Address: 1753 Avenue Rd. Toronto, ON
When I visited: November 2014, dinner
Rating: $, 4
I had an opportunity to try out various menu items at the new Kathi Roll Express (@tkretoronto) location on Avenue Rd. north of Lawrence Ave, and excited to share my experience.
The new location is a smaller restaurant with a few tables compared to their flagship Yonge and Bloor St. location, making it ideal for take out. The decor is similar in both restaurants with creative milk crate light covers and Indian movie posters. With delicious curry on the menu only at the uptown location, it is worth to come out of your way to visit or to grab some take out before hitting highway 401.
Owner Sumit Kohli had travelled the world and finally settled on Toronto as a place to open up his restaurant. He noticed that NYC had kathi rolls but the popular street food consisting of a kebab in a paratha bread from India hasn’t been known in Toronto yet and he seized the opportunity. I think this is a smart business choice. I love Indian food but can’t pinpoint any fast food Indian restaurants with kathi rolls (aka kati rolls).
If you like simple and bland food, this is not your place. What you will get instead are slow cooked curries and delicious marinated meat bursting with flavour!
This is what I got to sample at the restaurant:
To start, I tried the chat papri (crispy fried dough wafer snack) and pani puri (hollow fried crisp usually stuffed with chick peas and herbs). I have had pani puri before, but this was the first time I ate it the way it should be served, dipped in a watery sauce and eaten in one bite. The inside consisted of chick peas, potato, mint and coriander with a green sauce with pureed herbs. With the starters, I had the mango lassi to compliment my meal. The straw was a bit too small for the thick consistency, so I gulped the drink down instead with the lid off.
Next, I had the lamb sheekh and the goat tikka. The lamb sheekh served in a hot dog with mayo and mint will be on the menu for only $3.99. I think this is a great value. As for the goat tikka, the meat was extremely tender. I ate it so quickly that I forgot to take a picture.
For the main, I tried various Kathi rolls including the shami kabab (lamb), butter chicken tikka and paneer (cheese) shaslik. For the curries, I tried the paneer lababdar, dal (lentil) makhani and the lamb rogan josh, served with fresh naan.
Although everything was delicious in its own way, my favourite out of the items were the goat and the paneer kathi roll and curry. The cheese was thick and had the consistency of a hard tofu. The cheese and sauce made for a delicious roll!
Indian desserts are known to be heavy but I wanted to end off the meal with something sweet. With the hot chai, I tried the milk cake, carrot pudding and barfi (the condense milk treat tastes better than it sounds!). My favourite was the carrot pudding. Having had the homemade version before, I enjoyed the grated texture and found this version to be less sweet than what I had before.
Kathi Roll Express is a great fast food option to grab snacks, rolls, rice platters and desserts. The items are well priced with the Kathi rolls around $10. It is a one stop shop that’s quick without having the flavours comprimised.
For more information and up-to-date pictures, follow @tkretoronto on Twitter and Instagram.
Thank you to Vicky @momwhomoms and Sumit for the invitation. * The meal was complimentary but the opinions in the post are entirely my own.
For delicious updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@themary_tang)
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