Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Categories: bold, Butter Chicken, Chaat, Comfort food, Curry, East York, GTA, Indian, Meetup, naan, savoury, sour, spicy, Street food, Summerlicious, Tandoori, TORONTO
Amaya The Indian Room
1701 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Phone: +1 (416) 322 3270
TYPE OF RESTAURANT: Indian
ATTIRE: Casual / Business Casual
PRICES: See Menu
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Cash, Mastercard, Visa, Debit/POS
HOURS: 7 days a week 5PM-11PM
RESERVATIONS? yes via phone and Open Table; Walk-ins welcome
HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE? Kinda.. (washrooms are located downstairs)
GLUTEN FREE? Could be??
Anyways, back to my story, I received an email on my way to work Friday morning from one of my Meetup groups; Joy of Eating, (if you can't tell, this is a foodie group :P) mentioning that there is a last minute opening for a Summerlicious meetup that evening. Thanks to the wonder's of modern technology, within minutes, I was slated in for the final spot to dine at Amaya Indian Room.
|Indian food and massages??|
Upon my arrival I enter the East York establishment, I was politely greeted by an army of black clad Indian servers and I quickly found some other members of the meetup group in the corner of my eye since the cozy place seats about 40-45. As I venture to my table, I take note of the very modern and elegant interior with a very bold colour palette of warm orange accent walls and red chairs (both of which simulate hunger which is always a good thing for a restaurant). This was all accented with several pictures of scenery and abstract photos of India which added a very nice touch, nothing crazy like a Bollywood musical.
As the remaining members of the party were arriving I took a look at both the Summerlicous menu as well as the regular menu. To be honest, nothing on the Summerlicious menu really stood out and it just felt like it was slightly modified dishes from the regular menu with a smaller portion size. One thing that really left me perturbed was the server explicitly explained that the entire table had to make a decision of whether we wanted Summerlicious or regular menu, no mixing and matching was allowed. This stirred some debate of why they were adamant about this. I'm not sure if a reason was explained but we made it easy and all decided to order off the regular menu.
|Jazzed up Indian street food|
For my main, I played it safe and went with a staple in Indian cookery, butter chicken! Traditionally named Murgh Makhani, butter chicken is made by taking tandoori chicken (chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice and an array of spices resulting in its iconic red hue and then cooked in a clay tandoor oven) and stewing it in pureed tomatoes, cream and fried fenugreek (herb commonly used in Indian cuisine). This healthy portioned bowl of butter chicken made its entrance with a plate of fresh, warm and delicious order of garlic na'an (flatbread cooked in a tandoor oven). The butter chicken itself was very tasty; creamy, and full of flavour with the richly spiced tandoori chicken. I immediately began attacking the bowl of delicious sauce with my garlic na'an, soaking up as much saucy goodness as I could with every bite.
|dum means cooked in low heat|
We opted to skip desserts at Amaya since it was so hot out and ice cream or gelato would of been a nice finish to a bold and spice driven meal.
My final thoughts of Amaya are for the most part positive. Ironically set on going for a Summerlicious meal, I am glad that I ordered off the regular menu. Price's were a bit higher, but in return we received hefty portions perfect for sharing and indulging in a excellently executed Indian family style meal. Even though this is my first time here, judging by the number of locations Amaya holds in the GTA, I can bank that the food is consistently this good. Encountered a bit of a communication block with the ordering, but I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to dine in an inviting and pleasant atmosphere with a eye popping and mouth pleasing (and/or possibly burning depending on what you order) experience! JAI HO!