I tried Amaya soon after they opened and was not impressed. OK, but not great. Given all they rave reviews, I began to think that I must have missed something, so I just gave them another try. This time it was even worse. Summary: Amaya is poor food, terrible value and about the last place I’d ever go for an Indian meal in Toronto.
Here’s a dish-by dish run down:
Fried squid rings. Four pieces of fried, shoe-leather tough squid coated with Shake & Bake. It was just the toughest fried squid I’ve ever had. You can do better getting bulk frozen squid rings in plastic bags from one of those discount seafood places around town. It was an outrage to pay a restaurant $9 for such crap. It would have been an outrage to pay 9 cents.
Baked White fish. Two small pieces of nicely cooked fish in an undistinguished and bland sauce.
Country chicken: A few lumps of chicken served in a sauce that had the consistency tomato paste. The dominant taste was heat, and there was only a mild taste of spice and seasoning.
Garlic naan. Wimpy and insipid with no garlic taste. I should have been suspicious from the start. I noticed that there were no tandoori dishes on the menu, which likely means that they don’t have a tandoori or a tandoori chef. Since you can’t make real naan without a tandoori, ordering it was a bad idea.
Rice. Average. They have the usual obscenely overpriced rice you get in Indian restaurants. $4 for 25 cents worth of plain rice. I’m willing to bet that this is where they make their money. It’s like the soft drinks at fast food places. The hamburgers are only a come-on to get you to buy a Pepsi.
For this substandard food, I paid about and extra third to half more than typical Indian restaurants with better food and no pretensions about being “fine dining.” (I did I mention the 400+% markup on bottled beer?) It’s not as if you were paying for fancy overhead. The restaurant itself is plain with no décor and has kind of informal service that you would expect at Milestones. They do get one plus, however, because no one addressed us as “Hi guys!!” That alone, is almost win me over these days.
In sum, Amaya is overhyped, overpriced and serves subpar Indian food. I simply cannot imagine how this place could get positive, let alone rave, reviews.
1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA