The Copper Chimney (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

On walks around the neighbourhood, we’ve seen The Copper Chimney on many occasions. It’s an Indian restaurant I vaguely recall reading about in the Toronto Star, when Amy Pataki noted it’s an above average choice in Toronto.

“One day we’ll try it.” I’ve always thought, and that one day finally came following a dinner elsewhere in the neighbourhood. As we were walking towards the patio of that restaurant, the air was filled with the most heavenly aroma of spices. We remembered that intoxicating smell and ordered delivery the very next day.

Fried appetizers like the mixed vegetable pakora ($5.50) are terrible for delivery. Pakoras I’ve had in the past have been fluffy fritters studded with shredded vegetables, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Copper Chimney’s are dry like food court falafel that have been left on the warmer all day. It’s such a shame, as I can see the large pieces of onions and carrots in the batter. It’s just so overdone (or perhaps fried during lunch and merely re-heated for dinner) that I had to wash it down with a drink.

To lower food waste, I salvaged the pakoras for brunch. Similar to making pot stickers, I put a cold pakora into a heated frying pan with some oil and water. Place a lid on it to allow the water to steam into the pakora and when the patty gets hot, remove the lid allowing the remaining water to evaporate and a crust to develop on the pakora again.

While it’s still a little dry, the finished patty is a lot better than before. In fact, I could decipher other vegetables used in the recipe: cauliflower, eggplant, and bits of a root vegetable. The individual spices also shine through more. If only the pakoras were fluffier and less cooked, I could see these being amazing.

Another overcooked dish was the lucknowi reshmi kebab ($14). Maybe tandoori is something that must be eaten at the restaurant, as Pataki’s review mentioned it being moist and delicious. What arrived at our house was covered in a tasty spice mixture (like a slightly spicy saffron), but so dry that it’s like eating cubes of chicken breast that has been reheated in a microwave and then cooled down again. Another gulp of drink to get this down.

The best part of the dish was the creamed coriander and mint chutney dipping sauce. It’s such a great refreshing bright yoghurt sauce that I tried it with everything in the meal. If you don’t get the kebab, it’s even worth ordering the condiment solely to put on other items.

Finally, the meal improved when I turned my attention to the saag paneer ($12), the spinach and onion puree so fresh and vibrant tasting, unlike so many other places where it’s rendered to a dark mush. Large cubes of soft Indian cheese are mixed throughout, these were thankfully left neutral and remained moist.

The saag goes wonderfully with basmati rice ($4) or garlic naan ($3.50), both sides arrive in huge portions (the naan two times larger than ones found in other restaurants). I just wished we ordered more curries to go with the grains.

Instead, I had to try their shrimp biryani ($17) and wasn’t disappointed. Despite it looking like another order of basmati when we opened the lid, get through the first layer and you’re greeted with a lovely fragrant rice that’s filled with flavours and a kick of heat that had me reaching for the raita. Here the shrimp were cooked nicely, still plump and tender despite trying this dish last.

In the end, I debated what mark to give The Copper Chimney as how well the dishes were prepared is so drastically different. If I had skipped the pakora and kebab and stuck with saucy curries, the experience would have been much better.

During this time where some restaurants are solely relying on takeout and delivery, I suggest trimming down menus to only include dishes that travel well. Not only will it simplify operations, but also ensures what makes it into a customer’s home are quality items you want associated with your restaurant. Stale pakoras and chicken jerky? Probably not something The Copper Chimney wants on their menu.

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2050 Avenue Road
 Delivery: Uber and Doordash
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

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