Saturday, January 8, 2011

MOTHER INDIA: 1456 Queen Street West - (416) 588-4634

Ok I admit it.  Starting a food blog around the holidays might have seemed like a great idea at the time but jeez, after all of my future mother/father-in-law's wonderful cooking, I probably didn't need to eat for another month.  Nevertheless, faithful readers, Jess used her pryin' bar and managed to roll me out of my obesity hammock so I can bring you yet another completely unqualified restaurant review in Parkdale.  This one I was excited about too.  Mother India restaurant!!!

James Kachan - Dinner guest
For this outing I was joined by the bastard love child of Cameron Diaz and Julien Assange, the wonderful photographer James Kachan.  James and I have known each other since the Ryerson days.  He also moved into my ever-missed Kensington apartment right after I left.  An excellent model, ridiculously good looking, and, most of all, a brilliant photog, he is unfortunately, a......a............a....................vegetarian.  There!  I said it!  Please don't judge me, or him.  K?

So we arrived on a cold winter's night.  I was pretty hungry, James only a little bit.  The decor of the place was pretty sparse.  A takeout counter at the front of the restaurant with some generic tables near the back.  I got the impression from the decor and lack of background music that they would prefer you order take out but we ventured on.  We were greeted by a lovely waitress who immediately brought us a caraffe of water and, what we both thought was a revelation, stainless steel water glasses.  I think we must have discussed it for three minutes.

The water glasses
For our appetizers we split a vegetarian samosa and a pakora.  Both were....well....kinda shitty.  I mean we ate the whole thing because the sauce was lovely.  Unfortunately though, both of them tasted pretty dry and reheated.  And worst of all, not reheated enough.  Things were not looking good for Mother India at this point.

However that all changed with the entrees!  As per the rules of this blog, we asked the waitress to recommend what the restaurant did best.  For James, he got a saag paneer roti which is filled with potatoes, spinach, and cheese.  For me, the waitress brought a butter chicken roti which was a little disappointing at first because I usually think of butter chicken as the Indian food dish for people who don't really like Indian food.

James' Saag Paneer roti
To our surprise, they were both fucking lovely!  The naan bread seemed fresh and with just the right amount of crisp.  James' saag paneer roti was pipping hot and full of flavour.  And fairly complex flavour too.  Not something you would expect for such an inexpensive price (around 7 bucks a roti).  My butter chicken roti was also delicious.  The flavours weren't nearly as interesting as James' dish but they were sweet and buttery and  I ate all I could until my belly was full and I wish I could have finished the whole thing.  James said this was a really telling point and I promised to include it in the blog.  James must have had better belly than mine because even though he wasn't as hungry as me, he finished off his whole plate.

Vegetarian Pakora
We asked for a desert recommendation and they suggested a gulab jamun.  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it never came.  The waitress came over and said that their batch wasn't looking particularly good and they didn't want to serve it to us.  So from there we just got the bill and spent the rest of the time discussing Wikileaks and the movie Knight and Day.

So all in all, this was a pretty good experience.  A completely unpretentious meal and really warmed us both up and didn't kill our wallets.  I think the total came to around $28 after tax and tip.  Jess has suggested I add a rating system to this blog which at first I resisted but then thought, why not?  There will be five ratings which will be mentioned at the end of each posting....

1. Avoid at all costs
2. I would not return
3. I would return
4. I would return and bring friends and/or my picky mother and/or my foodie Aunt Jenny
5. I will most likely lie awake at night fantasizing about that food much to the chagrin of my fiance.

I have eaten at many Indian restaurants however I admit that I haven't had too much experience with Indian rotis.  This one hits the middle. However that might change once I try out the other roti places in the neighbourhood.  Who's up for Ali's Roti in February???

UPDATE:  I went back again and decided this place needed a higher rating!  Its effing delicious!!!

Rating: 4

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