What? Aravind for brunch
Where? 596 Danforth ave (1 min walk from Pape station)
The skinny: Aravind is a South Indian restaurant in Greektown. Owner Aravind Kozhikott’s dad, Raj is the chef and presents Indian cuisine with Canadian influences and ingredients. High-quality Indian cuisine isn’t so prevalent yet in Toronto but with Aravind and the Amaya (& spin-offs), change is coming!
A few weeks ago, Aravind held their first brunch service. I, along with a handful or two, won $25 gift certificates specifically for this brunch (via their twitter account, @Aravindresto). Yep, they now serve a brunch on Sundays!
Honestly, the décor leaves more to be desired (I’m talking about the teal walls and brown wood panels) but that’s not indicative of the food. Aka, benefit of the doubt!
Mulligatawny Soup (7)
(vegetable and coconut milk soup seasoned with tamarind, black pepper, ginger and garlic). I came here with my mom and we decided to share a soup. They willingly split it for us (thanks!). I liked how the spiciness is mainly from the ginger so it didn’t linger in your palate. I’m horrible with spicy foods but this was quite enjoyable because of the heat.
Coconut Milk Pancakes (10)
(with pure maple syrup and berry compote and fresh berries). I love coconut. Yes, I’ve mentioned that several times already. The pancakes were interesting and very light but not exceedingly special. Personally, I love that egginess you get in pancakes it this lacked that.
Atlantic Rock Crab Rolls (13)
(fennel and green chili spiced rock crab salad in rice flour roll). It’s been awhile since either of us have had fresh crab. Crab is a very Canadian ingredient so we were also interested in seeing how they would put a South Indian spin on that. It was meh, not as bright as I thought it’d be. The potatoes (homefries) were the star of the dish.
About half of the brunchers there ordered the “Vins Breakfast.” It looked so good! Think little cast iron skillet with “layered spiced homefries, lamb cutlet” and topped with 2 sunny-side up eggs. Definitely should’ve gotten that instead. :( Oh well. I’d say overall, it was a brunch where my mom and I got to experience a couple of new flavor combinations.
Verdict: They’ve still got a few kinks to work out for their brunch service (relatively long wait time, presentation) but I’m sure after more services, things will run smoothly. This place serves authentic South Indian cuisine that's seafood heavy with many vegetarian options. So that floats your boat, go for dinner!
Check ‘em out! https://twitter.com/#!/Aravindresto
3 out of 5 NOMs