Indian and Pakistani are two prominent ethnicities within the rich mosaic of Toronto’s culturally based neighbourhoods. One epicentre for both is Gerrard Street East. This stretch extends a few blocks west from Coxwell Avenue, and is a vibrant hub of sari shopping, halal meat, vegetable markets, and many restaurants – my favourite being Lahore Tikka House.
I guarantee that after a quick scan of the colourful ambiance, one intoxicating whiff of exotic spices, and hearing the sound of sizzling platters, you’re bound to take a seat.
“Tikka” refers to a yogurt-based marinade of spices applied to meat, chicken or vegetables, then dry-roasted, usually in a clay oven – the house specialty. They also serve a range of curries, grilled fish and biryani. It is not licensed, but there are a few tasty ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.
What’s the crowd like? Its popularity with the many people who live and visit the neighbourhood speaks volumes about the authenticity of this restaurant.
I don’t love the plastic utensils packed and delivered like your flying economy, but I can overlook that for all else that this awesome eating experience offers.
And lastly, even if you don’t go to this palace of Northern Indian and Pakistani cuisine, you really should explore the other aspects of the intriguing village surrounding the restaurant.
What’s Spot On:
• Grilled green peppers available free on request. Be careful around both their spiciness, and the very large and pointy skewer that delivers them.
• Lahore Kulfi ice cream flavoured with cardamom.