3 Month Review: Sindhi Indian Street Food
As we entered another interesting looking spot tucked away in a plaza, the delicious aroma was what first hit me, raising my expectations for what was to come. Sindhi promises wholesome, nutritious food from the streets of India and we were definitely not disappointed! The restaurant was decorated in a very industrial style with minimalist fixtures, white subway tile and bicycles and carts that added to the "street food" ambiance. There were even lists of rules on the walls: Sindhi Rule #3: No washing hands in plates or glasses and Rule #4: No flirting with the cashier. Fun!
“It was very take-out-ish (if you know what I mean)”
It was very take-out-ish (if you know what I mean) and that was the first thing the server asked us: were we there for takeout or dine in? We were quickly shown to a table and were excited to peruse the menu.
Being unfamiliar with what Indian street food is and how it differs from the regular Indian fare we are accustomed to, it was great that our server patiently explained the different dishes to us and answered my questions about her favourites with a smile! It was a bit daunting trying to decide what to have when there were so many things that I hadn't heard of before. In the end, it didn't matter. The food was delicious. They definitely have a thriving takeout business based on the huge trays of food that were being constantly picked up while we were there.
The Royal Thali ($13) was interesting. A multi-course meal served on a huge tray, it came with a starter, a main, a vegetable dish, a dal, a raita, a kachumber, a papadum, an achaar and a naan. The menu says that all items except the curry change daily and my partner chose to try it with lamb. The curry was hot but not too hot, with very tender meat and a savoury sauce. The vegetable pakora were a little greasy but still very tasty. The dahl with lentils, scented with cumin, was nicely flavoured and not overpowering. The saag paneer was delicious with the fresh spinach taste that nicely contrasted with the creaminess of the cheese. It was a smorgasbord of interesting tastes and textures, each served in individual dishes. With naan to dip into the various sauces, what a treat! I'd love to go back and try the other versions: chicken, fish or prawn. It all sounds wonderful.
What they can improve on:
The only thing I would recommend improving would be the service. It was great at the beginning and servers stopped by several times to make sure that we were happy. Unfortunately, when we were finished our main courses and wanted dessert, it took a long time to get their attention. We finally did and ordered and dessert was delivered quite quickly. But then again, when we were finished and ready to pay the bill and go, we just could not get their attention. The restaurant was not that busy, so I'm not sure what the hold up was.
What we tried:
I started with a mango and sauf lassi ($3) and loved the smooth mango and yogurt drink. For an appetizer, our server recommended her favourite, pithi wali poori ($6) which was stuffed deep fried bread served with aloo bhaji (a mixture of deliciously spiced potato and vegetables). I found the fried bread to be a little too greasy for my taste, but when I dipped it into the thick vegetable mixture; I could see why it was her favourite. It was tasty! For my main, I just had to try the chicken butter masala plate ($11.90). I know, I know. Butter chicken. So cliche. But I love it and always enjoy seeing the differences in how it's made. This one was really good with a deeply rich tomato sauce that tasted nothing like tomato soup (important!) and moist and tender chunks of chicken. Every once in awhile, I would get a fresh ping of cilantro on my tongue - oh so good! Served with perfectly cooked basmati rice, every grain plump , and it was just what I had hoped it would be.
I didn't have a lot of room for dessert but definitely wanted to try something. A mango kulfi on a stick ($3) was just the thing to get me giggling. Think a yogurt popsicle flavoured with sweet mango - cold and smooth on the tongue. Yum!
“There are so many things on the menu that I haven't tried - this could become a weekly destination”
Indian street food is good and who could beat the prices? We'll definitely go back since, as I said above, I'd love to try more of those thalis and see how the dishes differ on different days. There are so many things on the menu that I haven't tried - this could become a weekly destination and since it's not that far from my office, takeout would be easy on the way home from work! Hmmmm ... I can taste it already!
Patio and Seats: No