Many things change on Queen Street West. Shops and restaurants that you frequent could very well be replaced the next moment due to high rent and competition. But one thing stays the same.
For more than 25 years, Gandhi Indian Cuisine, or as the locals call it “Gandhi Roti”, is unwavering despite the competition and thankfully, there’s no sign of it disappearing soon.
Its bright yellow shopfront draws my attention every time. I happened to be in the area today, and decided to visit Gandhi Roti again.
The main attraction here is roti (bread), hence Gandhi Roti. Each roti and curry is made to order, so plan on waiting in line. Luckily for me, I got in around 5pm so it wasn’t busy and received my chicken tikka masala roti within 5 minutes.
I got the best seat in the house - the only window seat. There are only 3 tables in the tiny restaurant, and I counted 11 chairs, but really 3 of those chairs are for people waiting for their take-outs. (𝙅𝙠 : Toronto is a treasure trove of such hole in the wall, bare bones, small greasy diners serving authentic ethnic food.)
At Gandhi Roti, you get to choose a curry of your liking and it comes encased in warm flatbread. I describe it as a spicy pillow.
Oh, do I mean spicy. When the friendly lady at the counter took my order, she asked what spice level I wanted. The conversation went like this 🗨
Lady 🗨 What spice level do you want?
Me 🗨 Oh spicy.
Lady 🗨 Mild, Medium or Hot?
Me 🗨 Hot!
Lady 🗨 I think medium is good. Because hot is really hot.
Me 🗨 Oh okay then, medium! (𝙅𝙠 : What happened to that girl who enjoyed her first spicy mee siam at 2 years old? )
I’m not sure what she saw in me, but she saw right through me and gave me the best recommendation. On a regular day, I eat raw bird’s eye chilies or chili padi neat with almost every meal. So I thought that I can handle “Hot”. Thankfully I listened to her advice as “medium” was already giving me sweats and sniffles.
The roti folds were very thin, slightly charred outside, a little bit chewy, and was the perfect envelope for the spicy, oozy curry. Every mouthful had the perfect ratio of roti to curry.
Because each roti and curry is made to order, my food came piping hot and even to the last bite, I could see steamy puffs rising up to fill the whole restaurant with the aroma of curry.
Even with so much heat, I tasted deep flavours in the curry. My chicken tikka masala was very red in colour with large chunks of tender chicken breast, creamy potatoes, and soft onions. I really enjoyed this curry.
The chef is very generous and the portion sizes here are sufficient to feed one to two hungry adults. In fact, the table next to me, two men, shared one roti. I ate one on my own 😛
Don’t judge me 😂
It's really nice lah.
Eating this reminded me of murtabuk. I used to frequent Mamak (Indian Muslim) stalls as a little girl growing up in Malaysia and Singapore. So to taste today’s roti, made me a little home sick. I’ll be back to try Gandhi Roti's paneer roti.
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Restaurant name: Gandhi Indian Cuisine
Address: 554 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B7, Canada
GPS: 43°38'50.9"N 79°24'11.0"W 🌐 43.647464, -79.403060
Tel: +1 416-504-8155
Hours: 11:00am - 8:00pm (Sat & Sun closed)
Date visited: 17 Aug 2019