Review: Curry Twist
July 21, 2009
Address: 3034 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Rich and Alana both ordered: Veggie Samosas, Baigan Bharta, Matar Paneer Masala, Naan, and King Fisher Lager.
Plus: Extremely fresh and flavourful food. Friendly staff. Great service. Calm atmosphere.
Minus: These curries may be addictive.
Rating: 10 samosas out of 10
Alana sez: I was first introduced to Indian food about 13 years ago by a close friend who happens to be Punjabi, and the experience blew my mind. So many new and unique flavours! I’m still no expert on Indian cuisine but it’s become one of my absolute favourite things to eat, and so I’m always on the lookout for tasty curry. Recently, Rich and I went on a search for some spicy deliciousness, and found ourselves in front of Curry Twist in the Junction.
Stepping into Curry Twist, you’re warmly greeted by the chefs, who work in an open kitchen at the front of the house. Our friendly waitress quickly led Rich and I to an intimate table for two near the kitchen, so we could watch the cooks in action. We both ordered a King Fisher Lager to drink, because nothing washes down Indian food better than cold beer, and settled in to scan the menu. We’re both naan fiends, so we wanted to order a couple dishes that would be easily scooped up by the soft flatbread. We settled on Baigan Bharta, a smoked eggplant mash, and Matar Paneer Masala, peas and paneer in masala sauce. We also ordered a couple veggie samosas (the appetizer special that night) to start.
As we waited for our samosas, we took in the restaurant’s atmosphere. It’s painted in soft greens and oranges, and decorated with Indian dishes and spices. Coloured lanterns give the place a soft glow, and sitar music plays on the stereo. It’s a very calming space — a perfect contrast to the spicy excitement of the food. The service at Curry Twist is as soothing as the decor — the wait staff is knowledgeable and casual, making you feel right at home. The chefs in the kitchen are ridiculously calm and methodical, even as patrons pile into the restaurant. By the time our appetizer came, Rich and I were nearly lulled into a meditative state by it all. Om.
We dove into the samosas as soon as they were placed on our table. Crispy brown on the outside, with diced potato and spices inside, these were clearly not your typical pastries from the frozen section of the supermarket. They were accompanied by a sweet and sour tamarind sauce for dipping, which complemented the spiciness of the potato very well. I basically inhaled mine.
Next to come were our main dishes and a re-up of King Fisher. Two gigantic pieces of pillowy naan took up most of our table, and I quickly tore off a piece to scoop up some of the Baigan Bharta. I’m not normally much of an eggplant fan, but I immediately fell in love with this dish’s smoky and spicy flavour. I broke up with Rich right there and changed my name to Mrs. Alana Bharta — it was that good. The next partner for my naan was the Matar Paneer Masala — fresh green peas and bouncy, lightly browned paneer swimming in a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and completely delicious sauce. We were amazed by the freshness of the veggies in both of our dishes and, unlike a lot of lesser Indian joints, we were happy to find that the food was not greasy at all.
As we devoured the last of our meals and paid our super-reasonable tab, Rich and I could not stop talking about the awesomeness of what we had just experienced. Curry Twist is easily one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve visited in Toronto, or anywhere else for that matter. I’m pretty sure Rich and I are now addicted to this rad Junction spot, and we’ll be returning for another fix soon.
Rich sez: How do you give anything a ten out of ten? Well, both Alana I could not come up with any reason not to give Curry Twist the perfect score.
It’s not just a great Indian restaurant, but one of the best restaurant experiences I have ever had. It’s such a relaxed and unpretensious atmosphere and, like Alana said, you’re greeted well by the staff and, as you are brought to your table, you are also greeted by big smiles from the chefs. Another cool thing is the glossary of spices, sauces, etc. at the front of the restaurant for those who don’t know much about Indian food.
We were seated right in front of the kitchen and, as I was watching Alana suck back her sixth samosa, I noticed everybody who finished their meals made a point to walk up and give a warm thank you to the chefs on their way out the door. How great is that?
So, just like Alana said, the food was amazing. I do however want to add that the food had just the right amount of spice; SPICY enough to get that drip coming out of your nose, but not TOO spicy where you can no longer taste your meal. As we were on our second round of beers, it seemed like dinner was going off with out a hitch, until a slight chill ran down my spine. I looked over my shoulder just in time to see the Oxy Clean guy walk in and be seated in my direct eyeline (I know the Oxy Clean guy is dead, so imagine my surprise when he is seated in front of me in an Indian restaurant in the Junction!). He was by himself and full of stink-eyes. Everybody was getting them, the waitress, me, the chefs — his stink-eye was so strong he made a baby cry … So, with his strong hate-on for the restaurant and everything living around him, I was led to believe that when he got his food, he would spit in the waitress’ face, kick her down on the ground, and spike a Naan on her head — but I was wrong. Once he got his food, he seem to settle his stank-eye down — his mood changed towards everything, he became friendly with the staff, he was high-five-ing the chefs, kissing babies, he gave me a wink once he found out Alana left me for the Bharta. What I am trying to say is I witnessed a skeptical, grumpy old man, with horribly-dyed facial hair, change into a happy, full bellied young Santa Claus right before my very own eyes. No, the Curry Twist food will not cure cancer, nor will it get you pregnant, but what it does do is satisfy your hunger for a comfortable, affordable meal, that all can share and enjoy. Cheers to you Curry Twist and thank you to the Chefs.
RIP Billy Mayes