Indian style brunch at dhaba in Toronto, Canada

Too often people limit their brunch choices to a la carte egg dishes, fruit, pastries and flour based desserts. It might be time to rethink brunch and try an Asian take on this wonderful meal. Dhaba, one of the gems of King Street West in downtown Toronto, provides a lavish brunch on weekends for meat lovers and vegetarians of all ages. This is welcome news to those of us who partake of their daily lunch buffet, arguably the best deal in the city.

Different Decor

What sets Dhaba apart from many Indian eateries, especially the ones on Queen Street West, is the modern and relaxing interior. The restaurant underwent a renovation courtesy of Restaurant Makeover. It now has a spacious and less cluttered and understated style. It is nice to fill your plate without feeling crowded. The Indian restaurants on Queen Street west are very small, old and musty.

Incredible Variety and Quality

Unlike many Indian buffets in Toronto, Dhaba provides a wide array of dishes on three separate serving stations: cold, hot and dessert. The cold table has dozens of vegetarian and meat dishes that are flavorful but not spicy. Some of the highlights are the spicy noodles (they always go first), the pakoras which are fried savory vegetable fritters and the raita, homemade yogurt with spices, which is a must.

The hot table, against the brick wall, has familiar Punjabi (Northern Indian) items, such as, naan (bread from the clay oven), rice, daal (cooked creamy lentils), saag paneer (light cheese cubes prepared in a creamy rapini gravy), tandoori chicken, butter chicken, goat, fish and vegetable korma (stew). On Sundays one dish is added: masala dosa, a South Indian rice pancake served plain or filled with potatoes or fried eggs and condiments. Kids love to tear into a dosa and eat it with their hands. It is the ultimate finger food.

Don’t Forget Dessert

If you are a novice at Indian buffets have an open mind and try as many things as possible including the desserts. The kheer, Indian rice pudding with cardamom and nuts, is decadent. Dhaba’s take on this staple dessert is the best by far in Toronto. It is so aromatic and delicious. The gulab jamun, milkballs in sweet syrup are also delicious. They are like little round pancakes that have been marinating in maple syrup. There is also ice cream and semolina sweets for the less daring foodie.