I drive on Jean-Talon quite frequently, and many times I would pass by India’s Oven and wonder if it’s any good. They proudly display their restaurant reviews in their front window, and the place seems like it has a casual atmosphere that’s nice enough to enjoy some best-loved dishes and experience new and unique regional tastes.
I sat down at the front of the restaurant with a good friend of mine, and we were greeted by the owner who became our server. After receiving the menu I asked if there was anything that he could recommend, to which he replied “everything is very good here.” His vague response didn’t really help with making a choice, so once again I asked if he could recommend something, and he replied “my friend, everything is good here, don’t worry.” Then I say “so there’s nothing that would stand out more than anything else?” and once again, he confidently says “my friend, from the bottom of my heart, everything is very good, I promise.” He smiled gleefully. I looked at my friend and chuckled. I appreciated his humor, although I wasn’t sure if he was being funny or serious, maybe everything was very good, it was time to find out.
I started off with their traditional Indian style lentil soup, also known as Dal. The soup came out rather quick, and it was actually pretty good; it had just the right amount of spice which was heartwarming on a cold and rainy night. The soup was a bit salty but not overwhelming. There was a lemon wedge at the side of the plate and I squeezed a few drops into the soup which I really enjoyed as well.
I ordered a Chana Samosa which was big enough for two people. Wonderfully spiced and loaded with chick peas, green peas, red onions and sour cream, the samosa was good for it’s price but I’ve had better, so I felt that this starter was decent but there was nothing about it that blew me away.
The Fish Tikka was impressive. The delicately marinated fish was cooked to perfection in their clay oven, which promoted strong flavors from each cube because of the various amount of spices, resulting in a dish that was incredibly juicy, briny and flavorful. It was served with a pesto dipping sauce, as well as a rather plain and dry salad.
Then came the main dishes: Chicken Korma, Saag Paneer, and Lamb Vindaloo. I enjoyed all three of them, but my favorite was the Chicken Korma. There was a generous amount of boneless chicken cooked in a creamy sweet sauce made with yogurt. The sauce was excellent and we ended up scraping the bowl clean. The Saag Paneer had an amazingly rich taste of spinach, combined with a good portion of melted cheese which added salty flavors and an even creamier texture that made the dish quite enjoyable but still not as good as the Korma. The lamb was my least favorite of the three. There was an abundance of enjoyable spices in the curry so the sauce was fine, but it was the consistency of the lamb that threw me off; I found to be a little rough and chewy. Had it been more tender, the dish would have been excellent.
We also ordered a good portion of basmati rice that was cooked with green peas and carrots called Pulao. The flavorful rice could have been oiled a bit less, but other than that it was great eating the rice with the sauces of the main dishes.
My friend wanted to try the Ras Malai which is a staple in East Indian cuisine, served after meals. Normally balls of cheese soaked in clotted cream sounds nice but this dessert had a very sour taste to it. This was the first one I ever tried, so perhaps I am just not a fan of Ras Mali, or maybe I just didn’t like theirs. My first bite was my last.
In the end, the gentleman almost stood correct, everything was pretty good, the Chicken Korma and Fish Tikka being excellent, but everything else including the na’an were average except for the bill, which was unusually high for what we had ordered. India’s Oven could be a safe bet if you’re in the area, but I wouldn’t run back, because for almost the same price I got just as much food at Karma. Speaking of Karma, when is it re-opening?
454 Jean-Talon Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3N 1R3 T:(514)509-8678
JarredReviews is my personal weblog. The opinions and experiences represent my own. If you read that I didn’t particularly enjoy a meal or restaurant, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it and see for yourself. Restaurants can have an off day, people make mistakes, we’re all human. My writing is mainly so that you can find out about great restaurants that you may have not heard about, and also to give you an idea of what I enjoyed that you can experience for yourself. Food reviewing is very subjective and you must take this into account and use your discretion when reading any review; If I have had a bad experience somewhere, do not let that stop you to try the restaurant for yourself.