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Restaurants

Lahore Tikka House

Posted by Tim / Reviewed on March 22, 2005 / review policy

toronto lahore tikka houseI want to say something nice about the Lahore Tikka House so here it is. They have great bathrooms. Who would have thought? This unassuming spot on Gerrard Street East in Little India which has long sported a large outdoor eating area is now closed in with four walls, multiple dining rooms, clean kitchens, and the freshest smelling handsoap this side of Lush.

And I sure needed it to wash myself down after ingesting daal, aloo gobi and paneer drowning in oil. This was a definite grease attack. To be fair, I think we ordered wrong. The tables around us were filled with fresh looking plates of briyani and fish masala. In fact, the sights and sounds from our neighbours were enough for me to recommend this joint. Just stick to the meat.

Lahore Tikka House, 1365 Gerrard Street East. 416-406-1668

Photo by Jim U in the blogTO Flickr pool

Discussion

45 Comments

Jus / March 23, 2005 at 11:33 am
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If in the hood, the place to be is Moti Mahal... good lord their moli kofta (?)is the tastiest thing on earth (sort of cheese/bread balls in this incredible buttery curry sauce, i don't paint a delish picture but trust me on this one). Perhaps resort back to Lahore Tikka for the washrooms though...
Nargis / April 27, 2006 at 08:02 pm
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I have to agree, Lahore Tikka House has some of the most beatiful and clean bathrooms I have seen, the food is great and you absolutely must have their Kulfi it is out of this world...our last vist between five of us we had 16 yes 16 of them, not including the 11pm run the next night. A real must go to. There sugar cane juice is great as well so says my hubby..Gerard St is a great place and a definate must do when visting Toronto. Nargis - Boston
IRUM / October 24, 2006 at 11:31 pm
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This is the greatest place i have ever visited. The food was excellent and the service was so fast.Good Job Guys!!!
Tina / March 18, 2007 at 11:07 pm
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Yes...I must agree, Lahore Tikka was an awesome dining experience!!!!!
Sue Dixon / May 14, 2007 at 09:31 pm
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Personnel at Lahore Tikka are quite indifferent and oftentimes rude....not the servers, who are most friendly, but the cashiers, who are management...I have been going to Lahore for a decade.. and the food is generally good....
s.jacob / May 28, 2007 at 06:20 pm
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Lahore Tikka House is THE best place to get indian food...hands down. Greasy, yes. Totally worth it though! :)
apetimberlake / March 27, 2008 at 10:24 am
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SO GOOD!
i love hanging out on the patio having a currie in the summer.
I heard the new place will have a roof top patio!
raven / April 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm
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I'm disappointed. Lahore Tikka House isn't actually Indian. It's Pakistani. (Yes there is a difference, traditionally India and Pakistan have not been the best of friends.)

I ate there once and I was different (and as another poster commented, the service was so-so). I don't intend on going again since neighbours in the area tell me that they guy who owns the place does not always act favorably to his fellow neighbours. And from what I can tell from passing the property many times over the last few years, it appears to be true...
Elly / September 4, 2008 at 01:50 am
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A year ago I walked into the restaurant for lunch with my five year old daughter. As I was unfamiliar with their menu I asked the owner to suggest a couple of dishes to try. He brought out a couple of little dishes and ran the bill up to over $50. For one adult and a child? This was hard to take, especially as the food was very run of the mill. Fool me once, shame on you...
PALGOLAK / February 9, 2009 at 08:45 am
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I find the Lahore Tikka house to be ridiculously expensive. I concur with Jus, the Motimahal across the street is half the price and just as good. Plus they sell beer!
Jess / May 9, 2009 at 02:58 pm
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I have to say this place is completely over rated. The service sucks. I've never had Indian food so oily. There was litteraly puddles of oil on top of the butter chicken and on my vegetarian platter. The serving sizes sucked. When we asked about the amount of oil the waiter just shrugged and walkeded away. The fact that everything is served on styrofoam is gross and ecologically irresponsible.

Its sad that Canadians fall for this crap and enjoy it because they think its "authentic."
Robert / May 31, 2009 at 09:59 am
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Try Little bombay in Woodbridge ON. Their curries are very authentic and inexpensive for their portions and taste.
www.LittleBombay.ca
Ray / June 29, 2009 at 11:04 am
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Dreary place to eat....

Since opening, I have eaten there 3 times (the first time was by choice when they just opened, the other two were out of respect to my guests). I will NEVER eat there again and have refused invites from friends and family to go there, I would rather stay home. They have poor service, terrible decor and an even worse atmosphere. The last time I visited, I felt like a chicken cooped up in a cage, it was cold, dark and dingy. I could not believe people actually paid good money to eat in a place like this and that too in Toronto. I stayed out of courtesy to my aunt and cousins who were celebrating her birthday. I could write a book on how poor this establishment is, but if people want to throw away their hard earned money then it is their purgative. The funny thing is that as tourists to India we would quickly criticize and comment "typical Indian Restaurant", yet we put up with this crap right here. I am also sure that this restaurant would not survive in a middle class neighborhood in India, yet flourishes here. You have been warned.
Sharma / September 17, 2009 at 07:54 pm
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It's a great restaurant with good food.I like how they have included a rickshaw outside plus the decorum inside adds to the beauty of the restaurant.I would definitely recommend it to visitors.It's wayyy better than those over priced, 5 star hotel designed indian restaurants with poor food quality.
Ki / September 20, 2009 at 11:20 am
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Excellent food and nice atmosphere. For all the haters above, you probably don't even know the difference between indian vs. Paki food and believe you have to pay more to get better food.

Try the lamb seekh kebob with naan, tarka daal and biryani. All are fine and authentic.

Also across the street try 786 restauarant another fine paki restaurant and high quality food.
Elf / October 27, 2009 at 06:09 pm
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The lamb kabobs are out of this world! I constantly get cravings for these.
Noman / October 31, 2009 at 11:43 pm
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To be honest the FOOD is great but they really need to like make some ROOM. Like they seriously should spend some money and upgrade some stuff like their tables (for sure) and chairs.

But Still if its for the food u guys are going for...

It rocks....overall I would give this place a 3.5/5
zubairali / December 27, 2010 at 04:44 pm
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Lahore tikka house has the most amazing kebabs and the best service, you just have to order and wait for just a few seconds and the food shows up. The prices are also very resonable, I dont know why people are saying that its expensive.
Imad Khan / April 17, 2011 at 09:03 pm
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This place rocks- Amazing food, resonable prices and fantastic service. They just have to renovate and make it look a little bit better
Amna B / April 23, 2011 at 11:55 am
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Lahore Tikka has dropped in standard for me over the last few years. Their portions have become smaller, food has become pricier and the service has hit an all-time low. The grease from food is absorbed more by the paper plates they are served on. Yeah the food still tastes pretty good but it's not worth the pain of eating there. I prefer Chandni Chowk for their incredible Bihari kabab.
Trifecta / April 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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Our Experience:

1.Brutal Service
2.Flimsy Paper Plates
3.Lazy Servers
4.Loud Atmosphere
5.3 inches of grease in each skillet dish
6.Garbage bags to clear tables in one fell swoop
7.Skillet grease and char flaking off into food
8.Eating in a high school portable experience
9.Generator humming in the background

This place is an environmental disaster dining experience. Gross. Would never go back.
Veneel / June 26, 2011 at 03:39 pm
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Dear Folks,

Kindly pls, do not visit this pathetic place. Ive been coming here since 2 years on a regular basis and bringing in different guests everytime, and guess what ??? ... my patience keeps running out bit by bit on every visit. It crossed its limit yesterday when I took my West indian friend there to eat.
First and the most important point to remember is - NEVER GO THERE ON A WEEKEND. BECAUSE THEY DONT TREAT CUSTOMERS LIKE KINGS THERE ON WEEKENDS, FOOD IS JUST THROWN ON YOUR TABLE AND COLD AND ABSOLUTELY TASTELESS. REASON BEING, "THEY HAVE MANY CUSTOMERS COMING ON WEEKENDS RIGHT, THEY BELIEVE IN SERVING QUANTITY TO COVER ALL TABLES, RATHER THAN QUALITY.
Infact yesterday when we ordered Beef Kebabs, they arrived all cold and looked just as if they were taken out from the freezer and out on a grill for a few minutes. My guest was unimpressed. When we told the server regarding this he gave us an excuse which "If he was working in my office, i would have fired him on the spot". He says " Sir you ordered only 2 kebabs so they dont come on the sizzling hot platter they come in a plate and if you would have told us that you need it to be sizzling hot we would have given it to you like that."
HOW RUDE AND OUTRAGEOUS CAN THAT ANSWER BE, as a customer you are bound to serve me with hot food, and I should not be requesting you to serve me hot food, because in that case it would be better for Lahore tikka to buy a LOCK and shut down the restaurant with a PATHETIC SERVICE like that.
The servers, moreover were not interesting in serving, they were loafing around and grouping together whenever they saw some girl walk in who was attractive, now how cheap is that?
Next case, we ordered the lamb biryani which i have ben ordering since 2 years now. This time they crossed the limit. The biryani had only 5 pieces of poorly cut and minor lamb.
I was furious and burst out on the server telling him that "Firstly, the kebabs were cold, now the biryani is cold and i can see only 5 pieces of lamb in there, to which he says sir we serve only 5 pieces."
I replied back with anger on my face saying "are you lying to me outright, listen pal ive been coming here since 2 years and I have always got more than 8 to 9 pieces of lamb for a price of 10$, are you telling me you people serve only 5 pieces of lamb with some tasteless rice for $10."
He had not answer and just pretended things were in control.
My guest at this point was very upset, as she said she didnt enjoy any aspect of the food nor the place. She said she didnt expect the place to so shabby and low key, to which i had no answer. And she insisted that we leave right away.
All my appetite and my urge to have a good weekend dinner at this pathetic place was ruined. I'd rather go into a good Indian restaurant where there is class and the service is disciplined. This pakistani restaurant needs to revamp their surrounding, change their servers and hire polite people who dont bullshit you when you know exactly whats going on. OVERALL PLS DONT BULLSHIT THE BULLSHITTER, WITH YOU OVER PRICED UNDER DELICIOUS AND CHEAP QUALITY SERVICE.

FOLKS MY ADVISE, IF YOU WANT TO GO TO LAHORE TIKKA, MY HUMBLE REQUEST ... DONT GO, you would only end up being disappointed, the reason being we brown folks know exactly what the food should be like, but to the rest of the ethnicites who dine there, have no clue as to how much they are actually paying for pathetic food.

MANY THANKS
Dark Lord / July 4, 2011 at 01:59 am
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How can lahore tikha house be a indian restaurant, lahore is in pakistan, so its a pakistani restaurant not an indian restaurant, this website needs to show some effort, instead of putting up bullshit
Teri Bhan Ki Pudha / July 4, 2011 at 02:01 am
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Lahore tikka located on gerrard might look attractive and may be packed every night of business, but the kitchens are very dirty, the staff is very uneducated and do not speak fluent english. the kitchen is dirty and i do not know how they get a pass from the ministry of health every year. IT IS VERY UNHYGIENIC
Dark Lord / July 4, 2011 at 02:06 am
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Lahore tikha house is prolly the most disgusting restaurants i have ever heard of, just thinking of the name makes me want to barf, my friend worked their, he told me the kitchen is beyond filthy,the workers are all sweating and all the sweats are dripping in the patilas, and my friend dropped the giant kari of chicken on the floor by accident, and they told him just put it back in, their floors have rats and mice, so my friend refused and quit
Max-Brown / July 4, 2011 at 06:29 pm
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I have been to many south asian restaurants, and i was at lahore tikka last evening. I must say the kitchen of any pakistani restaurant is next to garbage this is the 4th pakistani restaurant ive visited this year and its been really disappointing, I dont understand how people go to eat there, dont they love their health and dont they see how bad and disgusting the kitchen is, along with some really rude servers who are most of time not paying attention to your table but to the entrance to see which beautiful girl comes in.
The owner should be banned from keeping the restaurant open, prices are not worth for such kind of crapy food. I brazilian and i must say i love spicy food, but no one does it better than the indians.
JF / August 8, 2011 at 04:42 pm
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Thanks for all the candid comments. I would have gone during this visit to Toronto but not now.
Maria / September 20, 2011 at 08:34 pm
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Ok, first off the restaurant is Pakistani. And because of this, one needs to stay away from the "Indian" dishes offered on the menu (e.g aloo gobi and paneer something). The meaty stews (esp Nehari) and kebabs (Seekh kebab in particular) which are authentically Pakistani as well as the Kulfi and Faloodeh are amazing. One of my favorite meals is the Nehari with Roghani Naan (Sesame Naan) with Kulfi for dessert. Heavy, yet delicious!
I have been to this place multiple times, and the experience has always been amazing food wise. But once again, stay with the "Pakistani dishes", and go with a Pakistani friend if possible :) for extra guidance.
Aseem / October 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm
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First of all let my clarify. All Pakistani dishes are actually Indian. There are none that you won't find it in India.
Next, the place is outstanding. The food is very good and not expensive as others have put it. You also might want to try another restaurant on the other end of Gerard India Bazaar (same side) by name Ali Baba or something. That one too is good.
john / November 23, 2011 at 03:57 pm
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Food was watered down. The service was terrible. Theres a another small little place called "chandi chowk' in India Bazaar, its soo much better. It actually tastes like food!
T / December 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm
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I have visited Lahore tikka numerous times and have never had an issue with the service. The place is always packed and Very casual, and while the staff are busy, i have never been neglected. While you will find the same dishes through out India and Pakistan, the style and flavours will vary. I agree that the traditional Indian dishes, such as butter chicken are not the best. The butter chicken was oily and a bit pungent, the portion was ridiculous. For those, I recommend Banjara on bloor street.
I will say however, that the sizzlers and lamb briyani are excellent. Also try the pani pouri..it's a great appetizer.
As for the kitchen, it's not surprising based on the volume of people they serve....I'm a little concerned now.
Praimnath Sankar / January 4, 2012 at 05:20 pm
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I am confused by 'Pakistani food' and 'Indian food' distiction.
Was Pakistani food invented after partition or is it just a way of saying it is a type of cooking found in that part of former India that is now Pakistan?
Torteh / January 30, 2012 at 04:48 pm
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The food is great and prices are cheap but you should have ur food on disposal dishes and you have to share ur table with other people but its worthed ;)
Foodie / June 13, 2012 at 01:43 am
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They are in the process of renovating. Nice waitors, that can get overwhellmed with the business of the place on weekends. LOVE the food ( particualrly the KABOBS and biryani) and SO WELL priced. A MUST see for Toronto, and dont be afraid to yell out the waitors name for what you need- thats how it is back home lol.
P.S - If its YOUR BIRTHDAY and you ask them to sing for you, the staff come out with a `dhol`- pakistani drum and a slice of cake), and sing you a birthday song with the crowd joining in at times. SUPER FUN! if your looking for a quite and 5 star expereince go somewhere else. But if you want great food and fun come here!
yu / June 13, 2012 at 06:48 pm
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Absolutely disaster.Poor service,oily,cold food.No authentic taste.Plus the disposable plates and cutlery .Best avoided.
Evil md replying to a comment from yu / July 6, 2012 at 04:56 pm
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@yu

Couldn't agree more. Bad food, poor service, paper plates, flimsy plastic chairs, etc.

How can anyone recommend this place?
D. Singh / October 9, 2012 at 03:36 am
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Ok guys, Lahore Tikka is one of the best restaurants on Gerrard street. Whether it is Pakistani or Indian that really doesn't matter or does it? You guys that are saying bad things about this place; stay at home and cook your own food or go to Mc Donalds and Kentucky. Please remember that they are not begging you guys to come there. I've been going to Lahore Tikka for many years and the food is very good. It's the best on Gerrard street and that's the only restaurant I dine in whenever I'm on Gerrard Street. Just yesterday my , my friend, my daughter and I dined there. We all enjoyed the food. We had Grilled Lamb Chops, Butter Chicken, Vegetable Biryani and Naan; everything was very delicious. There're things that I really don't like - their plastic knives, forks and the small flimsy paper cups; I don't mind the paper plates much. Another thing is lining up to order your food before you sit at the table then the lining up again to pay when you're done eating. It would've been a good idea for the Waiters to bring the Menu to your table, take your order and when you're done they bring the bill to your table or you go to the Casheir and pay your bill. They should also have sturdy and larger plastic cups; something like the water jug material. I never made a fuss though; whenever I'm going there I make sure to take my own knife, fork and hot peppers with me and I'm very happy. The food, the price and the service is very good; the waiters are very friendly and always smiling. I'll continue to dine at Lahore Tikka and may the good Lord bless everyone especially the Chefs for preparing those delicious food. Many thanks!
Abdul / November 2, 2012 at 12:37 am
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This place is a pig sty how is it that the health board has not shut this place down for good it's only a matter of time before someone dies from the unsafe cooking conditions
JSA / February 10, 2013 at 09:30 pm
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When there yesterday with high hopes, and food was just crap for $16 something. First of all I was surprised to see their menu of one side page only. I expected much more. Ordered one of their sizzler that is two lamb kabab with chicken tikka rice. The lamb kabab was fine, but it had green chilli stem in it. They used parboiled rice and not the regular basmati, so it was totally bland. The chicken tikka didn't have proper marination, and was bland. Looking at their menu I figured they make just three kinds of kababs and one chicken tikka, and have created more than 10 dishes out of them. It makes their menu highly uninspiring. Just not going over there again. For that much money I'd have far greater a la carte dinner at one of those Indian restaurants on King St.
arron dee / August 22, 2013 at 02:35 pm
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The jug of water was banged down on our table with a couple of styrofoam cups that the waiter held with his fingers inside. A few pieces of iceberg lettuce with some sauce was also complimentary, but not really fresh, the table next to us sent theirs back.
I sat watching the naan bread being prepared and was horrified to see a take out order of the naan being wrapped in newspaper and the foil before being put in a carrier bag.
Ate a couple of samosas and left, this maybe authentic food,but i will never return.
Foodie Man / September 11, 2013 at 04:30 pm
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Wow. I can't believe some of these comments. People are really knocking this place down on all levels. As an adventurer who is keen on authentic culinary experiences, I found this restaurant interesting and charming in its "ghetto-ness". Yes, they serve you on styrofoam plates and cups; yes, you are expected to order at the cash first then sit down with your number then go up and pay your bill back at the cashier; yes, the hygiene is definitely questionable; yes, the prices are expensive considering what is being served (rice, minimal meat); and yes, service/servers do loaf around.

However, it is precisely because of this I like coming here. It's a restaurant that is catering to a South Asian crowd. Anyone who has been to South Asia will tell you the ambiance there is pretty reminiscent of that region - in particular, Pakistan, of course. The colourful patio roof decorations running from one end of the room to the other adds an unapologetic panache to the surroundings. Having travelled throughout the continent of Asia I can confirm eating outside on concrete at makeshift tables and stools is one of the best experiences ever. Ask any Asian ex-pat and they will confirm some of the best foods served in Asia (regardless of the region) are at these street fare type joints. As a non-South Asian, I welcome this type of authentic dining experience - it's wonderful.

Too many ethnocentric, and perhaps even eurocentric, comments made here about the setup of the establishment without taking into consideration that this is how the people of Pakistan eat in their country. Yes, it's Canada, but the beauty of this wonderful nation of ours is that you don't have to fly far to experience authentic dining; it's right here in our back yard! Even 2nd generation ethnic South Asian-Canadians will complain about the dining setting (not clean, no class, fast-food), but this is the problem. If you walk in here expecting a westernized dining experience, of course you'll leave disappointed.

Now, with respect to the food...it's a hit or miss. I've been coming here for over 15 years. I recall 25% of the time, the food is a miserable miss. I don't know why, it's like a different chef cooked the food. No flavour, cold, and dry meats. I continue to go despite this because the other 75% of the time, the food is an explosion of flavours, hot and sizzling and comforting to the core. People have complained that the food comes with an inch or two of oil - yes, it does. Guess what? That is the authentic way Pakistani food (and Indian food) is made at restaurants. This isn't Mother Malik's kitchen, it's a restaurant. And this is also why the food tastes so damn delicious! Amazing what some reading and travel and socializing with Pakistani immigrants can teach you. When it's good, this place serves THE BEST Pakistani briyani in the GTA. The rice kebobs are also an unique Pakistani variation of Iranian bbq meat plates - in my opinion, Lahore does it much better than the Iranians.

As for the servers...ok, yea, they loaf around a bit, but when you need them they come and serve you. I've never had any rude incidents, but I do see what people mean by the male servers oogling the ladies. But keep in mind, these are men who are young. And it's not a five star restaurant here. It's a casual dining experience where everyone is wearing tshirts. If someone is rude, talk to the management. Pakistani management won't tolerate the hired hands being rude to customers - customers are guests and hold a position of esteem in South Asian culture. Don't 'fight' with your server if he is being difficult, tell him you get the Manager and voice your discontent directly to the ownership. You'll get better results.

Overall, I know why my personal South Asian friends come down here with their loved ones all the way from Pickering, Scarborough and some even from Ajax. The place is hardcore authentic and most of the times, they serve awesome delcious meals! I recommend this place to everyone with the caveat: go with an open mind, to learn about the food and the culture and leave your Canadian expectations at the door. Enjoy it as much as I do.

Peace.
Dan Kosta / October 15, 2013 at 04:45 pm
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First of all this is a PAKISTANI restaurant, and there is a big difference between Pakistani and Indian.

Indian restaurants are more vegetarian oriented since Indians are mostly HINDU, while Pakistanis are more meat-oriented since they are mostly MUSLIM. Even though they look similar, they are very different people. It's like saying Chinese people are the same as Japanese people...not at all. One of my good mates is Pakistani so I know quite a lot about them.

Second, Lahore Tikka House is quite arguably the most popular restaurant in the area, no question about it and that doesn't have many people happy especially from across the street where a lot of older Indian restaurants are housed.

Indians and Pakistanis do not get along very well. I rarely see Indians coming to Lahore Tikka House, though I have seen many Asian background people from West Indians, and Sikhs or Sri Lankans, East Africans etc. coming. It's weird...similarly you won't ever see Pakistanis going to an Indian restaurant.

The food at LTH is awesome, but the plastic cups and plates are not. That being said, its manageable and the overall vibe is awesome...it has a distinct Pakistani feel to it with the colours and the rickshaws etc.

I'd suggest going with a large group of people, 5-8, and make sure one of them is Pakistani. It helps...

Cheers.
victor / October 28, 2013 at 12:51 am
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I was at this restaurant, the restaurant was packed and had a line up which continued out the front door. I soon found out the line was for ordering the food. Not everything is cheap on the menu, the lamb kebabs were priced low, the curries were not , but the food we ordered were good. I did not like the foam plates, foam cup for drinking water and plastic cutlery . Don't expect any great service due to the fact at any restaurant if they are busy don't ask for the moon you will never see it. I would definitely go back for the food but I think the restaurant can do a lot better than its current offerings on foam plates and cups which I find very disturbing.
Krystal / January 9, 2014 at 09:02 am
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In a drunken stupor / March 11, 2014 at 08:47 pm
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Lahore tikka house has been in steady decline for years. While the plastic chairs and paper plates are a bit weird and give it a school cafeteria feel it is the limited value for money that is most disappointing. The mains and side dishes are tiny. Plan on spending at least $50 per person (without alcohol). Much better options in the area.

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