Montreal’s gastronomisphere shines with an ethnic diversity that represents the bright faces and eclectic cultures that makes our city truly unique. With tastes and flavors as complex as our parking signs, using a plethora of spices and herbs, there is nothing more colorful than Indian cuisine. Here are a handful of places that will sure set your taste buds sizzling…
Bombay Mahal: Located in the Parc-Extension area of the city, this eatery has consistently made “best Indian” lists compiled by locals and visitors to the city. Dishes here are served family style and are encouraged to be shared amongst great company. From their famous butter chicken to fragrant jalfraizi dishes, their extensive menu will satisfy all palates.
Butter chicken is considered the introductory dish to Indian cuisine to the non-initiated, and you can tell why. Their generous portion of skinless and boneless chicken is cooked in a rich tomato-based butter cream sauce. Make sure to get and order or two of their great fluffy naan to sop up all the sauce; or like what I did… a straw; usually frowned upon, but once you try it, you’ll understand. Bombay Mahal, 1001 Jean-Talon West, (514) 273-3331
Punjab Palace: Serving Montreal for over 20 years, the team at Punjab Palace has been adamant about serving authentic Indian cuisine as they would serve it in their own homes. A must try are any of their awesome tandoori plates – clay oven roasted skewers and kebabs seared table-side on a sizzling platter. Punjab Palace’s mixed plate of lamb sheekh kabab and chicken is a heap of meat no one can pass up.
Be sure to start with their vegetable pakoras; vegetable fitters consisting of cauliflower, broccoli, onions, battered and deep fried and served with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce and spicy cilantro sauce. Punjab Palace, 920 Rue Jean-Talon West, (514) 495-4075
Thanjai: This Southern Indian spot boasts a very unique and specific menu, so unless you’re very well versed in the Indian culinary world, make sure to read the dish descriptions so you don’t miss any gems. They specialize in a large lentil and rice flour crepe like pancakes called “dosa”. Featuring different fillings in a variety of spiciness levels (a great spot for chilliheads or spicy sadists) they are served with a mango-pineapple chutney, a coconut sauce and nostril-hair-singeing sambar. Thanjai is an interesting and exciting application of Southern Indian cuisine that may be different than what you’re accustomed to, which is always a great thing. Thanjai, 4759 Ave Van Horne, (514) 419-9696
Maison India, 5868 Sherbrooke West, (514) 485-2122
Bombay Choupati, 5011 Boulevard Des Sources, (514) 421-3130
Le Taj, 2077 Stanley, (514) 845-9015