Brar Sweets is the place to go in Toronto for vegetarian Indian savoury fare and sweets. This location on Islington doesn’t have the buffet offerings other Brar’s are known for, but there's a good selection of hot table options.
The narrow space is bisected in half, sweets cases and hot table crammed into a corner in the back opposite the entrance.
A seven-item thali ($8.99) comes with your choice of three veggie items, rice, salad, naan or roti, and raita or dessert. Many options change daily though there are also several standbys, typically with about twelve veggie options to choose from.
The malai kofta is the best-selling choice here, a small but densely-packed ball of cheese, cauliflower, potato, peas, carrots and corn swimming in a creamy tomato-based curry that’s as aromatic with a perfect spicy kick and an earthy bitter edge.
Potato and cauliflower provide another veg, with gulab jamun (like a syrupy, spongy donut hole if you’ve never had it) for our dessert.
Warm, viscous channa makes for a comforting third veggie option, the whole plate completed with lemon and some punchy pickles.
We have to opt for naan, incredibly buttery and pillowy, perfect for soaking up every drop of that precious curry.
Most other combos are $5.99. Also popular, channa bhatura is a basic match made in heaven between a stewy chickpea curry and crispy, airy, elastic fried flatbread.
Yogurt with chickpea flour dumplings, red onion and a bright, refreshing mint sauce tie the plate together in classic form.
Boxes of sweets go for $5.99, special sweets like kaju burfi, milk cake and petha ladoo going for $8.99.
All sweets are made at a Brampton location, except for the jalebi which someone comes in to make on weekends to supply the restaurant with for the rest of the week. This fried syrup tastes almost purely of sugar with a crispy exterior.
Though not made at this location the milk cake is still a specialty, shockingly dense and creamy with a slightly toasty note.
A mango shake ($3.99) is mandatory for washing everything down, bringing a fruity mango flavour and rich fattiness that cools down spices and cleanses the palate.
Brar Sweets has been in business since 1986, starting out as a sweets shop exclusively before branching out to open the multiple destinations for Indian buffet and thali dining we know today.