I'm usually focused on trying new restaurants, rather than returning to old favourites frequently, so there are relatively few restaurants that I visited more than 3 times over a span of 18 months.

Over the past 18 months, here are my most frequented restaurants in TO:
Khao San Road- visited 4 times
Nota Bene- visited 4 times
Frank- visited 4 times
Detroit Eatery- visited 5 times
The Fry Basket- visited >6 times

  1. y
    Yimahaji Feb 22, 2013 02:14 PM

    Mikado
    Jacobs
    Copper Chimney
    Burger Priest
    Taro
    Dynasty
    Yamato

    1. ComerDemonio Feb 17, 2013 05:50 PM

      We don't keep "records" of where we go but I'm sure we've been to all of these ones more than 5 times:

      Woodlot - 10+
      Utopia - 5+
      Marben - 5+
      Buca - 5
      Enoteca Sociale - 5
      Tati - 5
      The Harbord Room - 5
      Splendido - 5
      Le Select - 5
      Grapefruit Moon (Breakfast)

      I can add a few more since I eat out at lunch on a regular basis:

      The Gabardine - 10+
      Khao San Road - 10+
      Ravi Soups - 10+
      Brick Street Bakery - 10+

      Suddenly I'm feeling fairly spoiled.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ComerDemonio
        Googs Feb 18, 2013 08:54 AM

        What are the happening dishes at Tati these days? Its been far too long since Beau & I've been.

        1. re: Googs
          ComerDemonio Feb 18, 2013 11:06 AM

          We usually end up at Tati when we want something relatively quick and inexpensive on a weekday evening or when the bar at Harbord Room is full. I generally stick with classic bistro dishes when we go and SO usually goes for the vegetarian special. Their steak frites is pretty decent, as is their boeuf bourguignon. The cassoulet is probably my favorite dish at Tati ... how can you go wrong with beans, duck, sausage, and tomatoes :)

          I would avoid their hamburger (even if it is on the daily special) and I'm not a fan of their duck confit (the duck is fine but the dish needs something).

          1. re: ComerDemonio
            meatnveg Feb 18, 2013 02:19 PM

            The rabbit or the mussels are my go-to at Tati. Like Comer, I end up there when I want something reliable and good (though it doesn't happen to make my list).

            But i digress. They have Rabbit..and it's delicious.

      2. k
        KitchenVoodoo Feb 17, 2013 05:09 PM

        Table 17
        Paulette's Fried Chicken
        Shore Club

        1. l
          LemonLauren Feb 12, 2013 11:07 AM

          In 2012, my most visited restos:

          Pizza Libretto Danforth
          Ceili Cottage
          Keriwa Cafe
          The Gabardine
          The Queen and Beaver
          Luma
          Woodlot
          Harbord Room
          Tabule
          Sushi Supreme

          1. g
            GreggyK Feb 11, 2013 09:13 PM

            I'm out in Whitby, so there is a limited selection but I drive to Brooklyn, and visit Baldwin Street Burger maybe 2-3 times in a week. They do a feature every day, which could be a new burger, or some other dish. There always on point.

            1. prima Feb 11, 2013 07:39 PM

              My most frequented restaurants have changed considerably over the last year.

              Now, my most frequented restaurant is probably Pizzeria Libretto Danforth. I can't think of any other restaurant I've visited more than 3 times over the past year. The only restaurants I can remember visiting twice over the last 12 months are Kalyvia, Burger's Priest, Yang's, Holy Chuck and Stockyards.

              1. p
                pearlD Feb 11, 2013 07:28 PM

                Pastis, The Regency (Indian Food), Buo Thai, Stockyards, Corner House, Pasta Bar.
                Cantine is my 'usual' and frequent lunch (not dinner) place with friends.. it's in my neighbourhood so it's close, comfortable and convenient.

                1. b
                  bringonthelbs Dec 3, 2012 10:41 AM

                  Interesting to read through and see where everyone's going!

                  Here are my top restos that make the 10+ visits list:

                  - Earth
                  - Mercatto
                  - Japango
                  - Harlem
                  - Big Daddy's (for voodoo hour oysters)
                  - Hair of the Dog (brunch)
                  - Trimurti
                  - 5 Doors North
                  - Barbarians

                  1. t
                    T.O. Diner Nov 19, 2012 07:18 PM

                    What an incredible selection. For us would be:

                    Pulcinella (anyone who hasn't ventured to Etobicoke for this gem doesn't know what they're missing) 25+
                    Splendido 10+ awesome wine list if you have a sense of adventure and Mik is a genius of a sommelier
                    Mercatto - great pizza 5+
                    George 5+
                    Colborne Lane 4 (must say, used to be my 'go to' resto when i wanted to take someone for a mind blowing meal - won't be back until they figure out what they want to be - way too much money to spend on 'meh' food)
                    Nota Bene 7+ always dependable
                    Lucien 3+ sadly (and imo unfairly) has fallen off the radar
                    Via Allegro 5 - it's impossible to go wrong (if you have the budget)
                    Sushi Kaji 2, not for want of trying. Best Japanese food since living in Tokyo

                    I'm hungry.

                    1. Dr. John Nov 14, 2012 03:26 PM

                      I only wish we could get to our favourite restaurants as often as some people seem to be able to. I envy your schedules! We can't even keep up to covering all the places we'd like to try once.

                      I haven't kept exact tallies, but if we are talking 5+ visits in the past 18 months, here are the ones I can think of:

                      George
                      Queen Margherita
                      Lee Garden
                      Swatow
                      Pizza Pide
                      Nota Bene
                      Hanoi 3 Seasons
                      Dukem
                      Bannock
                      Bonjour Brioche

                      1. i
                        Inkou Nov 12, 2012 11:57 AM

                        I actually keep a restaurant list on my phone.

                        This year I've been to:

                        Acadia
                        Edulis
                        Hopgoods
                        Jabistro
                        Chantecler
                        Cava
                        County General
                        Actinolite
                        Black Hoof
                        Momofuku Daisho
                        Feasting Room
                        Nota Bene
                        Guu
                        Torito
                        Woodlot

                        This year I've also been to, and I don't think I'll return soon:

                        Ici bistro
                        Hapa izakaya
                        Enoteca Sociale
                        Local kitchen
                        Ursa
                        Keriwa Cafe

                        Not many places I've been to more than twice, I'm not counting Chinatown, or lunches, or ramen places. I do find it difficult to go to the same place even within a year, I'm also looking for new things.

                        I will share a trick my aunt taught me though. If you like restaurant, and you want them to recognize you but you don't want to go too frequently. GO THERE THREE DAYS IN A ROW! That way you can not go for a year and they'd still recognize you and give you good service, I've never done it, always wanted to try.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Inkou
                          s
                          szw Feb 11, 2013 10:18 PM

                          Strange advice to me. I'd hate to be recognized in a restaurant. Maybe I just like good food and don't require the pampering many people on here seem to crave at restaurants!

                          1. re: szw
                            j
                            JennaBean Feb 12, 2013 08:00 AM

                            I hate it too! My bf is in the industry and I hate going out to dinner with him for that very reason. It makes me really uncomfortable!

                            1. re: JennaBean
                              ingloriouseater Feb 12, 2013 08:34 AM

                              i don't think of it as pampering. i like the recognition in that i can always get a table, i never have to wait for anything, often get samples of things they are trying out, preferences are remembered and acted upon, get invites to special events...i feel valued...sometimes the experience needs to be about more than the food....how many times have i read on this board that somebody would go back but for the service? service seems to be among the top complaints in of this industry in toronto.

                              1. re: ingloriouseater
                                s
                                szw Feb 12, 2013 08:49 AM

                                I think that is the definition of pampering! Yes I agree that for most people, service is more important than food. For them, its absolutely about being pampered. I always feel its a shame, as so much work can go into a restaurant and one bad server can turn a person off that. Thats why as a customer, I can look past a bad server and recognize what is good and what isn't.

                                I don't know..i've almost never had much problems with service in Toronto. I suspect those that do are expecting too much. Go get a good massage, then go get some good food IMO! Much better than mediocre food with good service.

                                1. re: szw
                                  ingloriouseater Feb 12, 2013 11:22 AM

                                  i think of it as great customer service. what you call pampering is what customer service industries strive to attain.

                                  but back to the topic to some extent...

                                  we go through phases and will frequent places and end up going faithfully once or twice a week for 4 or 5 months (usually through 2 seasonal menus) and then tire of it and move on....going back a year or so later.

                                  on last years list and in no particular order

                                  enoteca maialino
                                  marben
                                  edulis
                                  buca
                                  ursa
                                  origin liberty village
                                  the westerly
                                  volos
                                  county general(that may have been 2011)
                                  george
                                  libretto
                                  woodlot
                                  gabardine

                                2. re: ingloriouseater
                                  estufarian Feb 12, 2013 09:21 AM

                                  From my perspective:
                                  I RETURN to a Restaurant because of the food (doesn't matter how good the service was).
                                  I AVOID a Restaurant because of the service (OK if it was my favourite food in the world I might return - but less frequently - but I've never had that bad service in a top food restaurant).
                                  Consequently I avoided Auberge de Pommier for maybe 15 years - where I was acused of lying by a server, but have returned since the manager left.
                                  And this year I've avoided Rose & Sons; as both the sets of guests I took there refuse to return, because of the service, and I don't really want to dine alone.

                                  But back to the topic - I visited half of my top 10 at least 4 times:
                                  Acadia
                                  Copper Chimney
                                  Splendido
                                  Stack
                                  Universal Grill

                                  1. re: ingloriouseater
                                    aser Feb 15, 2013 09:46 PM

                                    Chinese people dole out lai see to every single employee in a restaurant each year (from the managers down to the bussers) just to get preferential treatment. I don't see anything wrong with it, it's just how the culture is. It's bribing, no ifs ands or buts about it.

                                    As to "continental" restaurants, people love preferential treatment but never like admitting to it. Admitting to it makes them feel like privileged fat cats. Whether you're one or not is up to you to decide. It's hard to look yourself in the mirror at times.

                                    I have no shame when I get preferential treatment. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours, that is how the world works.

                                    As for perks for being in the industry, that's par for course. People get paid like crap cooking, it's their only benefit.

                                    Regarding Jennabean, if you hate it so much you wouldn't mention getting preferential treatment on the board multiple times because of your industry bf.

                                    I'm not counting, but I've read you referencing this multiple times. I don't even read most of the posts on here.

                                    "Woe is me" i get free plates sent to my table. Not exactly the worst problem in life.

                                    Any business should treat repeat customers, friends, family, industry with extra care, not just restaurants. This is how you build long term clientele.

                                    Now to keep it back on topic, I go to Tien Thanh usually once a week. They don't recognize me, they don't give me any special treatment. I still go, I don't get asshurt about it.

                                    Good food is good food.

                                    1. re: aser
                                      j
                                      JennaBean Feb 22, 2013 01:21 PM

                                      Haha! Fair enough! It isn't woes me but it is very uncomfortable b/c I'm picky and the bf is even worse. So it can be uncomfortable when neither of us want to eat the dish and don't have more than a bite or two. That's rude and it sucks but we've done it. I don't think it is as big of a issue when you're in a bigger market but TO is small so it is almost unavoidable.

                            2. happycamper Nov 11, 2012 04:55 PM

                              What a great thread.

                              Although I am guessing proximity to work/living dictates most of the posts, some of the recurrent restaurants on this list signals prices good price point for the food and experience.

                              My own:
                              -Alimento >10
                              -Parkette >5
                              -Beer Bistro >5
                              -Union >5
                              -Oyster Boy >5
                              -Rodney's >5
                              -Weslodge >5
                              -Sadies for brunch (too many to count)

                              The more 'high end' selections:
                              -Enoteca Sociale >3
                              -Bymark >3

                              1. j
                                juliewong Nov 11, 2012 02:45 PM

                                Lately the only restaurant that I visit on a weekly basis other than the hot dog stand in front of 315 Front Street is Sangs Great Seafood Restaurant on Spadina north of dundas. Two lobsters HK style on a weekly basis. Yummy

                                1. meatnveg Feb 5, 2012 09:05 AM

                                  In the last 18 months:

                                  Bloor St. Diner - 17 times (all Sunday Bruch)
                                  Marben - 14 times
                                  Mt. Everest - 12 times
                                  Guu -4 times

                                  It's a short list, as I only eat out on weekends andnew places take precedence most of the time.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: meatnveg
                                    m
                                    millygirl Nov 10, 2012 08:05 AM

                                    What's the brunch like at Bloor St Diner? I did not know they had one.

                                    1. re: millygirl
                                      j
                                      juno Nov 10, 2012 03:44 PM

                                      My most-visited joints nowadays are 1. uptown, within a 15-20-minute drive of my humble lodgings and 2. not necessarily great, but at least satisfying (and occasionally imaginative). They include: Left Bank Bistro and Copper Chimney, both on Avenue Rd.; Tov-Li (for falafel) and Paese, on Bathurst St.; Sun Star (a little gem if you know what to order) and Congee Queen, both Chinese; Stack and Trio, on the same block of Yonge St.; and, slightly farther afield, Steeles Deli, Best Grill, Rebel House and Cho Sun OK (Korean). I've been to all of them considerably more than three times over the past 18 months. There are spots downtown I'd like to get to more often (like Enoteca Sociale), but it ain't worth the traffic aggravation.

                                    2. re: meatnveg
                                      meatnveg Feb 17, 2013 01:20 PM

                                      A slight revision is needed to this list. My new haunts have been:
                                      - Guu (still going strong at 3 times)
                                      - Pho Rex (~3 times....per week. It's Winter)
                                      - Bulgogee House (couple of times of a week for lunch. again it's winter and i love soup)

                                    3. g
                                      ggom1 Feb 5, 2012 08:47 AM

                                      Hm, my most frequented is a mix between my top list and places that are nearby/cheap.

                                      Khao San Road
                                      Woodlot
                                      Beast
                                      To-ne Sushi
                                      Guu (Bloor)
                                      Asian Legend

                                      1. j
                                        JennaBean Feb 4, 2012 10:53 AM

                                        Le Select - 5+
                                        Beast - 4
                                        Country General - 4
                                        Khao San Road - 4
                                        Cava - 3
                                        Torito - 5
                                        Guu - 5+

                                        And at least two visits to each of my fav higher end places - George, Ici Bistro, Splendido, Jacobs & Co.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JennaBean
                                          j
                                          JennaBean Dec 3, 2012 11:07 AM

                                          A wee update as a few places have turned to regular destinations:

                                          416 Snackbar - 5+
                                          The Saint - 5+
                                          Grand Electic - 5+
                                          Sushi Couture - 5+

                                          Since this last update, GUU and Beast have fall off the list for me.

                                        2. mariecollins Feb 3, 2012 06:57 AM

                                          Take out:

                                          Sultan Shawarma and Falafel,
                                          Danforth Roti,
                                          quattro4ragazze
                                          Fresh Ginger

                                          Eat In

                                          Lola Sushi
                                          QMP
                                          Green Dragon
                                          Yangs
                                          Morgans

                                          1. a
                                            AJMC791 Feb 2, 2012 03:33 PM

                                            Dynasty
                                            The Rebel House
                                            Osteria e cicerie
                                            Allen's
                                            5 doors North
                                            Quanto Basta
                                            Origin
                                            Four
                                            O & B
                                            Rodneys by Bay
                                            Beer bistro

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: AJMC791
                                              petek Feb 2, 2012 07:41 PM

                                              Swatow(whenever i'm in the neighborhood)

                                              Rol San(whenever I'm up early enough on a Sunday)

                                              Burger Shack(my neighborhood joint)

                                              Micky d's(whenever I get coupons in the mail :-D)

                                              Stockyards

                                              So many places to try..so little time...

                                            2. a
                                              akhorasanee Feb 2, 2012 01:58 PM

                                              Over the past 12 months
                                              sukho thai (order in at least twice a month)
                                              Katmandu (take out at least twice a month)
                                              Khao san road ( over 10 times)
                                              Guu (atleast 10 times)
                                              foxley (atleast 4 times)
                                              wow sushi (5 times)
                                              burgers priest
                                              school (brunch 4+)
                                              Daio sushi (4+)
                                              bonjour brioche
                                              Many of these are due to proximity/ convenience
                                              osteria e cicerie (3+)
                                              la bettola (3+)
                                              bannoch (4+)

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: akhorasanee
                                                Googs Feb 6, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                Interesting to see Daio Japanese on a list. I stopped going after John Lee's Omi returned. Now that Johnny is taking a break again, I'm at a loss for sushi downtown. How is Daio these days? Is the same sushi chef still behind the bar? The older gentleman that only speaks Japanese save to say to customers, "Best sushi in Canada!"

                                                1. re: Googs
                                                  p
                                                  peppermint pate Feb 6, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                  Can't answer your Daio question but I've had a couple of very tasty sushi meals at Yuzu on Adelaide. I know you're a big John Lee fan - any idea what his plans are post-Omi?

                                                  1. re: peppermint pate
                                                    Googs Feb 6, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                    He'll be returning. When, where, and in what form I cannot say. Even if he has ideas right now, he's a creative, intuitive man and may change his mind as the world around him changes. I have my fingers crossed for the fall, midtown, and a return to the casual fun of the original Church St days of Omi.

                                                    1. re: Googs
                                                      p
                                                      peppermint pate Feb 6, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                      I would be thrilled with all of those things, especially your last reference to the original Church Street location. As both Hiro and then Omi, that simple little spot was home to my favourite sushi experiences in Toronto.

                                                      1. re: peppermint pate
                                                        jlunar Feb 6, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                        Those Omi Church street days were golden. So great.

                                                        Googs, I think you might like Yuzu - sit at the sushi bar and try talking to the chefs. They're not all as fluent in English as John is though, so you'll have to put some effort in. It has been a couple months since I moved away from the area, but I would go weekly when I was around the corner from it. I likely wouldn't have got that often had I been further, but definitely it would have been a once-a-month place. Mind you, I ate there enough to earn my chopsticks there!

                                              2. p
                                                peppermint pate Feb 2, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                I like the way these different threads make you reflect on your eating habits. Upping the threshold number of visits to 5 over the past 18 months, I think my list would look like this:

                                                Khao San Road
                                                Woodlot
                                                Enoteca Sociale
                                                Beast
                                                Rol San
                                                Dynasty
                                                Terroni
                                                Black Camel
                                                Guu
                                                Pizzeria Libretto
                                                Mezes
                                                Lola's Kitchen
                                                Aroma
                                                Torito
                                                Copper Chimney
                                                Boulevard Cafe
                                                Kenzo
                                                Swatow
                                                Tabule (those these days, it's more takeout)

                                                1. jlunar Feb 2, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                  Roughly:

                                                  * Yuzu - 50+
                                                  Trimurti - 50+
                                                  Beer Bistro - 11
                                                  Paldo Gangsan - 8
                                                  * Enoteca Sociale - 8
                                                  Ajuker - 8
                                                  Nota Bene - 7
                                                  Phoenix - 7
                                                  * Porchetta & Co - 6
                                                  * Splendido - 6
                                                  * Mot Na Son - 5
                                                  * The Black Hoof - 5
                                                  * Very Fair - 3

                                                  Starred items are part of my top 10. Looking back on it, I feel like I should have included Trimurti (sort of) and Nota Bene on my list! Ah well.

                                                  Edit: I have a ton more at 3-times, but am too lazy to list. It'd be a lot. I do think I got all the 5+ ones though.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jlunar
                                                    aser Feb 2, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                    Paldo Gangsan, much better than owl for late night booze soaking food. Doesn't get much love on here though, it's probably the first mention I've seen of it on CH.

                                                    1. re: aser
                                                      jlunar Feb 2, 2012 02:05 PM

                                                      The only thing I don't like is that it can get reaaaally noisy in there, which is less my thing, but it's funny at times, seeing all the students singing, etc.

                                                      This thread inspires me to keep track of my eating for a year... I find it interesting the difference between where I eat a lot and what I would consider my top 10. It's not a huge diff, but it's there nonetheless.

                                                      Though, I moved back to North York. I think many on the frequency list would drop significantly now.

                                                  2. CocoaChanel Feb 2, 2012 10:48 AM

                                                    Quince
                                                    Splendido
                                                    Rodney's by Bay

                                                    1. c
                                                      CalliopeToronto Feb 2, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                      I like trying new restaurants, so I wouldn't really say I frequent many. In the last 18 months, the restaurants I've dined at multiple times would only include:

                                                      Ravi's Soup
                                                      Taboule
                                                      Rodney's Oyster House

                                                      1. justxpete Feb 2, 2012 07:31 AM

                                                        Simple for me. I visit the places in my top 10 most frequently. I visit other restaurants when I hear good things about them. So, from my top 10:

                                                        Splendido > 25
                                                        marben > 20
                                                        Enoteca sociale > 15
                                                        Porchetta & Co > 25
                                                        Beast > 5
                                                        Ici Bistro 2
                                                        Keriwa Cafe 3
                                                        County General > 20
                                                        Colborne Lane > 3
                                                        Cava > 5

                                                        I also go to Jacobs & Co about once a month, but they didn't make my top 10.

                                                        19 Replies
                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                          prima Feb 2, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                          That's impressive, justxpete. Which dishes have you ordered the most at Splendido and County General, that keep you coming back?

                                                          1. re: prima
                                                            justxpete Feb 2, 2012 07:47 AM

                                                            I've ordered just about everything at Splendido. My favs are the steak and the chicken, however. And they added a mushroom salad recently that may be the best salad I've ever eaten. I enjoy Splendido because they keep their meats the same, but change up the accoutrements and supplementary menu items constantly - keeping everything fresh and seasonal. I also verily enjoy the service and personnel.

                                                            As for the County, it's a place nearby to us so it's convenient for us to attend, and get takeout from - the cooking skill is there, but it's just less complicated food than Splendido - and doesn't compromise on quality. I also think their burger is one of the best in the city, and their fried chicken sandwich is great as well.

                                                            Admittedly, I'm a bit of a Splendido fan boi, as others have noticed on this board, but i think justifiably so. :)

                                                            I might add that I'd love to be able to visit ici bistro much more often - but we're pretty spontaneous diners and IB requires a reso well in advance. We had a 7 course tasting menu there that was definitely in my top 3 meals of last year.

                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                              aser Feb 2, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                              baller Splendido x 25, let's just say I'm jealous. Can I be your secretary, take me along as a business expense. I do agree with you, Splendido comes closest to a Michelin 1 star experience in Toronto. I guess I'm a fan boi too. Their foie mousse is the best rendition in Toronto.

                                                              Thien Than - weekly
                                                              Gourmet Garden - 5+
                                                              Swatow - twice a month
                                                              Stockyars - bi-monthly
                                                              Allen's - bi-monthly, alternate between them & Stockyards for burgers.
                                                              Ematei - bi-monthly
                                                              Yang's - bi-monthly
                                                              Guu - 10+
                                                              Khao San/Sukho - 5+
                                                              Gourmet Garden - 5+
                                                              Hoof - 5+
                                                              Pam's Roti - 5+
                                                              Sunrise - 5+

                                                              I don't have photographic memory like you guys, can't pin down the number on places that I've hit 5+ times.

                                                              1. re: aser
                                                                justxpete Feb 2, 2012 08:35 PM

                                                                Based on the 1, 2 and 3 star michelin restaurants that I've been to (not a great many, mind you), I would boldly say that Splendido would be a two. There are better Indian restaurants in Toronto than the 1-star Michelin Indian restaurant in London (just for comparison's sake). And, as soon as I have additional funds for a dining PA, I'll come knocking. Hehe.

                                                                1. re: justxpete
                                                                  k
                                                                  KitchenVoodoo Nov 9, 2012 05:34 PM

                                                                  Can you tell us which Indian restaurants in Toronto are better than in London? My oopinion would be the reverse.

                                                                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo
                                                                    Charles Yu Nov 10, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                    Yes! I too would like to know!!
                                                                    I studied, lived and worked in London for over 10 years. I ate Indian food almost twice a week!! IMHO, Toronto Indian restaurants compare to London's is like comparing Toronto's sushi with that in Tokyo!! That is! No Comparison!!! The spices, the complexity and overall taste just seemed to be lacking here in TO. The strange thing is, we have such a huge South Asian population in town too??!!!! Actually, even Vancouver Vij's, though good by 'Canadian' standard, still falls behind some of London's better ones. In fact some of the pseudo-'hole in the wall' outfit in places like Tooting or Earl's Court churned out amazing tasting dishes!!
                                                                    Fellow chowhounder 'Klyeoh' seemed to summarize it best in some of his postings on the London board!

                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                      k
                                                                      KitchenVoodoo Feb 17, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                                      Charles, the first thing I do after checking in to my hotel in London is to go curry hunting! Living next to Little India here in Toronto is so sad, because the food is such a let down compared to London where I lived for 5 years and ate myself silly on amazing curries - I even remember that some places used to garnish their rice dishes with real silver - (this was before the price of silver shot up and made photography and x-rays so much more expensive).

                                                                    2. re: KitchenVoodoo
                                                                      justxpete Nov 10, 2012 08:03 PM

                                                                      I said that "There are better Indian restaurants in Toronto than the 1-star Michelin Indian restaurant in London". There's a distinct difference in that sentence, and the meaning you seem to have took from it.

                                                                      1. re: justxpete
                                                                        Charles Yu Nov 11, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                        Irrespective, still CURIOUS to know, in you opinion, which Indian restaurants in Toronto have food that you think are better than London's Michelin star Indian??!!
                                                                        I've eaten in the 1* Amaya, Quilon, Tamarind as well as Veeraswamy and Benares. I don't think any current Indian restaurants have food that can touch the food they offer. In particular, seafood dishes!!

                                                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                          justxpete Nov 11, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                                          Both Indian Rice Factory and Babur on Queen were cooking better than what I ate at the only existing 1-Star Michelin Indian restaurant, at the time. This was in 2009 or 2010, I believe.

                                                                          1. re: justxpete
                                                                            Charles Yu Nov 11, 2012 03:14 PM

                                                                            Thanks justxpete!! Its been a while since I last ate at the Indian Rice Factory! Totally forgot about the place!! Time to make a long trip down to give it another try!!
                                                                            I'm closer to Babur in Markham. However, found their style a bit too spicy for my palate. Prefer northern Indian more.
                                                                            Wish me luck with IRF!! Its a loooong drive!

                                                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                              justxpete Nov 11, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                                              It's been quite a while since I was there, Charles - I'm not certain of the current state. Will report back should I go there sooner than you.

                                                                              I've never found Babur too spicey, myself. I haven't been there either in about 6 months. I think I'm "off" Indian food right now - Anyway, the best Indian meal I've had recently was a special dinner organized by the owner of the Cookbook store at Dhabba on King.

                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                estufarian Nov 20, 2012 05:59 AM

                                                                                I've had mixed luck with Indian Rice Factory.
                                                                                The service has been consistently awful - the main reason I rarely return!
                                                                                The food has been patchy - although still above most Indian places I've tried. Where once the spicing was well-layered, more recently it has just been 'hot'.
                                                                                On the brighter side, the wine list is now extremely good.
                                                                                For me, Aravind is currently the 'best' - but it's more expensive (to be fair, the ingredients are top-notch). So I still end up at Copper Chimney more than IRF.

                                                                                1. re: estufarian
                                                                                  justxpete Nov 20, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                                                  Agreed, I never found the service to be particularly good at Rice Factory (in fact, we used to say that we should never go there hungry), but at the time, the food was hands and feet above anything being offered in TO.

                                                                                  I'll have to give Avarind a try.

                                                                  2. re: justxpete
                                                                    prima Mar 8, 2012 12:45 PM

                                                                    Have you ever gone to Splendido when you're in a bit of a hurrry? I realize many dine there for special occasions, and dinners like that often might take 2-3 hours. Would Splendido be able to serve 3 courses in 90-100 minutes on a weeknight?

                                                                    1. re: prima
                                                                      j
                                                                      JennaBean Mar 8, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                                      Yes for sure if you let them know when you arrive.

                                                                      1. re: prima
                                                                        justxpete Mar 8, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                        Definitely. We don't often stay there longer than 90-120 minutes unless it's a special occasion (visitors from out of down, birthdays, etc.). We also usually have 3-4 courses... an app (sometimes shared), a main, and desert. Sometimes it's only two courses, sometimes more, but more often than not, we're out of there in under two hours. I'm sure if you let them know that you're in a bit of a hurry, they'd be able to accommodate quite easily.

                                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                                          prima Mar 8, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                                          Ok, great. Thanks justxpete & JennaBean.

                                                                  3. re: justxpete
                                                                    justxpete Nov 10, 2012 08:06 PM

                                                                    And my, have my dining habits changed since February. The only places still on my list, were I to create one now, are Splendido and County General.

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