A Journey Through India

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to a bloggers dinner at Indian Rice Factory to sample their widely diverse menu. I hadn't been to the restaurant in about 7 years, so was excited to revisit, as I remember the food being quite tasty.

Indian Rice Factory has been open for 42 years, at the corner of Dupont and Howland, serving up tasty food from every corner of India. Now run by founder Mrs. Amar Patel's son Aman and his wife Deepa, their menu features as many local ingredients as possible. The beef they use, for example, is from regional farms and is grass fed with no antibiotics or hormones. They're also vegan and dietary problem friendly, with no butter, cream, wheat or gluten in their dishes, unless required. You can't have butter chicken without butter, after all.

Along with the meal, we had our choice of red or white wine, as well as a very easy-drinking sake. It may seem an odd combo, but Amun is a sake sommelier, who certainly knows how to pair the Japanes potable with his native cuisine.

It was one of those nights where platter after platter of food just kept coming and you started to doubt your ability to get through it all, but you pushed through, because everything was delicious. Well, I say everything, but I wasn't fond of the guar, and Indian vegetable with a taste and texture similar to green beans.

With a whopping 14 dishes brought out, not including dessert, I kind of gave up the task of photographing and documenting each plate. So, below, I'll just list everything we ate with what notes I could muster.

I will say the highlights for me were the spicy papadums, the pakoras, the sea bream and the cornish hen. But the one dish I could conceivably eat every day from here on in was the chicken biryani. The rice was perfectly cooked, as was the chicken thigh meat. Packed with flavour and a subtle heat, I couldn't get enough of this dish and would recommend it in a heartbeat.

  • crab cake served with tamarind chutney
    • sweet and subtly flavoured
  • veg pakoras
    • not at all greasy like some places can be
    • light, crunchy
  • punjabi masala papadams with mint and tomato chutneys
    • lovely spicy bite on the tomato chutney
    • light and crisp
  • pan roasted arbi (eddo) tikki
    • very mild flavour, but it's got a nice roasted note
    • creamy
  • chappli Ontario lamb and goat kebab
    • coarsely ground to give you good chew
    • goes really nice with the tomato chutney
  • Goan vindaloo sausage
    • organic pork
    • I went very light on the vindaloo sauce
    • the sausage itself is packed with flavour
    • pleasantly on the dry side

  • choti murgi - roast cornish hen, skin off, marinated in red spices, with citrus dressing & date molasses drizzle
  • butter chicken
  • guar - indian veg
  • petha - asian pumpkin
  • pilao rice
  • lamb "Toronto" - lamb in a smooth spinach curry
  • shakari maas - hunter's beef stew
  • chicken biryani two ways: 1 with lactose (ie: ghee (house made clarified butter), yogurt, etc); 1 lactose-free
  • tandoori sea breem

  • naan -  plain, masala and garlic varieties
  • raita
  • mint chutney

  • galum jamun with creamy rice pudding

  • Red: Andeluna 2010 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
  • White: Silvio Carta 2009 Badde Alva Vermentino di Sardegna, Italy
  • Gekkeikan Black & Gold Junmai Ginjo Sake, California, USA

Indian Rice Factory is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 5-11 and Sunday from 5-10.
414 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1V9 | 416.961.3472



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