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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Banjara Indian House (Eglinton)

Banjara Indian House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Dear Sajjad and Indian Food Fans,

Thank you for taking the time to list a bunch of your favourite Indian restaurants within the GTA. After the appointment, Danny and I went out to Banjara Indian Cuisine (east of Yonge and Eglinton) as you had recommended. 

We were tired, cranky and hungry. I almost went inside of another local Indian restaurant. We walked past McDonald's and the Goodlife gym and then some more (10-15 minute walk). 

It's a semi-basement level restaurant. Right when you open the entrance door, there will be steps. This probably won't be suitable for people with mobility aids and can probably arrange take-outs.

Like other Indian restaurants, it had dimmed lights and Indian art hanging on their walls. We arrived two hours before closing so the staff were rushing to pack up and go home. Service was average but could have been a bit better.

Entrance view: They had buffet carts at the back. Now I'm curious about their buffet specials.
Back end view

I am unsure what these are called but these super thin, salty, crispy tortilla chip like appetizers went well with the tamarind sauce. I observed there some herb mixed. Perhaps it was aniseed?

The mint sauce (left side) was a pastel green colour which I've never seen before. It was a creamy mint sauce with a salty taste in the end. Danny and I preferred the tamarind sauce because it was tangy, sweet with fruity notes.

Now that's a samosa! It was handmade, fresh, hot and well-seasoned. I was getting greedy and tried to persuade Danny to order another serving of samosa. He said no.

Don't be fooled by how these Chicken pakoras look. They look like regular chicken fingers right? They came out so fresh and hot, we waited about two minutes to allow the pakoras to cool down. They were spiced very nicely. I tried to decipher what spice they used and I couldn't really see any spices in the batter. Hmm.... this is a mystery.

Danny ordered Chicken Dinner Combo and he selected vindaloo chicken as his meat of choice. It wasn't exactly what is stated on the website but everything on his platter was delicious.
He had onion pakoras, a tad of aloo gobi on top of basmati rice, saffron pudding with micro tapioca balls and curried lentils.  

I tried some of Danny's platter pudding. Something struck me this was different from all of the other Indian puddings I had in my life. It had strong floral notes singing in my mouth. I asked the staff what was this flowery taste. She replied, "Oh, that's saffron!" I've never had saffron before. It's the most expensive spice in the world because it has to be hand picked. 

The Butter chicken was below average. It didn't taste fresh and not a lot of herbs. Additionally, it tasted very obvious it contained Campbell's Tomato Soup.

I ate it anyways. The naan was different as well. 

So this type of garlic naan, I had never seen before. They did something to the chopped garlic. Maybe it was fried in flavoured oil? It looks like there are bright yellow shattered topaz embedded on the naan. Isn't it lovely? 

I would give this place 3.5/5.0 because I saw that whoever was the chef that night was truly talented and he knows his spices. I was disappointed in their butter chicken. It definitely needed more spice.  However everything else was unique and different. I would  have to come again and try out different things. And this time, I won't arrive two hours before closing time. Thanks Sajjad for recommending this place! You're truly a foodie!

Banjara Indian Cuisine
Address: 164 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P 2K5
Phone:(416) 486-6644

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