Tich is a modern Indian restaurant in Mimico with hip decor (think hanging Edison bulbs, a mix of barn board plus teal paisley on the walls), which makes sense, since "tich" is Hindi and Punjabi slang for "cool" or "stylishly perfect."
Owner Karan Kalia and her husband Sunil are originally from New Delhi, and here she's recruited two top-notch chefs for her first restaurant venture; in charge of curries is Sujoy Saha, formerly of Indian Rice Factory, while Mandy Jawle, who worked at the Michelin-starred Junoon in NYC, is the tandoor expert.
Drinks-wise, along with a decent selection of wine and beer, including Kingfisher ($6.65), an Indian lager, there is a small selection of single-malt whiskies, one of which is Amrut ($9.95), a peated cask-strength whisky and the first single-malt whisky made in India.
One featured cocktail, the Rose Cosmo ($11.95), a vodka concoction with triple sec, cranberry juice, a bit of rose syrup and a squeeze of lime, harkens back to the late '90s and early aughts. Non-alcoholic beverages include lassis (sweet, $3.95; mango, $4.95) and Masala chai ($3.95).
We start with papadum served with two dipping sauces, one a bright green mint, coriander and yogurt chutney and the other tamarind.
For apps, we get the Lasooni chicken pakoras ($9.95) and the Tich lamb chops ($17.95). The pakoras are laced with garlic and coated in semolina and rice flour before they're fried. My dining companion is completely addicted and can't stop popping them in his mouth.
As for the lamp chops, they're spiced in a blend of dried fenugreek, black cardamom and cloves. They're marinated overnight and then cooked in the tandoor, and both of us are completely blown away by them: they're incredibly tender, moist and flavourful, and they barely even taste game-y. These might be the best lamb chops I've ever had.
Next comes the butter chicken ($16.95) with butter naan ($3.25). The grilled boneless chicken pieces are simmered in a rich, tasty, makhani gravy that's perfect for dipping into with the naan that's crispy and a bit flaky on the outside and soft on the inside.
Our final dish is lamb vindaloo ($17.95), which on the menu is described as an Indo-Portuguese inspired dish, "HOT and sharp in taste," and it's not kidding. The lamb, like the chops, is marinated overnight in fresh ginger and spices and cooked quickly at a high heat in the tandoor.
It's incredibly spicy, but the saffron-flavoured basmati rice ($5.95) as a side dish helps offset the fire.
On my next visit, I plan to try the vegetarian options, like the paneers and the dals, which sound equally enticing. I'm also told there are plans to offer weekend brunch, with Indian-style omelettes on the menu.
With a licensed front patio that fits 25, this is definitely a delicious place to enjoy a well-made Indian meal.
Photos by Jesse Milns.