I had the pleasure of attending a blogger tasting event at the newly opened teeny tiny little space called The Kathi Roll Express on Avenue Road just north of Lawrence Avenue. This is the second location for the busy but enterprising Delhi, India native, owner Sumit Kohli.
After years of working in all sorts of desk jobs and travelling around the U.S. and the World always searching for food that he had when he lived in India and never finding the popular Kathi rolls that are common in Delhi, India so he decided to open his own restaurant in downtown Toronto and gave up his desk jobs for good. His first location is located on Yonge Street in the middle of downtown Toronto. It is a 32 seat restaurant that is licensed. I visited his second and newest location a teeny tiny little take out spot located on Avenue Road in North York. He said he chose the location because he would come from Milton and get off at Avenue road and drive downtown by taking Avenue Road and he always liked the area. Although there is one Indian restaurant on Avenue Road it isn't a take out restaurant and isn't in the same style as this one.
When you walk into this location you are met with a lot of creativity on what seems to be a small budget. The shop is painted a bright orange and there is a Bollywood poster on the wall and the tables are all painted in fun graphic illustrations. The chandelier is made from colored milk crates. It's so creative and fun.
Now to the food we sampled the following:
Chat Papri & Pani Puri
Kathi Rolls - Shami Kabab, Butter Chicken Tikka, Paneer Shaslik
Curry's - Paneer Lababdar, Dal Makhani and Lamb Rogan Josh
Sides - Naan
Dessert - Milk Cake
My favourites among the tastes that we tried were the Butter Chicken Tikka Kathi Rolls, the Panneer Lababdar with the fresh Naan Bread that was so light and delicious.
The appetizers were very interesting and tasty too. A crispy shell filled appetizer with tamarind and cilantro sauces over chick peas and a Indian Style nacho type of street food dish with potatoes, round crackers, the cilantro sauce and a bunch of other things added to it that I can't remember.
I also tried Goat for the first time and it was amazing. It was very tender with a milder than expected flavour.
We are all very full and shared a spoonful of the Milk Cake dessert just to try it. It's a butterscotch flavoured dense cakey consistency. Very nice flavour, sweet but not overpowering.
He also imports India soda that is a copy of North American sodas with different names.
And as a cute little added gift he sent us home with some very Indian inspired T-shirts. This is the one I got.
You can get Kathi Rolls, think of it as an Indian Burrito or wrap and an assortment of curries and appetizers but you can also get the raw skewered meat to take home and cook it up on your own BBQ or in your own kitchen and impress your friends with the scent of Delhi in your kitchen.
Now I need to go and check out the larger downtown location and see what that one is like, but I am happy that I am only one highway exit away from the Avenue Road location so when I feel like some Indian street food I can dash in at any time.
For more info you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @tkretoronto or check or
check out their website for their menu and addresses at www.thekathirollexpress.com