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Last weekend, my friends Heather and Johanne and I went downtown to a Gem Show at the Hyatt Hotel on King Street. I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about being a jewellery designer, but it is a passion that I share with these ladies and any chance we get to go and play with beads and gems is one that we thoroughly enjoy. Needless to say it was a great show and we left with lots of great finds.
On our days out, we love to stop somewhere for lunch and do a show and tell of our purchases. This time, we decided to give 309 Dhaba Indian Excellence a try. A tiny spot across the street from the Tiff Lightbox along the same strip of King Street as Forget About It, Fred’s Not Here and so many others, we had no idea what we were going to find. The room was tastefully decorated and comfortable and we were offered mango lassi drinks as soon as we were seated at our table. Delicious! I found out as I was eating that they are a great way to reduce the burn in one’s mouth from the delectable spicy food we were eating.
The lunch time offering is a buffet with some 60 items spread out around the back of the restaurant. I’m not a big buffet fan but with Indian food it’s nice to be able to sample a little of this and a little of that since the exotic spices and combinations are still somewhat of a novelty for me. Although I’ve been eating Indian food for a long time, I tend to go for the things that I know; a buffet like this one however was an opportunity to try something new. Along one side were the salad offerings—what a vision! There were so many dishes of glorious hues and smells that it was hard to decide what to try so I sampled as many dishes as I could. What I found was that each had its own flavour, the freshness was evident in everything I put in my mouth and it was all simply heavenly. My second plate was from the main dishes and included saffron rice, saag paneer (delicious spinach and fresh cheese), butter chicken (still my favourite), goat curry (try it, you might like it!) and the most tender tandoori chicken I’ve ever had. There were so many choices, I don’t have space to describe them all, except that each and every one of them was unique and scrumptious. I was so full when I finished that I didn’t have a smidgen of space for dessert. Wow is all I can say; what a magnificent experience!
Would I go back you ask? Well, the very next weekend, Heather and I headed out to Scarborough for a road trip to our favourite bead store and of course we had to drive by downtown to get there. “Stop for lunch at Dhaba?” she asked. Well why not! It would be good to see if it was a good as we remembered it to be. Was it? You bet. Wonderfully flavourful, and this time I saved room for dessert. Little dough balls soaked in sugar and honey, and creamy and clean-tasting rice pudding was the perfect ending to yet another great meal.
If you’ve got a hankering for Indian food, it’s well worth the drive downtown to give Dhaba a try. It’s worth it!
’Til next time,
309 Dhaba Indian Excellence
309 King St. W.