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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banjara Indian Cuisine


To satisfy my friend's craving, we headed to Banjara Indian Cuisine on Bloor St. Sitting at the edge of Koreatown, the smell of Indian food wafts through Christie Park and has always made my mouth water as I walked past it.

Banjara Indian Cuisine
Verdict: Skip. There are better options, but there's delivery if you need a convenient fix.
Meal: Dinner
Price:
~$20
Location: 796 Bloor St W Toronto




Interior & Papadam

They have a patio, but the night was cool so we sat inside. We were quickly given a plate of crispy papadam as we waited for the rest of our party. It's like a giant cracker riddled with cumin seeds. It was good with the sauces on the table.

House Mixed Grill ($14.95)
Mix of Tandoori Chicken, Seekh kebab, Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Prawn, Fish, Served with Naan
This was a good start of the meal since it had a bit of everything. If you have a larger table, make sure to order a couple so everyone can get a bit of everything (there was only one prawn!).

It's supposed to be served with Naan. We had added a side order of this, but I don't think they gave us the Naan that was supposed to come with this dish...

I especially liked the Tandoori Chicken, but found the Seekh kabob and fish so-so.

Butter Chicken ($10.99)
Chicken Tikka simmered in tomato, onion and cream gravy
Before I get into this, I will note that a lot of people consider the butter chicken typically found in Toronto to be very "Canadianized". I have never had an "authentic" version of this dish. Nonetheless, I wasn't really a fan of Banjara's version - I found that it wasn't very rich and the flavour was lacking - which was really the overall "blah" factor of this meal.


Baingan Bharta ($8.95)
Whole eggplant baked in Tandoor, mashed and sauteed with onions, tomatoes, a dash of lemon and fresh herbs
I liked this the best out of all the dishes that we had that night. It had decent flavour & texture. Like Ethopian food, I find that I prefer many of the vegetarian dishes at Indian restaurants.
 
Palak Paneer ($8.99)
Home made cottage cheese and spinach with touch of cream


Not bad, not great. I've had more flavourful paneer dishes. Nonetheless, this was creamy and good on white rice.

Lamb Biryani ($11.95)
Lamb cooked with herbs, Basmati rice, nuts, and spices
A solid biryani dish - the fried rice was tasty but I would've liked to see more nuts. The lamb was well done - nice and tender.


Methi Naan ($3.75)
Tandoori bread stuffed with fenugreek leaves and spices

I was curious about the different types of naan on the menu - we got this on top of a stack of our order on top of regular naan. However, I must say that I'm disappointed as there was no discernible difference between this $3.75 naan and the traditional naan for $1.95. Despite the description, it was not stuffed - there were some herbs sprinkled  on top that honestly did not contribute any flavour.

Raita, $2.50
We also ordered a side of Raita for $2.50 which is a cool yogurt with cucumber, carrots, and cilantro. It's pretty basic, and we got what we expected. 

For Indian food, I personally think that Little India on Queen Street is far better. Their butter chicken has been my favourite that I've tried so far (compared to India Palace and Nataraj), they have a well-priced lunch buffet, and great dinner options. 

While we didn't leave hungry, nobody was particularly impressed with our dinner. It wasn't a bad experience - the food just didn't satisfy the Indian food craving. When I think Indian, I think "flavour" and unfortunately, Banjara did not deliver on that front. To be fair, the prices aren't too bad . The service could have been better as we had a hard time flagging  them down to order and get the bill.

The only time that I would try Banjara again would be for their free delivery over $30. I can see that coming in handy for late night Indian cravings when I'm stuck at work...otherwise I say skip it.


Banjara Indian Cuisine
Verdict: Skip. There are better options, but there's delivery if you need a convenient fix.
Meal: Dinner
Price: ~$20
Location: 796 Bloor St W Toronto



Banjara Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

PreeOccupied said...

It all looks great. I have been to very few Indian places in TO which agree to my palate.

Erin said...

It's hard to find good Indian in the downtown core. The pictures look tastier - I actually prefer Little India for sit-down meals, despite the not so great service I got last time I went there. I need to make my way to the East end of the city :)

PreeOccupied said...

It all looks great. I have been to very few Indian places in TO which agree to my palate.

RestaurantsInCanadaazy said...
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