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Leela Indian Food Bar
Address: 3108 Dundas St W, Toronto
Phone: (416) 769-7777
The unpretentious yet elegant décor makes for a perfect place for friends or family gatherings – whether it’s celebrating an achievement or just meeting up over a meal. The exposed brick walls, hanging lamps and tall tables are accented with an elegant display of wine bottles throughout the space, adding a touch of sophistication to this casual space.
The menu features a reinvented and reimagined collection of street food-inspired concepts, spices, textures and flavours. From traditional dishes such as chicken tikka or aloo gobhi to contemporary classics such as eggplant fries or cauliflower chaat, you will be sure to discover your new favourite.
A great starter is the eggplant fries, which are lightly coated with spiced flour and fried. They are served with two of the most unique sauces on the menu, giving them an extra kick. The first is a tangy tamarind sauce that is made by cooking ground tamarind seeds with sugar until it thickens into a syrup. This gives the sauce its tart yet sweet flavour.
The second sauce is a cilantro & mint chutney that consists of fresh cilantro and mint leaves, ground into a smooth paste which is then mixed with yogurt and spices such as garlic, ginger, green chillies and garam masala. The creamy coolness of the cilantro & mint chutney works well to contrast the crispiness of the eggplant fries.
For the entree, the curries here are a must-try. The butter chicken is a go-to favourite with the melt-in-your mouth creamy tomato sauce. Not to mention the tender chicken pieces that it comes with. This dish goes perfectly with the jasmine rice or the freshly baked naan bread which is served on the side.
For those who enjoy a traditional Indian dish, Leela also offers a wide range of tandoori specialties such as lamb or prawns with fresh ground chillies & black pepper spices, then cooked to perfection over charcoal.
For drinks, they serve some great Indian cocktails which you can enjoy alongside your meal. The madras gimlet is a combination of gin, fresh lime and tamarind syrup. The syrup is made by slowly cooking ground cumin and black salt with tamarind pulp until it thickens into a dark brown sweet/sour sauce. Finally, the drink is garnished with a sprig of fresh coriander which lends its delicate flavour to this refreshing cocktail.
Overall, Leela Indian Food Bar is a great place to grab a quick bite or enjoy a few drinks with friends whenever you’re in the mood for some authentic, modern Indian cuisine. Offering a casual and welcoming dining experience, Leela is sure to leave your stomach full and your palate pleased.