Kamasutra Indian Restaurant & Wine Bar is located in the Midtown area of Toronto at the major intersection of Bayview and Eglinton. It is a sophisticated and nicely decorated space that is very inviting and cozy. From its fancy decor and dim lighting, it is the perfect place to have an intimate get-together with friends or a romantic date. The servers are exceptionally polite and professional; you will no doubt be impressed here!
This past Friday night, I invited my mom to dine out with me at Kamasutra. Several weeks ago, the restaurant had contacted me to invite me to their restaurant for a complimentary dinner in exchange for a restaurant review. I was thrilled to receive the invitation and definitely interested. I enjoy Indian food and I had never been to this restaurant before. It also made sense to invite my mom as my dinner date as she has not enjoyed Indian cuisine in the years that we have lived in Canada. It was perfect and I was excited to say the least. 🙂
We walked in at around 5:30 p.m. (after previously making a reservation) and the restaurant was slowly gearing up for its dinner guests for the evening. Upon seating us near the wall where there was luxurious sofa seating with soft throw pillows to lean against, I was informed that I could choose anything of my liking on the menu and my individual food bill would be covered. I decided to choose a variety of food choices which would reflect Kamasutra’s dishes. I liked how there was a large lotus-shaped candle holder in the centre of each table. It really gave a romantic ambiance to the restaurant.
The first item that arrived to our table was a dish of vegetable samosas. I was really looking forward to trying their samosas since this traditional fried pastry is such a staple in all Indian cuisine. I was not disappointed. From the moment that the plate was served on our table, I was impressed with how large the portion was. There were two samosas on the plate and they were carefully cut into halves for better enjoyment with tamarind chutney sauce on the side. The samosas were HUGE! I never expected the samosas to be so big. Each one was stuffed full of peas, soft potatoes, and cumin seeds. I found that they were best enjoyed not by using a fork and knife to cut them open and eat delicately, but instead to hold right in my hands to enjoy. It was really, really good!
The Chef’s Platter was chock-full of more appetizers. This dish was also served with tamarind chutney on the side as well as bright green mint chutney. (I liked the tangy and sweet tamarind sauce, but I also enjoyed the refreshing and less flavourful mint chutney 🙂 ). My favourite appetizer in this dish were the chicken pakoras. The fried chicken fritters were SO tender and they reminded me of chicken nuggets. I really liked dipping them in the tamarind sauce for more flavour. I appreciated that there were so many pieces of them on the plate too! My second favourite appetizer were the popadoms. Oh, my gosh, I LOVED how crunchy yet flavourful these were! They looked just like regular crackers folded into the shape of a taco, but they were very well seasoned and I couldn’t stop breaking it piece by piece and chowing it all down.
The other two appetizers on the Chef’s Platter were vegetable pakoras and Shikampuri kebabs. I also enjoyed the vegetable pakoras; they were full of mixed seasonal veggies inside the deep fried fritter. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Shikampuri kebabs though; they are ground lamb kebabs infused with cinnamon and cardamom stuffed spiced curd. I didn’t sense too much of a flavour with these, unfortunately. I also liked how there were fresh baby spinach leaves on the plate. I liked eating these while taking a break between the various fried pastries in the platter.
In addition to this, the chef was kind enough to offer us a complimentary basket of garlic naan! Yum. I love anything garlic like garlic bread and this really fit the bill. The naan was hot and fresh and very soft. I shoved a quarter piece of it in my mouth and really enjoyed it. 🙂
After all of this, we were only halfway through the meal and both my mom and I were 80% full already. How were we going to finish the rest of the meal? It was nice that the kitchen kept an eye out on when we were finally finished our appetizers before they brought out the mains. Part of the “Lovers Thali” dinner set for two included two meat dishes, one vegetable dish, naan, and rice. It was a lot of food and I was still very excited to see how the mains would stack up especially after the really delicious appetizers.
The very polite and professional runner brought out our food and it covered our entire table. There was so much of it! The Butter Chicken and Lamb Rogan Josh are part of their Signature Dishes — I definitely had to try their Butter Chicken! The Eggplant Bharta was the vegetarian dish. There was a big dish of rice that tasted incredible; it was some sort of long white grains but it was also infused with some heavy herbs — I’m not sure with what exactly, but each grain was so soft and it paired perfectly with the sauces. More on that later. The regular naan was great as well and served to us in a basket covered with a black cloth to maintain its warmth.
My favourite dish was surprisingly not the Butter Chicken or the Lamb Rogan Josh, but the Eggplant Bharta! I really liked how there was a smoky flavour to it which meant it was a little spicy but not too much. The eggplant was fire roasted and blended with tomato, ginger, and green peas. You could really taste the green peas and they were clearly visible in the dish. I couldn’t resist scooping up every bit with the naan and popping it in my mouth.
Both of the meat dishes actually weren’t very spicy even though all three dishes have two pepper icons next to them in the menu. The Butter Chicken was made with generous pieces of chicken breast and when you wrap a piece of chicken with the naan and dip it into the sauce and put it into your mouth, that’s when it tasted the best. The same thing with the Lamb Rogan Josh. The sauce for the lamb was also thinner but a tad more spicy than the Butter Chicken. Both were different and good in their own ways. However, my preferred main in general would still be Butter Chicken. Lastly, the rice was perfect with the sauces. Each grain was so soft and I really don’t know how they made the rice taste so good.
Tabish, our server for the night, came around to ask us how the food was and also told me a little bit about the restaurant’s history. (I also met the owner of the restaurant and shook his hand :D) Kamasutra has been around for nine years and has gone several changes in their management. After reading a few of my food posts on my blog, Tabish thought that I would be able to highlight their restaurant in an honest way and to bring more publicity to their restaurant. I was honoured to hear that he enjoyed my writing and that he had invited me to taste this very fine Indian cuisine at their restaurant. He was very nice and he was also a great host. Tabish jokingly told me that we had to finish all of the food on the table; that was how he would know we had enjoyed everything. Immediately after that, he did add that about 80-90% of the guests often don’t finish the food since the portions are so generous and they will pack it up to eat later. I was very glad that he added that last part because my mom and I were actually so full from all the food that there was no way we would be able to walk out of there alive if we had cleared the plates. So, we politely asked him to pack it up for us and he was glad to do so. 🙂
After a bit more chatting — Tabish also informed me that Kamasutra is participating in this year’s Winterlicious event — I couldn’t help but ask for the dessert menu. I know I was very full, but I can always make room for dessert. Plus, I really wanted to see what their dessert tasted like. We only ordered one dessert to share, so it was definitely manageable. 🙂
I chose the Ras Malai, an Indian dessert that I’ve never had before. It is a dish of cream cheese flat cakes soaked in a sweet milk soup and garnished with pistashio. It was a really good finish to the fulfilling meal. I liked how simple it was, yet it also didn’t taste like cream cheese at all. It was sweet and yummy. 🙂
Finally (bear with me, I know this blog post has been super long already!), we had tea and coffee to finish off. Tabish asked me if I had tried chai tea before since it is one of the best teas around. I had never tried it and it was a great suggestion because I ended up really liking it. Who knew? According to Wikipedia, it is a flavoured tea made by brewing black tea with a mixture of Indian spices and herbs. It tasted very unique but satisfying… especially at the end of a large meal. My mom had a black coffee that she also enjoyed. She said the coffee tasted not like a regular run-of-the-mill coffee but that it was very rich and smelled great.
I really enjoyed my time at Kamasutra. The best part of the night was not just the food, but how seamless and accommodating Tabish made our dining experience to be. He was thoroughly knowledgeable about the food selections, consistently polite and catered to our needs, and just was the cherry on top to a fantastic dining experience.
If you are reading this and plan to visit this restaurant, be sure to ask for Tabish as I’m sure he’ll be able to show you the same exemplary service as he showed us. Lastly, I’d like to thank Kamasutra Indian Restaurant & Wine Bar for inviting me, once again, for a wonderful night of food and dining. It was my pleasure to be there and I hope you continue to be a successful and delicious restaurant for years to come! They also currently offer a prix fixe menu on their website; check it out. 🙂