There are several options in the Davisville neighbourhood when you are in the mood for authentic Indian cuisine. They all offer their own version of flavourful classic Indian dishes, heavy on spices and seasoning, that warm up the body and the soul. Most options also go heavy on the oil, butter and cream. It can be delicious, but it may not be very nutritious to eat on a regular basis. Marigold Indian Bistro (552 Mt Pleasant Road) is changing all that. We spoke with owner, Ritu Khadri to find out how they do it differently at Marigold.
Tell us Ritu, what motivated you to incorporate both traditional and more modern takes on Indian cuisine in your menu?
Authentic Indian food calls for lots of oil, or butter, in pretty much everything. It’s a lot of variety, it’s so many spices and herbs from various states of India. We have blended different combinations and tried to make it more like a healthier version of Indian food. Most of our sauces that we prepare are really healthy. We don’t use lots of oil in everything and not [too many] spices. So it’s like, authentic Indian – still the Indian taste, but considering the healthy aspect of it. So, the quality is better – I would say.
That sounds like a dream! What are your most popular menu items?
Our Butter Chicken ($15.95) is really popular. Our Palak Paneer ($12.95) is really popular. We have some vegan specialty items on the menu that people come for, like our tofu. Our seafood is popular, in particular the Calamari appetizer ($13.95). Aloo tikki is really popular.
Who doesn’t like butter chicken! Is your butter chicken made in the healthier way that you were talking about?
Yes, yes, yes. Most of the Indian restaurants use a lot of cream to prepare butter chicken. We actually cook it with milk. It’s a very healthy version.
Do you take inspiration for your meals from all over India, or certain regions?
It’s actually from all around the country. Some of our dishes are inspired from the North side like Aloo Tikki ($9.95), Dahl Puri ($9.95), you know, more of the yogurt options and more of the street food options are inspired by the North part of India – like, samosas, pakoras and everything, so Punjab and Haryana. Then we have some sauces, like our Goan Seafood Curry ($21.95), it’s a specialty from a region in India – Goa. We have Kerala Fish, which is inspired from the state Kerala which is the South side – so yeah, it’s actually from all over.
Is there anything else that sets Marigold apart from other Indian restaurants in Toronto?
As our name suggests it’s a bistro. In terms of what we serve, it’s a fusion of Indian spice with a Canadian taste. So, it’s good for the diversified Canadian crowd as well as the Ayurvedic crowd, so it’s good for both. Every dish of ours has a unique flavour. We use many different types of sauces, and each sauce is extremely different from the others. Most of the other Indian Restaurants, they have a few basic sauces that they are using in all the dishes. Ours is not so. We use many different types of spice. Our pakoras are made of mixed seasonal vegetables, so we keep changing the menu according to [the season]. That’s what makes us different.
What would say is the atmosphere at Marigold Indian Bistro?
Considering the ambiance of the place, it’s good for couples as well as for families. We have crowds of all different kinds. Business lunches, family gatherings, big groups coming in for dinner. It’s good for parties. People can book [the entire restaurant] and we close for [private] parties. I think it suits everybody.
If you love the flavour of authentic Indian food, and love the idea of a healthier alternative, you owe it to yourself to give Marigold Indian Bistro a try. Their unique take on traditional cuisine is part of what makes this neighbourhood special.
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