Tag Archives: curry

Totally biased product review by me — Taste Of India Vindaloo Sauce

Taste Of India Vindaloo Sauce

The price is comparable at $7.00 which is quite good actually as that’s a saving of $2.01 which helps a little bit if you have a fiscal imperative to save the spondoolies

Where do you go when you need a beautiful table ornament made out of gold paint-sprayed pine cones, holly and twigs? A fetching turquoise blue glass jar? A plaid cushion that you’re proud to show guests?

You got it — HomeSense!

Where do you go when you need a vindaloo sauce?

You got it — er, HomeSense?

Yes, trust us. We were surprised too when we stumbled across this product when browsing for home furnishings. At only $4.99 for a large packet, we had to give it a go.

It’s a sauce inside, but be careful not to get it on you as it’s pretty oily. Maybe it was Ghee, a staple of British-style curries back home.

But what set this product apart was the little extra bags of spices that came with it. A bit like those crisps that came with a little blue salt bag back in the day, the diner of this product can choose their spice level. It’s not just culinary democracy — it makes the whole prep time a fun experience too.

This one had a bay leaf, some chili powder, vindaloo spice mix and that little twig thing that you forget about until you crunch it and it goes between your top back teeth and into your gums. We didn’t use that one.

Taste? Very authentic for a shop-sold product. Nicely rich and flavourful. Throw some chicken in there, onions, tomatoes, peppers and minced ginger/garlic and you have a decent curry. It also freezes well for re-heating.

All in all, very impressive … and we give it a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.

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Totally biased product review by me — Kama

Oranges, browns, greens ... a true curry

Oranges, browns, greens … a true British-style curry

Still one of the best Indian restaurants in Toronto is, in my totally biased product review opinion, Kama on King Street West. You may walk straight past it the first time as it’s located downstairs.

Persevere though — pretend you didn’t make a mistake, turn around nonchalantly, walk back a few paces, look down, take the five or six not-so-steep stairs and you’re there. It’s well worth the effort.

The buffets are Kama’s strength. Lunch for $13.75 and dinner for $19.75 — great value. Loads of choice too.

Tip: if you go for lunch, aim for 12:00 p.m. on the dot, or 1:00 p.m. when the office crowd are heading back. You’ll have to wait for a table in between those times. Not good if you haven’t finished your Q1 results PowerPoint presentation for the afternoon meeting with the VP.

The curry they serve here is the closest the Brits in Toronto crew have found to the ones in England. Therefore, there is a lot of orange and yellow, the best Onion Pakoras in town and the hard-to-find Bombay Potatoes.

Their Butter Chicken is very nice too, but the Vindaloo is not as spicy as a Brit Vindaloo — it’s taken down a few notches for the Canadian palate, but the flavour is excellent. They have all the hot lime pickles and other sauces in a separate salad section if you wanted to mix some in to raise the heat level.

A good selection of veggie dishes too means that everyone is covered. A very good office lunch place, and therefore we give it a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.

Totally biased product review by me — Walmart Butter Chicken

Gotta say I've had "better" chicken. See what I did there?

Gotta say I’ve had “better” chicken. See what I did there?

Stuck again all day in the Brits in Toronto office cubicle. It’s such a buzzing place, full of action and ringing phones, that I didn’t get a chance to grab some lunch.

No worries — Phil from accounts had left his Walmart Butter Chicken in the office fridge, so I borrowed that instead. It wasn’t labelled or anything.

Things got off to a rocky start when I followed the on-packet instructions to “tear off corners to allow hot steam to escape.” Upon checking the microwave three minutes in, I noticed a lava flow of molten hot rice bubbling over the edge of the plastic container and making a mess.

As to the actual taste of the cuisine itself, I found the aforementioned rice to be a bit gloopy and stuck together, not fluffy at all. Bit disappointing, but rice is not my favourite part of a curry anyway … so onto the meat.

The chicken was OK — nothing special. Needed a bit more seasoning, and the spice factor was VERY LOW. I didn’t need to blow my nose once. Very tame. (But then butter chicken is a mild dish anyway, so was to be expected.)

One saving grace was that the portion size wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t stuffed or anything, but this will get me through my late afternoon conference call with the Welsh in Toronto office and to dinner.

I give it a Brits in Toronto 2/5 stars.

Totally biased product review by me — President’s Choice Blue Menu Spicy Chicken Vindaloo

Beware! Sprig of parsley not included. Repeat, sprig of parsley NOT included

Beware! Sprig of parsley not included. Repeat, sprig of parsley NOT included

So, when you’re sitting in your grey work cubicle trying to think outside the box and haven’t really got time to head for a lunchtime Ruby Murray with the three co-workers you like and the one you don’t that hangs on, then you need options for that spicy craving.

Enter the President’s Choice Blue Menu Spicy Chicken Vindaloo. It’s available for a few bucks from Loblaws supermarket in the frozen food section.

I had one today actually, so thought I’d give it a totally biased review, seeing as it’s my opinion really.

Excitedly unwrapping the box, I was slightly disappointed to find no healthy green sprig of parsley was included as depicted on the box. On the plus side, it only takes four minutes to heat up in the microwave, then another two as you take it out whilst avoiding the scalding steam escaping from the slit, and heating it again. Let stand one minute (really drags when you’re starving) and you’re ready to dive in.

Pretty impressed! The basmati rice is fluffy and moist, not dry at all. The spice levels are adequate to make me reach for my handkerchief for a nose blow and brow mop combo, before diving back into the sauce.

One small critique is that there could be more chicken pieces. But what it does have is moist and tender, so no complaints there.

In summary, a nice lunch if you’re stuck in the office that’ll leave your mouth tingling in the following meeting with Suzy from accounts.

I give it a Brits in Toronto 4/5 stars.

New curry house opening next to St. Lawrence Market

Brown paper and green tape teasingly unfurls to reveal zilch inside

Brown paper and green tape teasingly unfurls to reveal zilch inside

I keep my ear to the ground for new restaurant openings that may appeal to the Brit palate, and noticed that BlogTo mentioned an Indian bistro opening soon right next to St. Lawrence Market.

A quick Google search revealed a restaurant of a similar name in Denmark of all places. I perused the menu and one of my wish-list items is there: Bombay potatoes. Superb. That’s not on many curry menus that I have been to in Toronto so will look forward to giving that a try.

Sometimes though, depending on the tastes of the host country, they tweak the menu slightly so I hope that particular dish makes the cut.

It seems to be a franchise, so will keep an eye on when it opens and tweet out the date. Keen to try the food too so will post a review once done.