Sunday, December 19, 2010

Restaurant Review: Maroli - Indian and Malabari Cuisine

630 Bloor St West
Bloor & Bathurst
Toronto , Ontario
Tel : 416 483 5393
Cell : 647 897 5821
Total with tax+tip: $67

On Thursday night the BF and I had dinner plans with a friend. We originally planned on grabbing Korean food and for some reason I brought up an Indian restaurant I had seen on DineTO . It was on their list of "2010 best restaurants in Toronto" so I was curious and checked out what was the choice under the Best Indian category. Being a vegetarian, I eat a lot of bland food all the time and when I eat out, I crave spicy flavourful food. Indian food is usually a safe bet because there are always vegetarian choices and all their foods are so deliciously aromatic. 
Anyways we got talking about this restaurant and being the adventurous foodies, we decided to venture there. It was about 8:30ish and my BF thought it would be a good idea to call and make a reservation/ check to see when they close (this was the "Best Indian Restaurant in TO" afterall). After he hung up, he said that he got a weird vibe from the woman on the phone because we said we wanted to reserve a table. When we got there we realized why, there was only one other table in the restaurant :D . The place was quite small and quiet, approximately 7 tables I'd say in the whole restaurant. 

Here's what we ordered:
  • Mango Lassi x1
  • Malabari Roti x1
  • Chappathi x1
  • Appam x1
  • Butter Chicken
  • Malabar Chicken
  • Vegetable Pulao
  • Channa Masala
Malabari Roti
We were searching on the menu for naan and the waiter said that the malabari roti would be the closest to that. Out of all the 3 breads, I enjoyed this one the most. It was slightly flaky but yet still had some of the chewiness that was like naan. 

I think it was unanimous that this was the least favourite amongst us all. It was very much like a whole weat tortilla and wasn't very good at picking up the sauces.  

Sorry, we were very hungry and I forgot to take pics before digging in :P
Chappathi + Malabari Roti

This was the favourite among the guys - It's like a white pancake and has the texture inbetween a crepe and pancake. The edges were crispy and thin like a crepe but the middle was spongey like a pancake. It had a slightly sweet sour taste which makes me think that it may be made of yogourt. I originally thought it would taste like a dosa but it has a sour note to it which put me off a little as I'm not a big fan of that. Other than that, the texture was very nice and good contrast when being dipped into something savoury/ spicy. 

Vegetable Pulao
I've had vegetable biriyani before and was curious as to what the vegetable pulao was. It's a rice dish and the description was very similar to that of the vegetable biriyani but the waiter explained that it's less spicy than the biriyani. I really enjoyed this dish and the bits of carmelized onions and raisins were a nice surprise. The basmati rice was so aromatic and sweet that I didn't miss the spice at all (i'm usually a huge fan of spices).

 Channa Masala
 This is a dish made of chick peas, tomato sauce, cumin and cilantro. Again this dish was not very spicy but yet I really loved it. In comparison to the ones i've had at The Host and Bombay Bhel, this was the best! It was very creamy, savoury and had a nice balance of spice that didn't over power the other flavours in the dish. 
Channa Masala
The favourite of the guys was the malabar chicken which seems to be a special of the restaurant. Overall I really enjoyed the dishes from this restaurant but I'm not sure if I would say it is the "best in TO". The waiter was very attentive to our table (but then again it was just us and another table) and explained some of the dishes to us. At the end of the meal the chef actually came out from the kitchen, handed out his card to us and thanked us for coming and made sure we enjoyed our meal (I wonder if it was because the waiter spotted me snapping photos and thought I was a food critic lol). I really appreciate it when a restaurant goes out of their way to make their patrons feel valued - bonus points for that. I would definitely go to this restaurant again if I had a chance :)

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