Buffets often get a bad rap, because, well, lets face it, there is no way that you can get the same quality of food from something that has been sitting in a warming tray than you can from something made fresh to order.
But here's the truth, sometimes a buffet is exactly what I want. Not only do I get to try a little bit of everything, but it's also very fast because it's serve yourself. So, imagine my delight when I heard about the buffet at Skylark, an Indian restaurant at 1433 Gerrard Street East (a bit west of Coxwell).
Many Indian restaurants in the city that offer buffets only do so at lunchtime and evenings are reserved for the a la carte menu, but Skylark offers a buffet for both lunch and dinner, at very reasonable prices. The food may not rate as amazing, but it is tasty, and easy on the pocket book. Lunch buffet will cost you $8.99, and dinner buffet will run you $10.99. If you want to supplement the meal I highly suggest the very tasty mango lassi (kind of a yogurt milkshake thing) for $2.99.
I particularly enjoyed the butter and tandoori chicken dishes. I was pleasantly surprised that unlike many buffet versions of tandoori chicken, this was not dried out at all. In the meat category there were also beef and lamb curries, both tasty in their own ways, but I prefer the chicken dishes. I also appreciated the warm fresh naan that was brought to the table, instead of having to get it from a warming tray on the buffet.
One thing that I appreciated, but that might bother others, is that for the most part the food wasn't too spicy. I admit that I'm a spice-wimp, so I like it when I can go somewhere and enjoy the food. But, if you like your food with lots of heat, then you may want to ask for some hot sauce on the side.
My partner is vegetarian and he found lots to keep his tummy happy, he enjoyed the pakoras, chana masala (chick pea curry), aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), Bombay potatoes and more. Although, we were both disappointed to see that there was no paneer dish on the buffet, but I guess you win some, you lose some.
There were desserts on the buffet (galub jamin, rice pudding, kulfi etc) but we didn't sample any of them, we were both far too full by the time it came around to dessert time.
In the end it was a very tasty way to spend a Friday night.
Skylark, 1433 Gerrard Street E, 416-469-1500