Brar's Sweets and Restaurant (aka Food Culture of India) (Brampton)

Location: Brampton, Canada
Address: 199 Advance Blvd.
Website: www.brars.ca
Type of Meal: Dinner


If you pull into a dark deserted commercial plaza you’re in the right place. Make a right and turn the corner and once you see a gathering of people and cars you’ve found it. I didn’t expect much from the undescriptive surroundings but upon entering was pleasantly surprised with the bright, clean and colourful setting.

Brar’s is an establishment that has been built upon. Starting with only the sweets and snacks takeout area, they’ve gradually added a dine-in café area and buffet as well. We were hoping to eat at the restaurant buffet ($20.99 per adult on Saturdays), but unfortunately the wait was too long so opted with the café instead. 

Dine in area (1)

As a warning, for new visitors, the purchasing process is a bit confusing, but staff are responsive if you stop and ask them questions. I’ll attempt to describe the procedure so you’ll hopefully have to ask for less help than we did:
  1. Order and pay at the cashiers up front, where they will give you a metal number to save a table in the café area.
  2. Bring your receipt to the buffet area at the back of the restaurant (where there’s a “pick up order here” sign) to continue. You’ll need to be patient as there’s not always someone available; wait until someone returns and gets your receipt.
  3. Pick your curries (it can get a bit chaotic as this is also where regular buffet patrons get their food) and dessert.
  4. Go back to your table. Pick up the water, pop or juice you may have paid for from the fridge.
  5. After about five minutes they will bring the food you’ve chosen, with fresh hot naan or roti (depending on your choice), to the table. 

 
Buffet area (1)

To get a taste of many items, I ordered the thali ($7.99) which offers a choice of:
  • Three curries – many options were available including daal makhani, chana masala, malai kofta, various paneers (malai, shahi, palak and matter) and jal frezi to name a few. You won’t find anything with meat here as Brar’s is a 100% vegetarian restaurant;
  • Rice – between pualo (saffron and vegetable) or plain basmati;
  • Second starch – naan, roti, bhatura or puri;
  • Dessert – gulab jamun or gajar halwa; and
  • All include a salad of cucumbers, tomato and pickled vegetables.

 

With so many curries to choose from I was a bit flustered and decided to stick with the ones I recognized, rather than hold up the line and ask questions:
  • Mattar paneer: peas and paneer (a firm soft cheese) stewed in tomato sauce with garam masala. Brar’s paneer was fresh and in big chunks, some of the best I’ve had. This is also good for individuals who can’t stand heat as it wasn’t spicy.
  • Jal frezi: a drier curry that involves marinating vegetables and paneer and then pan frying with spices. This dish had more of a kick to it but not overwhelmingly so.
  • Daal makhani: a lentil curry stewed for hours with cream and butter until the lentils soften. It was average, a bit watery compared to the creamier versions I’ve had previously.


The pualo rice, in my opinion, went better with everything mixing in the all the delicious curries. The naan was fine, I’ve had better, but it was annoying that the bottom had pieces of char stuck on it which I had to slowly break off least end up with a mouth full of hard burnt bits. 

The pickled carrots in the salad was quite nice to contrast the hot curries. Be careful as there are also whole green chilies mixed into it so you don’t want to be eating this in forkfuls. Surprisingly, the thali didn’t include any raita (the cooling yoghurt mixture). Luckily, none of the curries were overly spicy so it wasn’t necessarily needed.

In terms of dessert I ordered the gajar halwa, a carrot pudding made with grated carrots, milk, some type of starch and sugar. It takes some getting used to as I didn’t expect the shaved slivers but the desserts grows on you with successive bites. Having a piece of my friend’s gulab jamun, essentially curdled deep fried milk solids soaked in syrup, it wasn’t as sweet as I expected and decent as well. 

We each added a samosa to our meals ($0.75). Slightly smaller than a baseball, it arrives with a sweet & spicy tamarind sauce and a jalapeño spiked cilantro yoghurt. The samosa contains tons of potatoes and the oil used seemed fresh based on the golden colour and clean taste on the wrapper. It’s a filling samosa with the dense potato mixture inside but I still prefer ones that contains other vegetables like peas and carrots. Personally, my favourite is still the tried and true Samosa King in Scarborough where samosas are only five for a $1 (sauces extra). 


At first we were disappointed when the wait for the buffet was so long (everything looked so good). In hindsight, the thali provided a variety of choices and we couldn’t even finish what we ordered – fortunately it's served in a take-out container. At only $7.99 it was an amazing deal for all the food we received!

Plus, eating in the more casual dine-in area gives you a view of their beautiful sweets (most were $10.99/lb) and snacks display. Brar’s website claims what sets them apart is using high quality ingredients and ensuring most items are made fresh daily. So, while eating you can start planning for all the take-home goodies to buy!

Sweet display (1)


Overall mark - 7 out of 10

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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Photo Sources:

  1. Brar's interior photos - TripAdvisor posts (http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g154982-d793981-Reviews-Brar_Food_Culture_of_India-Brampton_Ontario.html)


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