Photography by Jay Kana, Leo Graziani and Sara Cross-Wilkinson

On a rainy afternoon, the Spirit of the City staff headed up to the city core for our Christmas lunch. Now we’ve gorged on Italian. We’ve feasted on Mediterranean. This time around, we decided to travel as far east as possible and ventured into the newly-renovated The Host restaurant.

We were promptly and warmly greeted by our host, who ushered us into the main dining room. The Host already looked impressive before the renovations, with its elegant royal red chairs with crisp white linen. But the new renovations are immediately noticeable: dark wood furniture, leather and velvet seats, and a stunning picture of a peacock feather centralized the main dining room where we were seated.

We were led to a beautiful wooden table that our server said was imported from India and reserved for special guests (that’s us!). From our table, we could see The Host was very busy, which only piqued our interest in what was being served at the buffet.

The buffet stands in front of the kitchen, allowing guests to watch the magic behind what would be closed doors. The kitchen is manned by an experienced team, led by celebrity Chef Sanjeev Sethi. Chef Sethi has over 30 years experience in the culinary field, beginning his training in his mother’s kitchen. The secret, he says, is that the best food is made with love and that love demands no shortcuts. This beautiful philosophy is reflected in the dishes Chef Sethi and his team carefully prepare. Using only the freshest in high-quality ingredients, including some TLC, the food they dished out was absolutely sublime.

The Host serves old-time favourites like butter chicken, chana masala, samosas, paneer tawa masala, goat curry, tandoori delicacies and much more. Their naan was exceptionally fluffy and had a beautiful smoky flavour. Paired with a beautiful lentil soup and a mix of curries, we were set.

A few plates each and unbuttoned pants later we were ready to tap out—but oh no, our server would have none of that. He insisted we tried their pistachio kulfi, (ice cream). He brought us out a scoop each with gulab jamun and it was fantastic! The kulfi tasted like pistachios and contrasted perfectly with the warm gulab jamun. Our meal was unforgettable and definitely got the ball rolling for holiday weight gain.

So, for a pure experience of a rich culinary culture, try The Host. We promise you won’t regret it. (You might regret not being able to control yourself, but hey, it happens.)

The Host
33 City Centre Drive