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Restaurants

The Copper Chimney

Posted by Simon Yau / Reviewed on February 28, 2011 / review policy

The Copper Chimney TorontoThe Copper Chimney is nearly empty as we walk through its homely glass paned door. Decorated with the modest trappings of a 70's era family restaurant, the place likely won't win any awards for its decor. Still, the muted interior is as clean as the crisp white tablecloths; the single dining room is spacious and the tables are well laid out.

We are greeted enthusiastically and led to our reserved spot, which looks a little sad tonight surrounded by empty tables.

We order some beers -- the selection is small but includes several local brews, including Mill Street Tankhouse -- and order a starter, the Garlic Vegetable Balls ($5.95).

The Copper ChimneyThe appetizer arrives as a platter of six large balls slathered in a tomato-garlic sauce, plated on a bed of shredded cabbage. A crispy exterior belies a surprisingly dense core for a vegetarian dish. Rather then the falafel-like texture I was expecting, the balls are viscous and starchy inside, looking and tasting like an Eastern European dumpling. I can't quite tell which vegetables actually compose the balls but each orb somehow tastes like a boneless buffalo wing. The dish is a curious, pleasant surprise.

The entrées arrive simultaneously and in short order, served in handsome metal bowls.

The Copper ChimneyThe Saag Paneer ($10.95) is delightfully rich. Spinach puree lightens the sweet, creamy dish. Sharp tasting balls of paneer crumble without disintegrating when attacked, an impressively light texture for a ball of cheese.

The Copper ChimneyOur Chana Masala ($8.95) is a generous portion of chickpeas, each slightly firm to the bite while tender and flavourful inside. Fresh julienned ginger serves as more than just garnish, balancing the sweet zest of the dish's fresh tomato sauce.

The Copper ChimneyMoving on to our meatier fare, the Kadai Chicken ($11.95) is yet another hit. White meat chicken cubes are simmered with green chilies, onions, tomatoes, red peppers and ginger. Expecting a fair amount of spice, I'm a bit surprised at how mildly the chilies infuse the dish -- there's definitely a kick but my heat meter barely registers. The chicken is moist, tender and quickly scooped up by my companions.

Finally, the Lamb Pasanda ($11.95) reveals perhaps the only hiccup of the night, a delicious combination of saffron and cashew purée. The nuts provide a velvety texture to the sauce while the saffron, as expected, produces a subtle punch of aromatic sweetness. The lamb however seems a bit tough; the meat is either too lean or very slightly overcooked - perhaps a bit of both. Still, this is splitting hairs. Some slightly stringy lamb doesn't detract from the gorgeous, subtly gamey dish.

We order some plain naan ($1.95) and one bowl of long grain basmati rice ($3.50) to soak up our mains. The naan is, to put it succinctly, perfect.

Served piping hot with the gentle elasticity of fresh bread, the naan has just the right density to compliment our hearty entrées without falling apart. The rice is served in huge bowl, fluffy and garnished with saffron.

We want dessert but are too full to even consider it.

Of particular note about the predominantly Northern Indian cuisine at The Copper Chimney is how fresh and clean the ingredients all seem. Even when cool, none of our food turns into gelatinous clumps, nor do pools of grease float atop our entrees.

The Copper ChimneyBy the time we leave there is only one other table dining in and perhaps two or three take orders have been filled over the course of our meal. This seems like a travesty as we rave about our satisfying and slightly gluttonous meal.

Located in a stretch of North York where good eats have historically been scarce, I'm hoping the exceptional food and reasonable prices of The Copper Chimney become a long-lasting staple in Toronto's catalogue of Indian options.

The Copper ChimneyThe Copper Chimney is open Mon (5-10pm) and Tues-Sun (Noon-3pm, 5-10pm)

Discussion

16 Comments

Lazar / March 1, 2011 at 09:46 am
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My fiancée and I ate there back in November (I think) and it was packed, and that was on a Tuesday, and every time I have passed by there, it always looks to me that it is half full at least. Surprized that it was so barren when you went.

I am not a big fan of Indian food, but I really liked this place. To echo your comments, the service was enthusiastic, and the quality of the food was excellent. Not excessively greasy, as with most of my previous Indian food experiences.

Carla / March 1, 2011 at 09:08 pm
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I'm curious as to why you say "Located in a stretch of North York where good eats have historically been scarce".
There are plenty good restaurants within walking distance of this new place, and have been around for quite some time.
Dorie / March 5, 2011 at 08:38 am
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I'm not a big fan either of Indian food, but occasionally I like it, like a treat once and a while. Don't know about this restaurant because I don't live in Toronto, the so-called "Centre of the Universe" as Torontonians see it! NOT!

I'm not a big fan of Toronto either, too "NDPish" of an attitude, (too left wing) not my style, & too expensive to live there and very unfriendly, probably most unfriendly place in Canada if not North America.

All you Torontonians can have it, with your commute traffic, your poorly dressed people (except for people that have money)and your constant "bucking" of authority as witnessed at the G8 Summit and you're still crying about it!

And now I read the other day on internet - Canada news .... , that you're instituting same sex washrooms in some public establishments, what a load of "Crap" this is!!
Dorie / March 5, 2011 at 08:56 am
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Correction: As per previous comment, Torontonians constantly "bucking" authority as witnessed at the G20 Summit.

This whole fiasco as witnessed by many on TV, did not give Toronto a favourable impression to others witnessing this on various communication media around North America and the World at least to people that are law abiding and who believe in law and order in one's society.
anon / March 5, 2011 at 10:36 am
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Wow Dorie, that was a great comment of the restaurant!....

Now get off your hay bale and move along please! The review was about a restaurant, not the G8 Summit.....
Yeran Idiot replying to a comment from Dorie / March 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm
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Hey Dorie,
If you're such a non-fan of TO why don't you just move along . . . Go piss in own pond
nicole replying to a comment from Dorie / March 7, 2011 at 09:02 pm
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not sure how your comment related to this posting at all. you sound bitter and not so friendly... please refrain from posting rants under reviews. there is a place on craigslist for you to rant if you please but not here...
Warren / March 10, 2011 at 10:36 am
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Request to BlogTO - please colour-correct your food photos.
*My eyes hurt* after looking at these food shots!

Also makes things look rather unappetizing.
Lily replying to a comment from Dorie / March 14, 2011 at 10:45 am
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Is this for real?

First of all, this has nothing to do with the review of the restaurant, or any food establishment for that matter…what possessed you to click the "restaurants" tab in the first place?

Second of all, it's sad that people like you exist, but a great reminder of why Rob Ford is in office.
Sue / December 3, 2011 at 01:29 pm
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Expectations Surpassed!

I have a girl's night every Friday and we usually head to King Street downtown. That said, I drive past the CC every day on my way home from work and the consistent hustle bustle inspired me to give Indian food in Toronto another chance.

To my surprise the service was personable, the food flavorful, and most shocking, served with extremely little grease (if any) that has become the trademark of so many like restaurants
Sue replying to a comment from Sue / December 3, 2011 at 01:30 pm
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Expectations Surpassed!

I have a girl's night every Friday and we usually head to King Street downtown. That said, I drive past the CC every day on my way home from work and the consistent hustle bustle inspired me to give Indian food in Toronto another chance.

To my surprise the service was personable, the food flavorful, and most shocking, served with extremely little grease (if any) that has become the trademark of so many like restaurants
Sue replying to a comment from Sue / December 3, 2011 at 01:30 pm
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that has become the trademark of so many like restaurants
Sadie replying to a comment from Dorie / January 23, 2012 at 08:21 pm
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Um, Dorie, I question why you were even perusing blogto in the first place, let alone indian restaurant reviews... It seems to me that your complaints about Toronto being so expensive have something to do with the fact that you seemingly have nothing better to do than troll the Internet, and not working.

That being said, I'm heading to this restaurant now and am excited to try it!
danielle replying to a comment from Dorie / March 20, 2012 at 11:52 am
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Yowza - sounds like the crazy train drove into town! Glad to hear she left.
Jo-Ann Lang replying to a comment from Dorie / May 17, 2014 at 05:27 pm
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What exactly did your rant have to do with the restaurant being reviewed?
kejarpaketc.net / October 25, 2014 at 12:06 am
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Best of luk for the next!

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