Taking a tour on the Amaya Express

I was wondering the food courts downtown looking for something to eat one day when I came upon Amaya Express in First Canadian Place.  I had heard about an Amaya restaurant up north and heard that it was pretty good.  There is a major lacking in Indian food in the food courts downtown so I thought I would give this a try.  For fast food Indian, I thought this place was fantastic!  It’s not the best Indian food I’ve had but for a fast food place that cooks out of giant pots in the back kitchen and has the food sitting in heating trays, I thought it was pretty good.  On my first visit I tried the butter chicken roti (this was when I was on my roti kick).

The roti shell itself was pretty bad compared to others I’ve had in the city.  The masala fried were good and the butter chicken inside was great.  After eating it, I wished that I had ordered the butter chicken with something else like rice or naan.  A friend of mine told me years ago that bad butter chicken is orange in color and good butter chicken is red.  This was very red and it tasted great.  On another visit shortly after, I was in the mood for something spicy so I tried the spicy curry chicken with chickpeas and biryani rice.

The spicy chicken really packed some heat which is nice since most of the places downtown that boast spicy flavor fail to deliver.  The chickpeas were a nice balance and had a mix of Indian spices that really tickled my fancy.  The biryani rice was good.  Not as flavorful as other I’ve had but still pretty good.  Earlier last week I noticed something else on the menu called a naanini.  I asked the girl behing the counter what it was but couldn’t hear what she was saying over the noise of the food court so I just said “I’ll have one of those”.  I ordered a lamb naanini and quickly realized it was naan bread with meat in the middle that is panini pressed.  What a clever idea!

The lamb meat was tender and didn’t taste gamey at all.  By the time I got back to my desk the naan bread had gotten a little soaked with the sauce and spices which gave it a lot of flavor but it had a bit of trouble holding together.  The naan isn’t the best naan I’ve had either but the concept of making a sandwich out of it I thought was really neat.  The following day I decided to go again and try the beef vindaloo.  In my experience, the best beef vindaloos have a LOT of heat and very tender beef.

After several bites I was getting the heat sweats.  Even after finishing my mouth was tingling for about half an hour.  Lots of heat…check!  The beef itself varied by bite.  Some pieces were so tender that it fell apart when I put my fork into it while other were a little tough.  Again, for fast food Indian, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot so that fact that most of the meat was really tender really impressed me.  The green stuff on the side was spinach and cheese.  I like spinach and I love cheese so I enjoyed this combination.  It was a nice relief from the heat of the bites of beef too.

Several months ago I ordered fast food Indian from the place in Brookefield Place (former BCE place) and was not too impressed.  I ran into a co-worker that day and he asked what I was having.  When I said I was having Indian food he said there is no such thing as good fast food Indian.  After taking a tour on the Amaya Express I truly beg to differ.


~ by jlowjlow on December 2, 2009.

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