Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar has opened Mayura, a sleek and sophisticated Indian restaurant in Brampton, Ont., just west of Toronto.
A mainstay on cooking shows in his native India, Ranveer has also put his stamp on highly regarded restaurants in Boston.
Behind the stoves at Mayura is executive chef Rahul Bhatt, who brings great skill and creativity to the tastefully conceived menu.
There’s an inventive version of the classic Indian cold snack chaat. Here, it features a mountain of crisp, feather-light battered kale lavished with yogurt, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, sweet potato, tamarind chutney and thick yogurt. It’s the most refined version of chaat I’ve encountered.
In another creative dish, plump, chicken drumsticks, scented with green garlic and coated with thick yogurt marinade, are stuffed with delicious minced-chicken-and-pistachio forcemeat. A red chile marinade lends quiet heat to shrimp perfectly cooked in the tandoor and garnished with spicy pineapple.
Thick and silky yellow gravy enriched with finely ground nuts enrobes moist nuggets of chicken. And chef Bhatt is an expert with lamb — tandoor-cooked chops sheathed in yogurt-accented, masala-scented green chile mustard; meltingly tender New Zealand shank in sumptuous yogurt/onion gravy; and chunks of superbly delicate boneless leg in rich tomato/onion gravy.
Desserts, too, show a level of inventiveness uncommon to most Indian kitchens. Gulab jamun, the classic milk-dough dumplings, anchor velvety, custard-textured cheesecake. Almond filling animates a sturdy-crusted tart. To finish, there’s a sizeable sundae built on cream, vanilla ice cream, rose syrup and sweet vermicelli noodles.
Group dining options include two private rooms (one seating up to 30 people and another seating up to 20); the bar area (accommodating 10, cocktail-style); another dining area seating 60; and the patio, which features its own bar and accommodates 60, seated plus another 40, cocktail-style. The entire restaurant is available for buyout and accommodates 175, seated plus another 75, cocktail-style.
— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 30 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,400 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.