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Restaurants

OM Restaurant and Bar

Posted by Gadjo Sevilla / Reviewed on June 6, 2010 / review policy

Om Restaurant TorontoOM Restaurant is Parkdale's newest go-to spot for authentic Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian eats. Owned by a Tibetan family and featuring a Nepalese chef who lived and worked in Delhi, It has been open for less than 5 months but already getting a reputation for solid lunch and dinner fare.

Inside, the restaurant is deceivingly spacious. There's a fully licensed bar, mustard coloured walls, free WiFi and a large rear patio.

Om MenuThe menu is somewhat staggering - 86 dishes broken down by chicken, beef, lamb, seafood and vegetarian options. Prices are modest. Entrees average $8.99 with the $12.99 Tandoori Shrimp the most expensive of the bunch.

Om TorontoWe order some Mango Lassis (yogurt shake with mango) to start as well as Limca - a tangy lime seltzer drink which acts as a perfect counterpoint to the delectably spicy fare.

For starters our waiter brings some homemade Gyuma ($5.99 - top photo), a Tibetan beef sausage served with a slathering of hot sauce. This dish is very similar to the Spanish Morcilla or the English Black Pudding and is quintessential Tibet fare. It's just spicy enough to awake the taste buds without overpowering them. It's good on its own but I imagine it would pair really well as a bar snack with a frosty beer.

Om TorontoNext up is the Jasha Momo ($6.99), traditional steamed chicken dumplings that remind of the Chinese influence on Tibetan cuisine. They're served with delightful but potent chutney that really opens up the flavour and also a smidgen of good old coleslaw to counteract the heat. For those not into spicy food, go easy on the chutney or order up another bottle of Limca to help fight the fire.

OmOM has their own Tandoor clay oven where they bake their own Naan (leavened Indian flatbread) as well as assorted meats and vegetables. We order the Garlic Naan ($1.99) as well as the more standard Butter Naan ($1.50). These both easily beat the dry and chewy, buffet-type mass-produced Naan commonly found around town.

Garlic NaanThe Garlic Naan is particularly impressive, a revelation composed of perfectly toasted bread, pungent garlic and fresh parsley. It's delicious on its own and fantastic when paired with any of the saucy dishes.

Om Restaurant ParkdaleChili Chicken ($8.99) is fried chicken sauteed in tomato, onion, ginger, garlic and green chili and was a bit on the salty side but we quickly remedied this with a few squeezes of lemon. The potency of the green chili should not to be underestimated. Even a small portion lit up our mouths.

Om Restaurant TorontoWe love our lamb so choosing from OM's menu was a bit of a challenge since they serve it in numerous mouth-watering ways (Curry, Vindaloo and Saag, just to name a few). We settle on Lamb Karahi ($8.99) which is slow cooked with fresh onions, green pepper, ginger, garlic and spices topped with cilantro. It's all served fresh and steaming in a hot karahi (miniature wok).

And the sauce! While the lamb chunks were just a little tough, we could see any type of meat, fish or vegetable working well with this glorious sauce. It's complex, citrusy, fragrant and so good it should be bottled up and sold at Pusateri's.

Om Restaurant ParkdaleLast but not the least we gorged on the Bhendi Masala ($8.99), crisp chopped okra with onion, tomato and lemon juice. This dish was rich and oily yet sumptuous all the same.

With our taste buds in overdrive and heads spinning from all the rich, big flavors and spices we end our meal with cups of Bhod-Jha ($1.50). This is a Tibetan traditional tea blended with butter, milk and lightly salted. It's both relaxing and a sublime way to cleanse the palate and end the meal.

And what was even more of a delight? How about the bill! For three people, all this food and drinks added up to only $60.34 with leftovers to take home. Will I be back? For sure. Maybe next time for their weekend Tibetan Brunch which I'm told revolves around Naan, eggs and chickpea sauce.

Om Restaurant TorontoTue-Thurs: 11 am-3pm & 5pm to 10pm
Friday: 11am-3pm & 5pm-11pm
Saturday: 10 am to 11pm
Closed on Mondays
WiFi available

Discussion

12 Comments

Bob / June 6, 2010 at 01:41 pm
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That Limca brings back memories of working on the film, Amal, in Delhi. I think I'll be checking this place out.
Paul / June 6, 2010 at 03:21 pm
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This looks amazing. Great photos! I will definitely put this on my list of places to check out.
Michelle / June 6, 2010 at 05:02 pm
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OM is amazing. The staff are so kind, the food is killer for the price and I am very happy to have it in the Parkdale neighbourhood. They also do a fixed lunch special for FIVE DOLLARS Tuesday through Friday, with a big filling plate.
jlt / June 6, 2010 at 06:16 pm
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I'm totally new to Tibetan food, but skeptical about trying it at a place that also serves Indian... have any of you guys been to the other strictly Tibetan restos west of Queen?
Roger / June 6, 2010 at 06:57 pm
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What do they have in the way of vegetarian or vegan options? With a name like OM, I recall people speculating at first that it would be strictly vegetarian.
Gadjo replying to a comment from Roger / June 6, 2010 at 07:44 pm
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Roger, there are actually about 20 strictly vegetarian dishes ranging from lentils to eggplant and chickpea dishes cooked in a variety of ways. A number of appetizers like Veggie Pakora and Onion Bhajia (deep fried onion fritters) are also vegetarian friendly
Courtney / June 10, 2010 at 11:28 am
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Thanks for this review, Gadjo. I live right around the corner and just haven't got around to trying this place out yet. Spicy, cheap, vegetarian options... I'm in!
mike / June 13, 2010 at 02:37 pm
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I live right around the corner too and this place is amazing. I've been at least 5 times in the past 2 weeks. Their 5$ lunch special is the best deal in town. Their Palak Paneer has an amazing flavour and just the right amount of spice. The pakoras are made fresh to order which is a nice change and the service is fantastic!
CHE / June 30, 2010 at 11:42 am
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My sexy lady friend surprised me one night with dinner from this place (we'd been talking about it for a while) and she asked the owner what he recommended, he said the special fish curry... kids, I'm not shitting here, it was THE BEST fish curry I've ever had... i couldn't figure what EXACTLY was in there but I've had nothing like it and i licked every part of my plate, container, sexy lady's plate absolutely clean, it was SO unique and tasty... going back here weekly, I swear... @#$% it, I'm going there right now...
Dan / October 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm
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This place is awesome. The Momo soup is to die for... so clean and fresh. The staff is wonderful, and it's really great value. I'll be going back over and over again.
Sophie / February 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm
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I went there last night with some friends and we loved everything! Definitely one of the best places to eat in the neighborhood.
Donna / January 30, 2012 at 01:32 pm
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I love it here too. The food is amazing, and there is a nice patio in back too.

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