Amaya Restaurant, created in 2007 by Chef and owner Hemant Bhagwani, already boasts 16 different locations in Toronto, so I'm sure you've already been to, or at least heard of it. We were invited to get a taste of the Chef's new spring menu that reinvents the Amaya experience - and who could say 'no' to that? We didn't hesitate to accept the invitation for one of Toronto's best modern Indian restaurants.
Not having been at this flagship location, The Indian Room on Bayview, we were surprised to be in a chic and sophisticated space. Previously, the restaurants that we've been to for Indian was much more casual. We were seated immediately by the friendly and professional servers and the food began rolling out of the kitchen... let the feast begin!
We started with a mocktail for my friend and a cocktail for myself! Indian lemonade looked like a mojito sans the alcohol. It was also sweeter and very refreshing. My Margarita was made with blackberries from India - so delicious.
We tried 7 different items from the starter menu:
A three-part amuse started our meal:
'Yoghurt Sphere' with yoghurt & pomegranate; white chocolate shell filled with spices & sugar; Prawn Papdi Chaat (most popular street food in India).
Kale Pankora with mint chutney ($9.00)
Lasooni Cauliflower with sautéed cauliflower, garlic & sesame seeds ($9.00)
Amritsari Cod, a punjabi dish with pineapple chutney, citrus air and edible flowers ($9.00)
Amaya Prawns with green mango curry on beet jus served with coconut snow ($12.00)
Ghee Roast Lamb Tenderloin with wasabi ice cream ($14.00)
Tandoori Chicken Tikka with mustard seeds, mint foam, milk fritters and mint chutney ($12.00)
Next dishes are from the entree menu:
Onion & Sage Naan ($4.00)
Eggplant Steak, stuffed with potatoes & cauliflower, placed atop carrots, mustard & yogurt chutney ($11.00)
Saffron Chicken Korma ($18.00)
For dessert, the chef used liquid nitrogen, milk, cream and rose water to make a delicious ice cream for us! Crushed pistachios and saffron caviar were used as garnish:
The well thought out, creative and delectable food at Amaya, the Indian Room has made me a huge fan! Each dish was an artwork in presentation and the flavours backed it up - some of the combinations had me skeptical at first but won me over with taste. Chef Hemant Bhagwani and his inspirations in his travels show in his culinary creations.
They offer an Indian dining experience like no other and do it very, very well. Thank god for Amaya's numerous locations around the city, making their delicious food readily available!
For the intense foodies, I suggest that you visit Amaya's flagship location, the Indian Room for Chef Hemant Bhagwani's launch of new menus every few months. This is a tip - in May, he is launching their Lobster Festival menu, so stay tuned by keeping an eye on their twitter: @amayarestaurant!
- The meal was complimentary but opinions are our own-