Anyone who knows us would not be surprised that our first meal during a trip to Toronto over the weekend was an Indian buffet. Wherever we travel, we’re constantly on the lookout for three things: good Indian, good BBQ, and a hotel without bedbugs (seriously, have you heard the stories?). Luckily, there was an Indian restaurant called Bombay Palace across the street from our clean and bug-free hotel. While Jamie is wary of buffets, I love nothing more than putting a few bites of a dozen different dishes on my plate and calling it a meal. Variety is the spice of life!
We sure lucked out. Bombay Palace had a reasonably priced lunch buffet with hot choices like chana masala, tandoori chicken, butter chicken, beef curry, and eggplant masala. A separate cold bar had all the fixings, like a simple salad, mango chutney, raita, rice pudding. There was even a small case of chocolate, vanilla, mango, and strawberry ice cream/sherbet. The best part – everything was great! The naan went fast and was gone by the time we went to the buffet, so the waiter/host brought us a fresh serving from the kitchen. Out of this world! He told us it would be the best naan we’d ever have, and he was right.
Speaking of the service, the host (I believe his name is Rajiv) was incredibly friendly and helpful. Now, my experience tells me that Canadians are nicer than Americans in general, but you could tell that Rajiv loves his restaurant and his job. He made us feel welcome and answered all our questions about the food and restaurant (and the silly Canadian HST tax).
The next night, we ended up at Bombay Palace again – this time for dinner. Instead of a buffet, we ordered from the menu and were completely blown away. Jamie’s chicken tikka masala was savory with the perfect balance of onions, tomatoes, and green peppers. My chicken korma was the best I’ve ever had (sorry, Ekta). Not too sweet, not too creamy, and a wonderful hint of coconut and ginger. The chicken was moist and plentiful. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back to Toronto. At lunch the day before, Rajiv urged us to try the garlic naan. We were so full that we didn’t, so we ordered it at this dinner. Words cannot describe the deliciousness of that bread. Most places use too much garlic and overpower the naan; not Bombay Palace. The naan was slightly crispy on the outside, nice and fluffy on the inside, and the garlic just hit it out of the park. Ever heard of the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” – Bombay Palace’s garlic naan and chicken korma would be (one of) my pick(s) for that show*.
Our first and last meals in Toronto were enjoyed at Bombay Palace and I can’t think of a better way to bookend our trip.
*Along with The Salt Lick’s brisket… and probably a few others.