A few of us were supposed to go out for dinner at an Indian restaurant for my friend R's birthday. Unfortunately, R got sick and dinner was cancelled. I found this out while I was visiting wineries in Niagara with my sister's boyfriend D. So D and I decided to stop for lunch at The Himalya since it was on the way home. The Himalya is my absolute favourite Indian restaurant and I have missed it during my 7 months spent in Vietnam, even though I managed to eat Indian food every couple of weeks when I was there.
The Himalya is run by a Punjabi family. Since the family is Hindi, they only serve vegetarian food; they do serve dairy (such as paneer) but no eggs. I discovered this restaurant through word of mouth. It's about 10 minutes from my previous place of employment. At a point, I had lunch here once a week. Most of the time when I've come for lunch, I recognized at least one person from work!
It's definitely a hole-in-the-wall kind of restaurant. It seems they have recently renovated and it looks nicer now. They serve food in nice thali plates and copper bowls but with plastic cutlery. They are only set up for maybe 15 people. However, they do brisk take-out business, especially when there is a Hindi holiday. They also have a bar featuring beautiful and colourful dessert. Unfortunately, I find Indian desserts prettier than tasty, but that's just me.
The best deal here is the thali for $6.99 (it seems everyone has increased their prices while I was gone!), comprised of rice, naan bread, 3 featured curries and a yogurt dip to cool you down. Every dish comes as mild, medium, hot. This is by no way standardized, so medium can be not too hot on one day, and much spicier on another! I used to go for medium and have graduated to hot (accompanied with lots of sweating and nose blowing!). I am a believer that you can build your tolerance to spicy food!
Thali ($6.99). I love variety and this offers a combination of different, changing dishes. This thali included (L to R): Aloo Gobhi, Channa & Mattar Panir.
My weakness here is the Sabji Vindaloo. I love it so much that I neglect the other dishes because I always order it unless it's featured in the thali. They also have great big samosas and crispy pakoras that come with an awesome, tangy tamarind sauce.
Sabji Vindaloo ($6.99). A mixture of vegetables and paneer in a tomato based sauce. The sauce is sweet, creamy and spicy. It's perfect to dip naan in! I also like the authentic copper containers.