Under the watchful stewardship of general manager Karan Bajwa, Nirvana restaurant, in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto, continues to tweak its Northern Indian menu in new and delicious ways.
Case in point: Tangri kebab, another in a long line of expertly cooked dishes to emerge from the kitchen’s tandoor oven. Here, fat chicken drumsticks, superbly smoky and juicy, are stuffed with minced chicken, almonds, raisins and cashews. The vegetable tandoori platter offers up tender mushrooms; soft and smoky squares of paneer, a mild Indian cottage cheese; and deliciously soft chunks of smoky sweet potato. The tandoor also yields chunks of admirably moist smoked salmon.
Also new to Nirvana’s menu is tiger shrimp do pyaza cooked in rich, onion-perfumed gravy.
Vegetable dishes are consistently excellent, and include the likes of silky dal makhni, slow-simmered black lentils enriched with butter and spices; tandoor-cooked mashed eggplant jazzed with tomatoes, onions, green peas and green chiles; and perfectly textured aloo gobhi, cauliflower and potatoes in masala gravy zapped with slivered fresh ginger
To finish, there’s ras malai, delicate cheese dumplings nestled in cardamom-scented milk cream.
Manned by a multitasking chef, the glassed-in tandoor kitchen highlights Nirvana’s spacious, high-ceilinged room.
The restaurant, which seats 220 people, is available for group buyout. A private room seats 40.
Nirvana also offers meeting and event catering (featuring a portable, charcoal-fired tandoor oven) for up to 1,000 people.
— 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.