I have eaten my share of meals out and my share of Indian meals out. This past Friday, husband and I went to Chef of India on E. side of Yonge St., just S. of St. Clair. This is the best Indian meal we have ever had.
A complimentary basket of pappadums and what husband defined as Indian bruschetta dip, was an unexpected and tasty tantallizers. These were sans cumin seed and though I prefer with, they were crispy and yummy.
We started off with the onion Bhajia which were remarkable. Gorgeous chunks of onion barely held together by the crispy batter, only as a courtesy. This was served with a sweet sauce - almost like a pureed chutney. Both of us agreed these were easily the best we've ever eaten.
We ordered 3 dishes: butter chicken (of course), shrimp biryani, eggplant barta. A basket of garlic naan was also in order to sop up all the velvety butter chicken sauce.
There is no butter chicken that can compare with C of I's version. Nice chunks of breast meat, ample portion and a sauce that made my taste buds explode with elation.
The biryani had 4 huge shrimp in it - and I mean jumbo. Most places add in, well... shrimpy shrimp. These were nice and meaty, requiring 2 bites. As well, my personal pet peeve is overcooked shrimp. Not a chance here. Perfectly done. The rice was delicately seasoned and buttery. It was a race to see who would get the last spoonful.
The barta had smoky roasted eggplant with tender peas and there wasn't the usual pool of oil for the peas to do a backstroke in. Deliciously seasoned with a nice finish.
The garlic naan was warm, not over-garlicky and sprinkled with parsley. Yuuum.
Husband had the rice pudding (delish) and I had the kulfi. He wanted an herbal tea - there were two selections, one of which was English breakfast (definitely not herbal).
Service was impeccable - attentive but not intrusive. Water glasses were kept full. Plates were brought to the table WARM!! As he placed the cutlery on either side, he polished it clean. Wow...
For all, without alcohol, with tax, tip, it was about $75.00.
I think it's strange there is another location nearby at Yonge and Eglinton but at least it'll give the uptowners an option when this phenomenal place starts to enjoy a line-up.
My only criticism is the unattractive hydrant yellow paint on the walls. A warm saffron reminiscent of the spice cabinets of India would be more inviting and give it the upscale look it's striving for.
So, my fellow foodies, run to this delightful and delish place and report back!