Colaba Junction Toronto

Colaba Junction

Colaba Junction offers a different spin on Indian cuisine. Though you will find butter chicken and veggie thali on the menu, they're treated in vastly different ways from the usual. This restaurant represents the Colaba district of Mumbai, an upscale area where Portuguese, Anglo-Indian and native cuisines intertwine.

It's a quick dining environment where food is fast but still communal: you order at the lunch counter, get a number, and your food is brought out to you.

Colaba Junction Toronto

The atmosphere is fun, with loud music, brightly coloured patterned wallpaper and words written in Hindi, English and other languages splashed across the walls.

Colaba Junction Toronto

Photos aren't just randomly placed for aesthetics: they picture the native Koli fisherpeople of India and the street food there. Giant colourful signs behind the cash imitate fifties and sixties Indian grocers.

Colaba Junction Toronto

One recognizable item is the ever-present mango lassi ($4.50). Theirs is a little different, though, made with fennel which cuts through the sweetness.

Colaba Junction Toronto

Their thali ($17.95) is probably the most unaltered dish from what you'd typically think of, including a veggie of the day which for us is Colaba-style beans, chickpeas, dal, cucumbers, house pickles, lamb gosht, and the dessert of the day which is a kind of donut swimming in syrup. It's all served on a special crescent-shaped copper plate from India, and comes with rice, naan and raita.

Colaba Junction Toronto

Something completely untraditional that Colaba Junction prepares is the Paneer Lasagne ($12.50), which is basically my two favourite foods in one. It's thick slices of paneer and eggplant with a goji berry sauce and a poppadom chip on top.

Colaba Junction Toronto

Alternatively, the Vada Pau ($8.50) is true traditional street food. It's a deep-fried potato ball on a Portuguese bun or pau, a bread they started making in Colaba influenced by the bread made by Portuguese settlers. It's topped with gunpowder, or sev, which is garlic and chili powders, and served with a mint and coriander chutney and a cumin, tamarind and chili chutney.

Colaba Junction Toronto

For dessert, there's the delightfully interactive paani puri ($6.25), another traditional street food. "Paani" means flavoured water and "puri" are small deep-fried semolina pastries. The pastries are filled with mashed potato, chickpea and coriander, and three different waters are flavoured with mint and coriander; mango, fennel, and mint; and cumin, chili and tamarind.

Colaba Junction Toronto

Photos by Hector Vasquez


Colaba Junction

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