Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Feast at Banjara Indian Cuisine

I had a craving for butter chicken last week, and too hungry to wait on the great food at Matagali (although delicious, sometimes the wait is just too long!), we started to look up where else we could go. Bread Bar is always a favourite, but then we were also too lazy to drive north. There are plenty of great Indian places around town, and I thought of a place our friends Stella and Andrew recommended - the best butter chicken in Toronto!? Worth a try!

Pulling up to the front of Banjara Indian Cuisine, Gloria immediate recognized it as a place she had been before and said the food was we were off to a good start. They don't take reservations (I tried), but it seems we arrived at just the right time, and the first round of diners were just finishing up so we were seated within 10min. Banjara is what you would expect from an Indian restaurant - lively and colourful! There is also abundant space on the patio for a hot Summer night. The menu is extensive - we had already browsed it while waiting so we wouldn't have to waste time deciding what to eat :)

Here's what 4 hungry people settled on:

- 2 orders of butter chicken: we were foolishly hungry and the metal bowls at other tables didn't look that big!
- goat curry: I had been craving this since we had it at our friends' wedding in Calgary at the Taj Mahal restaurant. It was the first I had it and was so delicious!
- shahi shrimp: we ordered this because we had never had it, shrimp cooked with coconut and green spices.
- palak panner: done with spinach and cream.
- bheendi masala: another dish we had not had before, okra done with onions and tomatoes.
- sides of saffron rice (my favourite), plan naan and garlic naan. was a lot of food! Don't let those little bowls fool you, we forgot how rich things like butter chicken can be and ended up with leftovers. The food was all good and satisfying, we often found ourselves staring at the table and wondering what we should eat next! The best of the night was the okra, most unique and delicious. While we were very happy with our food, it was served just warm, not hot enough in temperature...and in fact, also not spicy enough. We had ordered all our food "medium," I was the weakest link, but it really was mild so next time I think we would definitely go spicy.

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