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Taste of Mumbai spices up Thornhill

Unique dishes and Mughlai flavours imported here

Some of the finest flavours of Mumbai are found in Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, Kampala and Dubai.

And now in an exclusive, exotic corner of Thornhill, the tastes of India have found a new home.

Nawab Authentic Indian Cuisine, the latest in an international chain of nine restaurants, celebrated its first North American grand opening on Wednesday on the southwest corner of Bathurst and Centre Sts.

“This is pretty much the most elegant Indian restaurant you’ll find in probably all of Toronto,” Nawab partner Altaf Nathoo says. “We try to go above and beyond in the quality of the food, in the quality of the decor, as well as in the service.

“We’ve invested a lot of money in the property.”

Employing 10, the nearly 560-square-metre restaurant features a rich decor, half of which, Nathoo says, was handmade and delivered from India. Even architect Deepak Patki was flown directly from Mumbai to oversee the final weeks of construction.

More than just visual atmosphere, Nawab offers an authentic, though uniquely different, take on a cuisine that is so pervasive in the Toronto area.

“About a third of our menu are our own creations,” he says. “You can’t get them anywhere else in the world.”

If entrees starting at $10 and a menu with more than 80 items on it aren’t enticing enough for the discriminating foodie, the Mumbai style of cuisine served at Nawab — called Mughlai — should whet any palate.

Nathoo adds that Mughlai is a relative novelty in the GTA because most restaurants serve northern Indian dishes.

“Our chefs are from India,” he said. “They’re our top chefs working in Dubai.”

Though Nathoo originally wanted to open the restaurant in his hometown of Mississauga, Nathoo chose the 7700 Bathurst St. location for the restaurant after an exhaustive search for the perfect spot.

“After spending six months being frustrated trying to find something in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Toronto, everywhere, this was the first location that I thought was ideal,” he said. “I love the building; I love the space.”

Since the restaurant’s low-key, soft opening on Sept. 7, business has been brisk, Nathoo says. Full houses are rapidly becoming the norm on Saturdays.

“We’ve been very, very satisfied with the level of progress thus far,” he said. “Knock on wood, if the trend continues the way it has in terms of the way the business has been growing, we are considering expanding in the GTA.”

Though the paint on the walls is barely dry, the Vaughan location won’t be the newest for long; another restaurant in Poona, India is already under construction.

Vaughan Today
Friday, October 19, 2007
Page: 6
Section: Vaughan Business
Byline: Philip Alves