If there is any reason to travel slightly west of Bathurst on St. Clair W, it is to experience a whirlwind of unforgettable colours and flavours. Pukka (meaning: solid, genuine or authentic) is the new hot spot for Indian cuisine lovers.
At Pukka, you can indulge in your many favourites such as, butter chicken (a classic Indian dish featuring tomato-infused butter sauce), spinach and mushroom-stuffed paneer with pistachio korma sauce and butternut squash samosas with a side of tamarind chutney. Also on the menu are not-so renowned items such as pan-seared pickerel with coconut and curry leaf; a savoury, melt-in-your mouth white fish.
However, what sets apart the experience you will have here from one you may have at any other Indian restaurant is a single unique and versatile ingredient: the pomegranate. First, you’ll find the little grains bobbling in your sparkling wine giving it a decorative splash of red and hint of freshness. Then, you’ll find them hiding amongst your vegetable string chaat, providing this dish with added bursts of sweetness amidst a combination of textured ingredients (i.e. puffed rice, sprouts, chutneys and sweet yogurt) that will delightfully surprise you with every bite. Finally, the fruit makes its final and most memorable debut in your Eton Mess; a dessert like no other consisting of rosewater meringue, mango, sweet lassi cream and of course, pomegranate – light, not too sweet and beyond creamy with a bit of crunch. Simply divine!
If all of the above isn’t enough to peak your curiosity, their ample selection of fairly-priced, top-notch both red and white wines just might. Particularly, the Cotes du Rhone from France – a red as smooth as the butter on your naan bread. If you are partial to white, the Pinot Auxerrois from France is a fine choice for those who enjoy fruity blends with smoky undertones.
This new, modern venue is worth looking into. Pukka and the pomegranates await you!
778 St Clair Ave West, Toronto.