Aanch Toronto

Aanch

Aanch, which translates loosely to fiery passion in Hindi, is a two-floored restaurant just minutes away from the Rogers Centre that serves up gourmet twists on traditional Indian dishes.

Formerly 259 Host, the space belonged to the same hospitality group behind The Host, a popular Indian restaurant chain.

aanch torontoThere aren't many distinguishing features between Aanch and its predecessor. The space is still filled with warm, colourful lighting, and a gentle soundtrack helps to carry the mood.

aanch torontoLocated in Aanch's kitchen is its secret weapon: an authentic tandoor oven where kebabs and naan are made. Brought over from India, its baked clay interior is heated up electrically to 400 degrees Celsius and maintained, in many ways, like a cast iron pan.

aanch torontoChefs use mixtures of spinach, water, and jaggery, a type of cane sugar, to clean the oven and maintain its taste. The naan is cooked by slapping the dough strategically against an oven wall, where it raises in a matter of minutes to a beautiful, fluffy piece of bread. 

aanch torontoThe whole wheat plain naan ($3.99) itself is incredible, but Aanch's European cuisine-inspired takes on naan are taken to the next level by using other toppings like coriander and chilli ($5.99) or garlic ($5.99).

aanch torontoThe mustard garlic scallops ($16.99) are incredibly fragrant, served on a bed of dried pepper rice and doused in Kerala coconut sauce.

aanch torontoThe paneer tikka masala ($17.99) is inspired by Chef Sidhanshu's mother. The cottage cheese dish is mixed with cashew nut sauce, saffron and spices to create a sweet, savoury mixture ideal for naan dipping. 

aanch torontoIf there's one must-order dish it might be the juicy Crowne lamb shoulder ($30.99). Marinated for 24 hours with 27 spices including anise, nutmeg, peppercorns and red chilli, it packs a strong punch of rich cumin before the taste subsides to other flavours.

Its vindaloo is made with brown sugar instead of potatoes, giving it a lighter texture, and the dish is served with a side of sweet preserved mangos that you'll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. 

aanch torontoFor more succulent seafood, red roasted pepper prawns ($20.99) are sauced in a mango mixture that comes with a mint chutney on the side. 

aanch toronto

The Kadai chicken ($19.99) is definitely on the small side. Cooked with a yogurt-based sauce, it pairs well with the naan. 

aanch torontoFor dessert, samosas are filled with Nutella ($13.99) rather than the usual peas and potatoes and come on a platter with crushed pistachios and topped with a small edible silver sheet.

aanch toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Aanch

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