The Spicy Venue
The Spicy Venue is an Indian restaurant that covers many bases when it comes to the varied regional cuisine.
"The reason The Spicy Venue opened is to bring in the real authentic Indian food, as most think Indian food is spicy," Spicy Venue manager Sai tells blogTO.
"In fact, not all Indian food is spicy hot. Most of them are flavoured with spices, but not hot. The beauty of Indian cuisine is we can adjust the spice levels for most of the items."
Sai (who wishes to be referred to as such) worked in India at Marriott Hotels for four years. The Spicy Venue chef, and staff, have an Indian culinary background.
"We use our homemade masalas which makes a lot of difference in taste, rather than the pre-packed masalas that are available in the market," says Sai.
They make all their own gravies and blend their own spices, and use recipes from ancestors and chefs who are - according to Sai - renowned in India.
Typical North Indian dishes served at The Spicy Venue that people in Toronto are probably familiar with include paneer butter masala, saag paneer, kadai paneer (paneer with peppers), mixed vegetable makhanwala (vegetables with dried lotus flower), subz miloni (mixed vegetables cooked with spinach), dal makhani and yellow dal tadka.
Kebabs, naan, and other tandoori dishes are cooked in a traditional clay oven (tandoor) in the restaurant.
Their most popular kebabs are murgh awadi tikka (chicken), zafrani murgh tikka (saffron flavored chicken), ajwaini fish tikka (fish flavoured with carom seeds), sunehri paneer tikka (marinated, roasted spicy saffron cheese) and laal mirch paneer tikka.
When it comes to Hakka-style dishes, their most popular items include chilli chicken, chilli baby corn, chilli paneer, vegetable fried rice, egg fried rice and chicken fried rice.
Their most popular traditional South Indian dish is nellore chepala pulusu, a dish of fish simmered in onion, tomato and tamarind jus. It's a common main course in Andhra cuisine typically served with steamed rice.
Other popular South Indian dishes include kodi koora (chicken curry), Andhra pepper chicken, and kodi vepudu, a chicken fry dish that's well-known in Andhra.
Though people are enjoying all these dishes, the restaurant has no plans for expansion as they don't want to compromise on their traditions.
"Currently we don't have plans to open more restaurants as we want to keep it small and authentic," says Sai. "It's harder to maintain the quality of food the bigger we go."
The Spicy Venue