Amaya Restaurant

5 sweat-inducing restaurants on Bayview Avenue

This month Toronto is celebrating the Shop Small program - a new movement focused on giving some thought to the importance of small, independent businesses and the vibrancy and culture they bring to our neighbourhoods. To mark the occasion, every Saturday morning this month we've been featuring some of our favourite small businesses in a different neighbourhood in Toronto. Today we take a look at some of the great places to eat on Bayview. Check out and support small businesses in your neighbourhood by pledging to #ShopSmall.

Perhaps not for the faint of heart (or stomach), South Bayview Avenue is seemingly brimming with restaurants providing cuisine that packs some serious heat. From Indian food stalwart Kamasutra to Thai favourite Satay on the Road, there are plenty of ways to add a little spice to your meal without dousing it in Sriracha or Frank's Red Hot. These five spots listed below offer a wide range of cuisine, but each guarantees you'll be scrambling for some naan, bread or water to put out the fire burning in your mouths. I suggest packing an extra set of Zantac to settle down the impending heart burn this spicy list of restaurants is almost guaranteed to inspire.

Kamasutra Indian Restaurant
A good bet for take-out or dining in, Kamasutra likens the heat of their curries and spices to the infamous, sweat-inducing love guide of the same name. Best known for their ultra-hot Vindaloo - a Goan-stlye pickle curry, hot and sour combo with lots of spices and your choice of meats, veggies or fish - and their Chilli Chicken Dilli Style - spicy boneless white chicken cubes, tomato and hot chilli sauce with crushed peppercorns - the menu at Kamasutra recommends pairing these hot and spicy dishes with a glass (or bottle) from their curated wine list.

Amaya the Indian Room
The original Amaya location that started it all, Amaya the Indian Room is a more refined and upscale option for those fans of their express take-out spots. Their recently introduced Royal Tasting Menu (an all you can eat option for $42 per person) is a good place to start but for those with a smaller appetite, Amaya also offers a wide-range of small and large plate options a la carte. I recommend their daily biryani special - a spiced basmati hot-pot dish sealed with dough and baked in an oven and filled with lamb, chicken, seafood or veggies.

Satay on the Road
With outposts on Bayview and Avenue Road, Satay on the Road is a casual spot that serves up Thai food geared toward North American palates. Though it's easy to settle on the classic pad thai or curry dishes, Satay has a range of options that kick things up a few notches. Try the Nuer Phad Prik (Spicy Crispy Beef-$10.45) which is paired with sweet peppers, onion and chilies; or the Makuer Yaow Siam (Eggplant Siam style-$9.75), a mix of stir-fried eggplant, minced chicken and shrimp in a spicy bean sauce.

One of the first modern looking Thai-style restaurants to grace Toronto (yes, before Spring Rolls), Lemongrass serves up a mix of cuisine from Southeast Asia. The Singapore Curry Crab (Market Price) here is a must-try, even better when washed down with a cold bottle of Singha beer. The list of signature dungeness crab dishes is extensive (General Tao Crab anyone?) but The Black Pearl Pad Thai ($9.99) doused in a spicy black bean sauce just might be the winner, as well as being a fail-safe option for vegetarians.

Duff's Famous Wings
Duff's Famous Wings' infamous Tuesday night wing special (10 wings for $7.25) has undoubtedly worked its way into many a Leaside household's routine. This Bayview location is much larger than its sister spot on College and often much much busier. In the summer months its front patio is a popular spot for the post-work crowd so if the mood strikes be prepared for a bit of a wait. Sauces range from your usual Mild, Medium and the like, but since this is a post about food that will make your sweat I double-dog dare you to opt for Duff's Superhot, Death or Armageddon options.

Shop Small Toronto

Have a fave Shop Small business in Toronto? Vote for them in the Neighbourhood Gems contest on the American Express Canada Facebook page. You can vote once per day through April 21st and the then again between April 29th and May 5th for the finalist voting period. Each vote earns you one entry into a daily draw to win a$50 Amex Gift Card. Check it out.

Thanks to Amex Bank of Canada for sponsoring this post

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