I don’t know of any other places in Toronto that serve Nicaraguan cuisine, and I was pretty excited to try it for the first time. La Bella Managua is a small, casual spot that cooks a variety of Nicaraguan food in big portions and with lots of flavour.
Iraqi restaurants in the GTA are still pretty unusual, and I went to Khan Murjan Cafe in search of some hard-to-find traditional Iraqi dishes.
It’s located in a little strip mall in Erin Mills, Mississauga a.k.a the Middle East (right next door is also a middle eastern supermarket).
The restaurant isn’t just a cafe – it serves up a substantial buffet of classic Iraqi dishes like masqouf (grilled fish), kibbeh hamoud (rice and beef patties in tomato sauce), mahshi (vegetables stuffed with rice and meat), and the requisite pan-Arab dish of lamb with rice.
The food at the buffet didn’t make for pretty pictures – but it makes up for that in flavour.
It’s 11pm on a Wednesday night and Kabul Express is packed with students, taxi drivers, a couple of city workers, and many others. It’s a no-frills, fluorescent-lit, bare-bones place that manages to keep people coming at all hours with their great Afghani grilled food.
It’s not often that a restaurant gets rave reviews across the board (Toronto Life, the Star, the Globe, and others as well). Boralia draws inspiration for its food from the recipes of early settlers and traditional Aboriginal dishes. Given that it’s take on new Canadian cuisine seemed to really impress, I picked Boralia to celebrate a recent special occasion. The restaurant didn’t disappoint and I have to agree with the critics (note: Boralia recently changed its name from Borealia due to copyright issues).
Avani is my family’s favorite spot for Indian food. The menu has a lot of the usual suspects on it, but the restaurant puts a lot of thought into making each dish distinct and delicious.
Smith restaurant is a cozy and dimly lit space that feels like someones ushered you in from the cold, wrapped you up in a big warm hug, and sat you down to sample some of the best food you’ve had in a long time.
Owner Renda Abdo excels at creating experiences that feel like a weekend getaway with the comforts of home.
At Smith, the menu descriptions are deceptively simple, and don’t reveal the depth of flavours and technique in each dish that came to the table.
Maha’s is an east end café that serves up the only Egyptian brunch in the city. It’s a family-run spot, and it’s worth the trek to the corner of Gerrard and Greenwood.