The Gist: f you’re looking for authentic north Indian cuisine and Nepalese street food, look no further than brand new Daiko Indian & Nepali Street Food. This new restaurant doesn’t do fusion or mashups of any kind. And that’s a good thing. Because here you get quality homemade fare that isn’t heavy or oily, just fully flavoured enticing dishes that you can’t wait to come back for.
Grub: In addition to tandoori specialties and fresh seafood, chicken and vegetables curries, delectable Nepalese street food fare features the exotic foods from the Himalayas. Note, this is not the same as Tibetan food found nearby in Parkdale, says Nepalese owner Samir Giri. “We use a lot of spices brought directly from Nepal.”
Everything is made in house using fresh, never frozen, ingredients.
And the prices are unbelievable. Get this – nothing is priced over $14, including mains!
Libations: Choose from Indian & Nepalese-inspired crafted cocktails, such as the Aila ($9), a rice liquor-based drink popular in Nepalese homes, Kathmandu Calling ($10) and the Bollywood Martini ($10) that’s famous in Bombay. There are also wines by the glass and bottle, and brews including Kingfisher and Toronto’s own Cheetah light and dark beers on tap, brewed to pair well with spicy foods.
There’s also a host of non-alcoholic options from traditional Masala tea ($3) to sweet ($3), salted ($3) and mango ($4) lassis, Nimbu Pani ($2.50) a lemon soda freshly made and Barbican ($ 3.50) a malt beverage from Dubai.
Fixtures & Fittings: By all appearances, this is not your typical Indian restaurant. The space is elegant and sophisticated but simple and streamlined - solid wood bar topped with marble with large antique mirror from New York set behind, black and white penny tile floor, French bistro chairs.
The only slight indications that it’s not a bistro is the artwork on the walls – hand painted Buddha’s head at back and woman making traditional Nepalese street tea on the side wall, and the warm incense that wafts as you enter.
Off the Menu:
Garlic Naan ($3) All naans - Indian leavened bread – are prepared fresh and cooked in the tandoor oven to order.
Plain Steamed Basmati Rice ($3)
Chicken Momo ($10 for 10 pcs.) This recipe comes straight from Kathmandu with spices brought in from Nepal. These traditional dumplings are stuffed with ground chicken and spices, steamed and served with tomato achar, a delicious addictive, slightly fiery but packed with flavour, dipping sauce.
Chicken Garlic Tikka ($14) One of the many tandoori specialties that are marinated in freshly ground spices, yogurt, and cooked to perfection in the tandoor oven. Packed with garlicky goodness (there are about 15 whole garlic cloves in here), this tender moist chicken dish is bound to stave off any seasonal colds.
Palak Paneer ($10) Velvety sautéed spinach puree is dotted with large diced firm Indian cottage cheese, garlic, onion and spices. Light and clean yet intensely satisfying, you’ll be excited to eat your greens for once.
Lamb Korma ($13) Tender chunks of lamb bob in a creamy thick, silky saffron sauce, sprinkled with cashews and onion. Comfort food in a bowl times ten.
Rasmalai ($4) Indian desserts can be rather sweet, but this cottage cheese dessert made with rosewater milk, cardamom, and pistachio is never cloying – instead, delicate and refined.
How Cool is This?! Soon to come – lunch boxes and Nepalese and Indian Thali lunch specials.
FOH: Samir Giri
Head Honchos: Owners Samir Giri and Dibesh Regmi
Deets: There’s room for 40 guests. Dine in, take out, online ordering, delivery and catering are available.
Visiting Hours: Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs – 12pm to 10pm
Fri & Sat – 12pm– 11pm
Map It: 1564 Queen St. W. (in Parkdale)
Phone It In: (647) 556-2337
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.