273 Queen St. West
Dinner & drinks for two: $55
Babur has been on Queen West forever, it seems, and with a new urban look, it was time for a visit.
Long wood communal tables and sleek banquettes give the place a cool, streamlined feel. An exposed brick wall covered in black framed bird prints evokes modern day. It doesn’t speak to the Indian food within at all.
Which, by the way, is mostly fantastic. Hot, crisp and crunchy Vegetable Pakoras ($5.95) arrive at the table with a homemade pomegranate sauce. Macher Jhol ($14.95) is Mahi Mahi marinated in spices, stir fried and cooked in a piquant sauce with onions and tomatoes. The fish is buttery and milky white and somehow the fiery sauce doesn’t cloak the fish, but compliments it. Even the Mango Chicken ($13.95) is delightful â€” crackling batter envelops tender chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. Only the Chana Marsala ($9.95) â€” heavy and mushy â€” was disappointing.
But all of that doesn’t matter because the service was atrocious. We are ignored all evening. You can do all you want to the walls and furniture, but having to pleading for water, to order, and get the check, confirms I won’t be back.
What a shame.
Wait is over
Claudio Aprile’s Origin (107 King St.) has opened after a year of planning and building. Located just a block away from his other restaurant, Colborne Lane (45 Colborne St.), this innovative chef will no doubt cause a foodie frenzy. Items from his new menu include Tuna Salad with Asian pea, avocado, puffed rice plus a spicy ponzu dressing ($16) and Manchego cheese cake with saffron sorbet and marinated berries ($9). Go to www.origintoronto.com for more information.
New & Exciting
Sushi Shop (3 Carlton St. â€” Yonge & College) takes sushi up a notch with intriguing ingredients â€” sun-dried tomato and basil pestos, clementines, sweet chilli sauce, soy sheets and mint to name just a few. The fresh fish and cute décor are nice too. And lucky us â€” two more locations in the downtown core to come. Call 416-598-5005 or visit www.sushishop.com for more info.