19 Baldwin Street
Daniel and I met up for lunch one day and decided to try The Gateways of India, another Indian restaurant, hoping for something different and unique. We head towards Baldwin Village as he knew that Gateways offered a lunch buffet (all you can eat for $7.95). I must say it was different. With non-typical Indian dishes, I was pleased for the new and exciting dishes but I was disappointed that there were very few vegetarian dishes.
Located on Baldwin street, this quiet tree lined street full of small restaurants and cafes was crowded with people that Thursday afternoon at 1:15pm. Located south of the U of T. campus and right next to Chinatown downtown, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Ontario College of Art and Design, I was surprised that the street was so crowded.
The decor of Gateways to India was nice and non kitschy. Restaurant is small and seats about ten normal size tables. The interiors are a bit dark and overall the place looks clean and not super fancy. There is a gorgeous front terrace opened all summer and in early fall. Sits about six tables.
Food was fresh, piping hot, and always refreshed. Surprisingly , the buffet was not super large like most Indian buffets. They had a small selection of salads (spinach salad, chick pea salad, and some raw vegetables). Dishes included tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and lamb curry. Vegetarian dishes included green daal (excellent!), vegetable pekora in a yellow yogourt curry. I never tasted somethng so wondeful. Superb, spicy, creamy and wonderfully fresh. As well , there was a dish called Aloo Mushroom, which was Aloo (potatoes) in a curry with mushrooms and paneer (cheese). This dish was amazing. I also enjoyed one slice of Subzi Naan (Naan stuffed with curried potatoes and peas). I was disappointed that there was no channa (chick pea curry), bhartha (eggplant curry) or aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry) or my recent obsession: saag paneer (spinach and cheese curry). Saag Paneer is a wonderful dish that most Indian restaurants carry.
Daniel had some of the daal, the bhaji, butter chicken which he found rich and flavourful, the curried mutton which he thought was a little short on meat, but with a tasty sauce, and tandoori chicken which was alittle dry, but had a good spicy kick. He thought it was an amazing deal for $7.95 with fresh ingredients and well prepared dishes. To quote him “I thought it was not like the usual sodden muck that one gets at a South Asian lunch buffet.”
For dessert, we had the typical rice pudding, watery, but extremely flavourful with the wonderful aroma and flavours of cardomom, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As well they had fresh fruit, and custard.
There is an extensive regular menu which serves a variety of vegetarian dishes like the typical channa, daal, aloo gobi, bharta, saag and matter paneer. They also serve a variety of breads and rice dishes. The remainder of the menu serves mostly Chicken (boneless white meat) and lamb dishes as well as a variety of shrimp dishes ($8.95-$9.95). I did not see any beef or goat curries at all on this menu. Some chicken dishes come with naan bread or rice while others explicitly are ordered as entrees only. All shrimp dishes comes with rice or naan. All entrees are under $10.00. Accepts all cards and Interac.
Free delivery from 5:00pm-10:00pm for orders over $20.00.