If you have one of those friends who brags about being able to handle the spiciest foods, find out for sure with a lunchtime visit to The Spice Village Indian Grill & Bar. This lively restaurant in downtown Toronto is never without a crowd, but it’s particularly popular for its daily lunch buffet, which provides you with a wealth of choices for one price.
Your nose will tell you that you’re in the right place when you catch a whiff of the cumin, nutmeg, garlic, and, of course, curry wafting through the dining room. Rows of more than 20 delicious Indian dishes stand before you, daring you to try them all, so make a beeline for the buffet table and load up. Some standouts you just have to put on your plate include a rich, creamy butter chicken dish that tastes like Naniji made it herself, and the crispy pakora you’ll be nipping off your friend’s plate. Point your spice-loving friend toward the fish curry. Made with onions, fresh tomatoes, and coriander, it’s as delicious as it is hot, eliciting reactions that range from pain to pleasure and back again.
Grab a table by the windows, where you can watch the bustling excitement of the Church-Wellesley Village as you eat. The rice and naan on your plate will help you deal with the fire in your own mouth, and if one of your friends appears to be having a tough time, order a sweet, soothing mango lassi–a surefire way to beat the heat.
Now that you’ve succeeded in the spicy Toronto challenge, celebrate with a Massala tea. Breathe in the warm ginger and cardamom that sends you on a mental journey to an Indian market before making one more trip to the buffet, for dessert.