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Tich? Anyone been?

We went to Tich for dinner tonight. It probably took less time to drive there from Leaside than it does to get somewhere downtown. We had a good time and I'm glad we went but there were some hits and misses.

Service was all over the place and a little slow, but we didn't mind as we were in no rush. There is one very annoying waiter. He called Mrs. Hal "My dear". It seemed like he thought the meal was all about him and should be done to his schedule. He’s the expert. You must listen to him. His timing was off. He can't read customers. He's intrusive. During the early drinks and ordering stage, he'd promise to be back for one thing and return with another mission. "Here's the drinks menu, I'll be right back to take your drinks order" Ten minutes later he returns with the full menus and starts a cringe-worthy description of the restaurant's specialties going into food nerdish elaborate detail about the mouth-feel of the dishes and the progression of tastes as you eat them - then darts off, completely forgetting about drinks. When we order "Eggplant, saag paneer, lamb shank" he feels it's his duty to repeat back the full names of each dish with a vaguely Indian accent. However, he's supported by some good runners and the owner's husband, who was lovely.

The space is minimally but very nicely decorated. Hipster music plays quietly but by 7pm you can't hear it above the clink of glasses and noise of conversation. The room is bright and loud but not overwhelming. At 6pm it’s half full with lots of reserved tables. Walk-ins are directed to the patio and there’s a brisk take-out business. When we leave just after 8, it’s full and there’s one family waiting for a table.

The menu has a few old standbys - butter chicken, chicken tikka masala and saag paneer- and a few not so usual dishes. It's certainly not the typical 4 meats in 6 sauces offering that lots of Indian restaurants rely on. There's a good varied selection. It's a menu you want to explore.

The drinks list is minimal and uninspired. A few standard cocktails, three whites and 5 reds and a paltry selection of beer. Steamwhistle is all they have on tap and it's out tonight. I settle for a bottle of Kingfisher. There are just so many great local beers that would go well with their food it's a shame they haven't given the drinks more thought. A cold tallboy of super-hopped citrusey IPA would be just the thing to cut some of the heavier dishes.

We start with Hara Mirch Tikka. The chicken is very good. Smoky from the tandoor, with a bright sauce of fresh coriander. But there are a few pieces of cartilage remaining in the boneless thighs. For mains we have the lamb shank, Hyderabadi eggplant, saag paneer and butter naan. The naan is good with a nice char. Saag paneer is very good and not too sweet. The lamb shank is tender and spicy and the eggplant is the standout dish with a nicely layered sauce.

The restaurant shows a lot of promise but I don't think it's quite yet at the level I expected from Chris Nutall-Smith's glowing review in the Globe and Mail. I wanted to really like it but felt ambivalent about it. I hope that when I return in a few months they've sorted out the kinks, added to the beer list and told their waiter to go easy on trying to curate everyone's meals.

We had a brief chat with the owner's husband before leaving and he acknowledged that they're just getting used to the increased business after the review and are working to get things running more smoothly. I wish them well. It's obvious that a lot of care and thought has gone into the business and I hope they succeed and continue to improve.

Chemical additives lurking in fresh cuts of meat

The trace minerals in naturally occurring salt are so minimal as to be useless. At least you better hope so, because some of them are radioactive.

Stratford Restaurant Commentary (Long)

There was a front page article in The Star earlier this year about Stratford's food scene.


Fine Dining is on its way out and more accessible local food is taking over as younger chefs try to appeal to current tastes and attract a local clientele in order to keep operating year-round.

Simba Grill -- very 'hound worthy (long)

Jogged by tonight around 10pm and the place was packed. I'll have to try it. Has anyone been recently?

Sugar causes cancer!

No, the Food Babe is stupid and ignorant beyond anything I've ever heard from the other snake oil salesmen (sorry, salespeople). She doesn't understand basic science and makes things up. Her article on air travel could have come from The Onion. Whether she's male, female or a three-toed sloth, it doesn't matter. Anyone claiming expertise on nutrition who doesn't know Grade 9 science deserves derision.

I'm sure she doesn't care anyway. She seems to have built quite a little empire by appealing to the gullible, and there's no such thing as bad publicity.

You’re Loading the Dishwasher Wrong: A Chore and a Power Struggle

The best advice I've ever got on dishwashers is to use those hard Finish tablets. They dissolve slowly, throughout the wash cycle and make for a better clean. I've got a Bosch 800 Plus and it's the best dishwasher I've ever owned.

Jun 30, 2015
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Millennials are obsessed with Whole 30, the ‘cultish’ fad diet taking over Instagram and Pinterest

I get all my diet advice from Instagram and Pinterest.

Sugar causes cancer!

But do they call themselves as Food Hunks or something similar? Other than the fact that she's dumber than a box of rocks, I think Food Babe gets picked on for her chosen nickname more than anything.

Sugar causes cancer!

I thought Food Babe was attacked because she's stupid. Read her essay on air travel and if you know anything about how the world works you'll be shocked that it was ever published.

Tich? Anyone been?

Chris Nutall-Smith gave Tich 2.5 stars in a very favourable review today, and slagged Pukka in the process.

Whole Foods overcharging NYers

The needed inspectors to figure this out?

Jun 26, 2015
hal2010 in Chains

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

Yeah, I know lots of people who had cancer and were cured by Bach Flower Remedies.

/you'd think this sort of thinking would have been selected out of the gene pool.

I am looking for a way to thicken my home made salad dressing

Dijon is a good emulsifier but won't necessarily thicken it. I'd use silken tofu.

Jun 24, 2015
hal2010 in Home Cooking

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Room service will make you a Limberger and onion sandwich if you ask.

Just Go! The 10 Essential Rules of Drive-Thru Etiquette

I usually eat mine while in the car at the window. That way I can order more if I'm still hungry.

Just Go! The 10 Essential Rules of Drive-Thru Etiquette

The author should JUST PARK AND GO INSIDE. Drive-throughs are obviously way too stressful for him. I guess this article is what happens when you have a whole Internet to fill with news.

There are "Kosher", "Special Diets", & "Vegetarian & Vegan" boards; why not a "Halal" board?

And if you visit any of the big cities in Canada, you'll see Halal all over the place. Many restaurants and most big chain grocery stores have a Halal section. Halal food tends to be less processed, less expensive and better quality.

Jun 19, 2015
hal2010 in Site Talk

Any good Indian restaurants in North Toronto?

A literarian is someone engaged in literary pursuits. Don't you mean "literalists"? ;)

Iron Chef frozen dinners????

Is the secret ingredient beef or chicken?

Jun 18, 2015
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Any good Indian restaurants in North Toronto?

North Toronto was a town annexed by the city of Toronto before the 401 even existed. The area is still known as that so if you ask for advice about North Toronto, and capitalize it like the proper name it is, people will think that's what you're talking about.

Any good Indian restaurants in North Toronto?

What about Copper Chimney on Avenue Road, just south of the 401? It used to be a board favourite but I haven't heard it mentioned in a while.

Biggest, most expensive bullshit at a fine dining restaurant.

Remember when they used to throw chicken wings away?

There's a place near me that charges $27 for Eggs Benny. Toast is $3 extra and jam and butter for the toast is another $3.

Jun 17, 2015
hal2010 in Not About Food

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Montreal to Vancouver is 5.5 hours. With boarding and disembarking, call it 6.5 hours away from food service. No way a bag of nuts will see me through that. I usually buy a sandwich at a cafe at the airport. Last week I bought a sandwich on the plane (Air Canada) and it was surprisingly decent. As good as you'd get at Starbucks or Tim Hortons.

Surprisingly different food at Forget Me Not Vietnamese Restaurant

Thanks for the song, Vinnie. I feel honoured.

And you're right. Post first, think later. Indian, Persian, Middle Eastern and most Asian cuisines are based on a lot of rice, bread and carbs.

Surprisingly different food at Forget Me Not Vietnamese Restaurant

So go for the Eastern European carb-bombs you love so much Vinnnie, and avoid the discrete flavours of South-East Asia.

Cigarette smoke gets in your food

There was a donut store near us where the donuts tasted like smoke, but that was in the 70's.

Jun 09, 2015
hal2010 in Not About Food

What's the most overpriced menu item you've seen?

$27 for Eggs Benedict at a local bistro.
Want toast with breakfast? $3.
Want jam and butter on your toast? $3.

Jun 08, 2015
hal2010 in Not About Food

Open bar - should you tip the bartender

Are catering staff paid the same pittance as restaurant servers in the U.S.?

Jun 06, 2015
hal2010 in Not About Food

What is Important in Food Photography?

A really good tilt-shift lens

May 25, 2015
hal2010 in Not About Food

Debu Saha is back -- Biryani house at 365 King W.

He likes trios.

May 23, 2015
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)