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1422 Gerrard St East, Toronto (Gerrard St. or Little India)

Cost: $10-15

The Indian McDonalds, we call it.   Much like the famous golden arches the red  Motimahal signage is iconic to Gerrard street.

(Top photo via Flickr: Andrew Alexander)

It's one of the oldest restaurants in Little India and definitely one of the best, if not the best. The consistent food and familiar tacky interior makes Motimahal a reliable (and recognizable location in Deepa Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood) and  satisfying place to dine in the East end.

The cafeteria-like "diner" setting, with slanted laminate seats, red tables and ceramic tiled walls (with only recent update of painted red swirls and circles) is all part of the charm.  As is the plastic trays, cutlery and  styrofoam cups filled with water from steel jugs.

Also, your urge to wipe the table or seats down with paper towels is entirely normal.   As is suppressing the urge to pee so as not to visit the washrooms downstairs (which are, actually, not that bad).  This place is not for everyone...and yet, everyone seems to come here.  There is always a steady stream of customers chowing down on veg thalis (the best in the city), masala dosas, tandoori chicken and naan (my favourite), chaats, samosas, butter chicken (incredible),  just to name a few.  There is also a colourful array of indian sweets for you to choose from.

My favourite dish is the tandoori chicken with naan; ask anyone - this is what I will, 90% of the time order from Motimahal.  This time I went with the tandoori WINGS (it was 3pm and this was our 'snack' time between shopping).

I don't know if I've ever mentioned how much I dislike cilantro, but I do.  It's more the smell of FRESH cilantro that makes me nauseous.  However, for some reason, and this baffles my loved ones (and me),  I do like a good bit of cilantro chutney - the kind that comes with tandoori chicken and that little side of carrots and onions - it's just so tasty (with tandoori chicken and that little side of carrots and onions).

My sister's love for chaat is like my love for tandoori chicken.   Whenever she visits; there's nothing like a good bite of chaat (mixture of potato cubes, crispy fried bread and chickpeas, garnished with onion, coriander, hot spices, topped with yogurt).

It's very simple...if you're looking for a place to eat in Little India, look no further than Motimahal (or Udupi for South Indian cuisine but I'll save that for another post).

Motimahal Restaurant Ltd on Urbanspoon

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Reader Comments (15)

wow... can they super size that?

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkidchuckle

Tell me about it! ;)

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

I had this AMAZING indian bread when I lived in Singapore... But I can't remember the name of it... Maybe you can help me....

1) It's Thin... (almost like a pancake but 1/10th the thickness)
2) It's rolled (almost like... it's rolled...) :P
3) It's Sweet / Salty
4) It's eaten with currys or sauces or on its own...

YUMMMMMMM thinking about it makes me want to eat my keyboard... I'm hungry...

Motimahal sounds amazing... will definately try it soon.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommentertoMAEto

A DOSA? Sounds like a dosa….
Don’t eat your keyboard.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

I went to that place couple years ago. Don't remember what I had, but definetly remember the messy place. We actually put newspapers on the seats to sit down. It was definelty busy and always is. Good Blooging!

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJules D.

Moti Mahal for North Indian and Udupi for South Indian food is a must at Gerrard Street. You absolutely have to try these two places ofcourse on different days please :) Great writing foodhogger.....nice way to present the ambient flaws while emphasizing on the excellent quality of the food.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCOAT

Thanks Coat - yes, Motimahal for north and Udupi for south - a must-try :) Hahaha, there are certainly flaws at this place, but the food more than makes up for it. Thanks for the comment!

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

Hahaha, Jules - really? You put newspapers down? Yeah, cleanliness is not a virtue here, but it's mighty tasty. Just try not to think about what the kitchen must look like!

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

Sounds really delicious! I can't wait to try it when I get back to T.O. I miss Indian food. Great blogging Foodhogger!

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterYummyDelights

I'm beginning to love your writing style (not that I didn't like it before). Mostly, I love the way it makes me hungry. Also, though there is that soothing narrative style you use. Like I'm being covered in Mango Lassi.

April 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Corriander chutney and Tandoori chicken….your favourite…
Mouth watering
But the place is messy and dirty and crowded..hahaha…
Food is tasty though.

April 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterL

L, you know me well ! It is messy and dirty, but TASTY!!!

April 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

Thanks Andrew :) Always glad to make you hungry; it's the least I can do. I will now strive to make my words as mango lassi-esque as possible.

April 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

Great Blogging.... I love the way you make it sound so accurate! Did you know a long time ago it was a Mr. Subb!!!! I think the red tiles are originals :) I haven't been there in ages - will have to pay a visit after reading this. The chaat looks so good, yummy :)

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSonal

Sonal! I didn't know it was a Mr. Sub - wow - makes sense though - and I bet those tiles are the original...hahaha! We just went there again recently...SOOOO Delicious.

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFoodhogger

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