Tag Archives: food review

Restaurant Diaries: Curry Twist

You’re all aware that my father was a chef for the better part of his life. He owned one of the first Indian restaurants in Toronto and happily served the community for over 47 years. Since he retired back in 2012, Dev and I have tried to find a restaurant that cooks and serves the food similar to how my father used to. With over 1500 Indian restaurants in the GTA alone, it’s impossible to visit each one. But the many that I have visited has disappointed my taste buds. Until now!

A couple of weeks ago, my taste buds craved for something spicy and rich in flavour and what better cuisine  to satisfy that craving than Indian food. We reviewed many restaurants online and one little place, on the other side of the city had raving reviews, Curry Twist. We dropped in late on a Friday night, so it was quiet and parking was easy to find on the street. After being seated, I examined the restaurant. It wasn’t anything fancy. Small in width but a good size overall. The waiter was pleasant, however, too anxious to serve us than to indulge in small talk or answer many questions.

Chicken Seekh Kabob
Chicken Seekh Kabob

For our appetizer, we ordered seekh kabobs. OMG! My taste buds went crazy. The mixture of seekh kabobs, the spices that complimented this perfectly tandoori chunks of chicken just blew my taste buds away. Add the mint chutney to the mix and your taste buds will thank you. The chicken seekh kabobs were so good, that Dev and decided to order a second portion. Mind you, the first portion, as delicious as it was a small portion for two people to share.

Goan Fish Curry
Goan Fish Curry

For the main course, Dev couldn’t help resist ordering the Goan Fish Curry; fish curry is one of his favourite curries. I personally, don’t enjoy fish curry of any type. I’m just not a fish lover. But he was happily satisfied with the blend of coconut, spices and garlic sauce. He did find the curry slightly on the sweet side; which was disappointing, especially when a Goan Fish curry is generally assumed to be spicy. However, he didn’t complain too much as the fish was cooked perfectly.

Lamb Twist Masala
Lamb Twist Masala

I ordered Lamb Twist Masala Curry. Dev’s not much of a lamb-eater. So, I don’t cook it much at home, but love to enjoy it for dinner when eating out. This lamb curry was best lamb curry I’ve had since my father closed down his restaurant. It was made to perfection. Perfectly juicy pieces of lamb blended with a perfect concoction of spices in a tomato-based sauce. This curry took me back to the years and years of eating at my father’s restaurant. After one bite, I had to get up and go see the chef. I honestly believed the chef was a former chef from my father’s restaurant. He wasn’t. But I complimented him nonetheless.

Garlic Naan
Garlic Naan

We enjoyed our curries with garlic naan. They were so flaky, perfectly cooked and seasoned.

This little restaurant seriously has something going for it. As we were paying, I handed the waiter my card (for my blog), told him to stay tuned to a review and said, I almost NEVER visit an Indian restaurant twice. He asked why. I said, “I haven’t found one that reminds me of true Indian cooking.” Of course, his next question was, “will you be visiting us again?” I laughed, “you better believe it!”

That was one of the best Indian meals I’ve had in a really long time. The restaurant is situated on the other side of the city from where I live but absolutely worth the trip.

IMG_2081You have to try this place out. For $70, I promise you, you’re going to thank me!

Curry Twist
3034 Dundas St. West, Toronto M6P 1Z3
416-769-5460 | 647-74-TWIST (89478)

Restaurant Diaries: Aroma – The Myriad Of Exotic Spices

IMG_1170
287 King St. West, Toronto, Ontario

D and I decided to have Indian food last weekend. Our restaurant of choice was Little India on Queen St. West, as the restaurant has over 4 star ratings on Yelp and DineT.O. To our disappointment, the restaurant was full with a line-up outside and waiting for at least 20-30 minutes. Instead of waiting in line, we decided to walk south to King St. West, where a few other Indian restaurants are located. Our secondary choice that we had read good reviews about was Aroma, so we decided to try it out.

As you know, I am extremely skeptical when it comes to Indian food; how could I not be? After all, my father did own one of the first Indian restaurants in Toronto and most of Ontario and maintained it for over 47 years. Plus, he taught me how to cook. So, being a chef’s daughter and married to a man who has proper chef training, we are tough at rating food and service in general and tougher when it comes to Indian food. However, do note that I always try to go in with an open mind to these Indian restaurants, I just have a slight biased opinion when judging whether it’s properly cooked Indian food or not.

AROMA – Let’s start by talking about the atmosphere; which was beautiful as you enter into the restaurant. Walk up a flight of stairs and you’ve got a nicely lit, open room with tables and decor tastefully selected to match the ambiance of the room.

We waited to be seated, but it seemed like none of the waiters wanted to attend to us. One sort of waved us to select a table to ourselves. But then another waiter came over and politely sat us down. 10 minutes later, we were finally offered menus and water was served. I was slightly disappointed at the service and I hadn’t been in the restaurant for more than 10 minutes; not a good sign.

Chicken Pakora
Chicken Pakora

We ordered the chicken pakoras as our appetizer. They looked fantastic and were reasonably priced ($8.95 for 6 pieces). The presentation was great and the taste would have been too had they actually seasoned the chicken pieces slightly more. The chicken was quite bland. But the mint chutney we requested with it complimented it well and added the heat that was lacking.

Chicken Madras - $12.95
Chicken Madras – $12.95

For our main course, we ordered Daal Makhani (lentil and kidney bean curry in a butter sauce), Chicken Madras (boneless chicken curry in a coconut based, spicy sauce), Sada Rice (plain rice) and Garlic Naan.

Overall, the food was good but it wasn’t anything amazing. I mean, it was prepared for a bland palette. As an Indian, I love my spices and not just the heat. If the food is properly seasoned, you don’t need the heat, as Indian food is a perfect blend of spices not just pepper.

Daal Makhani - $10.95
Daal Makhani – $10.95

Sadly, Aroma failed my expectations to bring that perfection to the plate. I won’t say that it was a bad restaurant to visit; it’s reasonably priced. However, if you are looking for authentic Indian cuisine, this isn’t the place. If you’re looking to have Indian food for the mere fact of having Indian food and cannot tell apart one dish to the next, this is a good place to start.

Garlic Naan - $3.95 each
Garlic Naan – $3.95 each

As for me, I might revisit Aroma when I don’t feel like cooking and D insists on having Indian food. But this will not be my go-to place to satisfy my spice cravings. I guess, my hunt continues for authentic Indian food.

Restaurant Diaires: Bar Milano

A friend suggested we take a stroll along the harbour front last weekend and so we did. We were all hungry as none of us had dinner yet. The new harbour front, here in Toronto, is stunning. It’s the perfect place to spend endless summer nights. There is always so much happening there too.

With the transformation of the harbour front have come a few top notch restaurants; Bar Milano and Watermark. By the time we walked the strip, Watermark was already closed. So we ended up having dinner at Bar Milano. The atmosphere is beautiful and the patio even more so as it looks out to lake Ontario.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of all the food we ate because I was so turned off from the service we received by the time the appetizers arrived; I just didn’t have it in me to care further. But the appetizers we did try, were absolutely delicious.  

Cauliflower fritters and barbecue glazed chicken wings on a white sauce. Both of those dishes were to die for. Absolutely delicious!

I had a Pepperoni Gino pizza as my entree and to be honest, for a restaurant that calls themselves Italian, they suck at making pizzas. My pizza was undercooked and soggy. If that didn’t ruin my night, the service just added fuel to the fire.

My two and a half year old daughter was with us, she wasn’t offered a drink or plate. It was a chilly night and her nose was running an ocean. When I asked the waitress the fourth time to get me some napkins for my daughter, she said sure and disappeared into the restaurant. I finally was annoyed enough that I got up, walked up to the bar and ripped a piece of paper towel sitting on the counter. The bartender gave me a snarky look but I just smiled back and rolled my eyes and walked away.

Fifteen minutes later, the waitress returned with paper towel, not apologizing once for the delay. How could she? She was standing by the bar yapping away with another waitress while her customers waited impatiently.

When the food was served, not by Ms. Yappy, but another server, I asked him for a plate and straw and glass of water for my daughter; which he did bring ten minutes after we had already gotten into our food.

Here’s my verdicts: if you’re looking for appetizers that are delicious, bad entrees, incompetent service; then this is the place to blow your $150 for 4 adults and a child. Needless to say, I will not be returning or suggesting friends and family visit this place, I’d be too embarrassed of the outcome of their experience!