Miya Bhai deals in build-your-own naan wraps, roti tacos, salads and biryani bowls that prioritize speed and convenience.
The concept operates assembly-line-style in the fashion of a Subway or a Chipotle, but with Indian flavours and lots of veggie and vegan options, even vegan butter chicken.
The space is geared toward takeout, so a flow of customers can move through the store, though there is seating for about 10.
Proteins that borrow influences from a range of Indian regions are pre-made in house, veggie dishes made fresh daily, everything cooked about 90 per cent and stored, cooked the last 10 per cent of the way just before serving to preserve freshness.
A “Fired Up!” Tandoori Salmon Salad ($14) is a “signature” salad option with a set combination of toppings: fishy but spicy wild-caught tandoori salmon, pickled onions, cucumber, shredded carrot, green peppers, and drizzles of house-made Mint Chutney and sweetly spicy Mumbai Sauce.
Vegan Butter Chicken Tacos ($11) are also signature, tofu subbing in for chicken, the creamy sauce made with cashew. Other than being humongous, they otherwise come off pretty much like an average taco, with lettuce, avocado mayo, and a kachumber of cucumber, tomato, onion, lemon and chaat masala that’s kind of like a pico or salsa.
I go with Achari Okra when the time comes to customize my own bowl, eager to try one of the allergen-friendly gluten-free and vegan options. Achari spices have been roasted, ground down and cooked with the okra, resulting in soft, full-flavoured and filling veg.
I opt for the biri-rice base, basmati rice with biryani spices, finishing my creation off with spinach, jalapeno, kachumber, garam masala coleslaw and for my one free premium topping, spicy curry cauliflower. Recommended Cilantro Garlic Aioli ties the whole picture together.
Vegan samosas are $2 and are provided by samosa-making legend A-One, flaky and lightly oily outside with a non-mushy, textural veggie filling.
Lassi ($3.5), however, is made here. The strawberry lassi with probiotic yogurt feels like a healthy but equally delicious alternative to a milkshake, and of course there’s also a mango option.
“Miya bhai” is essentially a catch-all term for a Muslim man, but more specifically refers to the role of a sort of “older brother” of the community that acts as a kind of neighbourhood watch, someone you can count on. This takeout spot wants to be just as dependable.