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Restaurants & Bars Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Amaya Winterlicious

estragon | | Feb 8, 2009 06:42 PM

I can't say I wasn't warned. A Chowhound regular had told me that Amaya isn't what it was when it opened, and that the service was generally atrocious.

But, undaunted, we headed up there for a Winterlicious meal. The food... OK, but nothing spectacular. Apps: nice chunks of moist tandoori chicken and lamb, ungreasy pakoras, and a disappointingly bland chat salad. Mains: vegetarian trio was good; seafood xacutti... slightly mushy scallops, but nice shrimps and fairly flavourful. Butter chicken... um, butter chicken? I thought this was a "progressive" Indian place that didn't serve the usual cliches. Well, anyway. Our friend enjoyed it - that's all that matters. And the mango lassis were excellent.

Dessert? Spiced chocolate brownie had the consistency of a tootsie roll. Rice pudding? OK, but I've had better at lunch buffets downtown (e.g. Little India).

And that's where things went off the rails. The food had come flying out as if they'd had it waiting for us under the warmer. (OK, I understand, limited menu, everyone is having the same thing, and the kitchen works quickly. But really, guys, this isn't lunch service -- we're not in a rush.) The check was on the table exactly an hour after we sat down. We discovered that our rather average masala chai was $4 for a tiny cup; no refills offered. The waitress came by twice in about 10 minutes to check on our bill. Finally, we took the hint and paid -- split 2/3-1/3 between two credit cards. When we got the Visa chits, something didn't look right to me. Turned out they'd overcharged us $5 on one of the cards. When I pointed this out to the waitress, she took everything away, voided both transactions, and returned with new chits. Fine. But no apology, not even a smile. Meanwhile, the original itemized bill had gone missing, and when I asked for it back, she practically rolled her eyes and turned on her heel. Nice.

Don't think we'll be going back anytime soon.

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