I have a theory that pretty much all food is consumed just as a means of conveying sauce from bowl/ plate/chip/cob/finger to mouth. I mean who in their right mind would wrestle the scant meat off a chicken wing were it not for their favourite type of sauce slathered (or applied sparingly) over top? I mention sauce because of a new restaurant that has opened in Streetsville named, Amantra – Food Fusion.
Located at 200 Queen St. South (just north of Pearl St. on the west side), Amantra opened at the end of September and has a particular specialty wherein they combine ‘Canadian’ favourites with the sauces and flavours of northern India. Entering the restaurant one is greeted with a clean, tasteful, soft grey décor and the aroma of something delicious simmering in the kitchen.
I recently had the occasion to enjoy a meal at Amantra with Streetsville Village Times publisher, Toby Gardiner. We sat and chatted with proprietor, Harminder (Harry) Saini as we feasted on a couple of selections from the menu. Toby enjoyed the samosas while I devoured the goat curry with rice and salad. We both cleaned our plates – enough said. Saini has many years’ experience in the high-end food service industry and wants to create a casual comfortable atmosphere where one could stop for lunch while shopping or swing by to catch a game on one of the numerous flat-screens. Mission accomplished on that score.
While the atmosphere is inviting and the staff welcoming, it is the variety of authentic sauces made in house which intrigues the palette. Fresh and flavourful, the curries and other sauces are what one from India would expect – not too spicy (although that can be arranged), rich, and savoury. The fusion aspect of the restaurant’s theme becomes apparent with a glance at the reasonably priced menu. Where else would you find Mac-n-Cheese Butter Chicken, Butter Chicken Poutine, or Amantra’s Spicy [Punjabi-style] Chicken Burger? Not that all the entrees are such combinations, but if one isn’t familiar with Indian cuisine, there’s plenty to make an initial foray and dip one’s taste buds into the sauce, so to speak.
While on a recent follow-up visit, my waitress, Katie, recommended the garlic Naan to go with my chicken tikka masala. It was a delicious suggestion since I was able to use the fresh and tender Naan to wipe up the last of the sauce. Are you sensing a saucy trend? As I ate, I watched no fewer than four pick-ups for ‘Skip the Dishes’ and ‘Uber Eats’ were made, which goes to show that the word is getting out about the quality of the food. I, for one, plan on eating my way through the menu. In a short time, their butter chicken has become a local favourite. The trio of chicken in three delectable flavours has also received an over-whelming response.
Amantra also does individual take-aways and catering of vegetarian dishes (to which other entrees can be added) with prices starting around $9.99 per person for a minimum of twenty people. They have a fine selection of Ontario VQA wines and carefully selected wines from Australia, Chile and Spain. Daily happy hour is from 5-7pm, and lunch combos are every day.
Give them a call at 905 858-3696 or check them out on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. They’ll also be at the Santa in the Village event coming up if you haven’t already been in to enjoy a warming meal now that the weather is finally providing us with evidence of autumn.