Like Toronto, Mumbai is a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city which has many claims to fame. One of these claims is the abundance of street food vendors catering to a populace craving tasty meals to fuel their way through the city’s notoriously slow commutes.
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And like Mumbai, Toronto is diverse and bustling with Indian eateries scattered throughout the city. Until recently, butter chicken and naan ruled the 6ix’s restaurant scene. For Amreen and Seema Omar, it was time for a change. Enter Bombay Street Food, a casual restaurant run by the duo. But don’t mistake casual for thoughtless; from the eclectic décor to the personable staff and finally, the novel tastes on the menu: The I’s have been dotted and the T’s have been crossed.
The ambitious goal of the owners is to inject a little of the flavour and heat of the Mumbai streets onto Bay Street. To do this, the Sister-in-laws have gathered the Gujurathi-Parsi melange of Mumbai street foods and brought them to Toronto.
The Salli Chicken, is a Parsi influenced chicken curry topped with crispy potato sticks which are kinda like the Hickory Sticks you used to buy at the variety store. This delicious ‘bowl’ of food comes with a traditional roti and a choice of a side dish such as the Gunpowder Fries (home-style fries tossed with unique spices and coconut chutney).
We also tried the Veggie Platter, a curry served with lentils, basmati rice and a grilled roti. Although the portions seem small they were quite filling for the lunch hour. The variety of tastes was definitely this dish’s strong suit.
Our meal was accompanied with a large and well-made sweet lassi — A yogurt drink which is sweetened with cardamom and rosewater.
We could have had the desserts on the menu (which our neighbour informed us were quite good) or we could have picked from one of two teas offered. Instead we chose to wobble out of the restaurant pleasantly satiated with our first experience of Bombay Street Food.