Cumin Kitchen is an Indian restaurant with flavourful dishes and a penchant for nice presentation.
Decorated with luxe cushions and sultry curtains, the small restaurant makes for a cozy and laidback spot for lunch and a romantic destination in the evening.
An open kitchen is a rarity in Indian cuisine, so it's interesting to see the chef and cooks visibly do their thing in the back of the establishment. Starting off every meal is a complimentary papadum platter: two crispy rolls of chickpea flour, sprinkled with cumin seeds, that's served with mint and tamarind chutneys.
The pakora platter ($9) comes recommended for those wanting to try several vegetarian appetizers at once.
The plate comes with two samosas, crispy aloo tikki, fried onion bhaji and one hariyali kabab, a small green-hued round made from spinach and chana dal.
Nepali momos ($9) is the only dish not deriving from India here. Stuffed with minced chicken, eight dumplings come drizzled with a sesame-based sauce that's slightly spicy.
The tandoori platter ($28) is a big plate of meats straight from the tandoor oven.
The mix comes with tandoor fish, lamb chops, seekh kebab skewer, and mirchi tikka, a chicken made green from spices. A side salad is made from lentil and asparagus with mint sauce.
A spicy goat vindaloo ($16) is a rich, deep sauce made from roasted chilis and traditional spices. Depending on your spice tolerance, this dish might range from picquant to a slow burn.
The butter naan ($3) and garlic naan ($4) are fail-proof options and a necessity when eating anything saucy. They're also about two feet long, prior to being cut up into pieces.
For those who are spice-averse, the paalak paneer ($13) is an addicting spinach sauce that goes perfectly with naan, with homemade chunks of paneer (cheese) inside.
This stretch of the Danforth comprises mostly of greasy spoons and dives, so the arrival of Cumin Kitchen means an uncharacteristically welcoming place for an aromatic meal of Indian.