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Introducing: Pukka, a modern Indian restaurant on St. Clair West with an impressive wine list

Introducing: Pukka

Name: Pukka Contact Info: 778 St Clair W., 416-342-1906, pukka.ca, @pukkatoronto
Neighbourhood: Humewood Owners: Derek Valleau, the former operations manager at Crush Wine Bar, and Harsh Chawla, a restaurant-industry consultant Chefs: Cornel D’Silva, previously from Scaramouche, and former Amaya chefs Kirti Singh and Dinesh Butola

The Food: Contemporary Indian food. The menu includes snacks, kebabs and a short list of mains from the Indian subcontinent and beyond: Punjabi chicken from the north, shrimp ambotik from the south and a handful of Canadian fusion dishes, like beef short ribs with black cumin curry. Naan is baked fresh in an authentic tandoor oven, and desserts are Indian takes on European standards, like chai pot de crème and Eton Mess made with rosewater and sweet lassi cream.

The Place: The space feels fresh and modern with reclaimed wood tables and whitewashed walls hung with funky lacquered paintings. Bright green and orange seat cushions reflect the colours of the Indian flag.

The Drinks: Twenty-five international wines selected by Scaramouche sommelier Peter Boyd to pair with the restaurant’s spicy food. The list includes a dry, aromatic Muscat from Greece and a robust Austrian St-Laurent.

The Numbers: • $3,500 to equip the kitchen with an authentic tandoor oven • 92 seats • 25 international wines selected by lauded sommelier Peter Boyd • 15 spices in the house garam masala • 6 kinds of bread, including three naans, one whole-wheat roti, a fenugreek-dusted paratha and baked poppadoms

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