Where O&B’s Miheer Shete eats Indian food in the burbs
We're going on the road with some of the city's top chefs to explore their favourite suburban restaurants. Miheer Shete, chef de cuisine at O&B's Café Grill, tells us what's good in Mississauga
For Miheer Shete, great Indian food is hard to find in downtown Toronto. So when the Mumbai-born chef craves dishes from his childhood, he goes to Mississauga. After wrapping up work at Oliver and Bonacini Café Grill, Shete picked us up for a day of dosas, idlii and his favourite hangover food.
7070 Saint Barbara Blvd, Mississauga, 905-795-2299, gurulukshmi.com
“Five years ago, my wife and I came here on our second date. I told her that I hated Indian restaurants in Toronto because they weren’t authentic enough, but she told me this South Indian place was the real thing. I didn’t believe her, so we made a bet. I lost.”
Go-to dish #1: Green chili masala dosa. $10.50.
Tasting notes: “The crispiness is the most important thing about a good dosa—think of a great pizza crust. Even when you pour chutney on it, the dosa still stays crispy. That’s what you should look for.”
Go-to dish #2: Idlii, served with coconut-ginger chutney and sambar. $5.
Tasting notes: “These sponge-y cakes are made of lentils and rice that are soaked, puréed, fermented and steamed. A good idlii should be fluffy and bounce back when you poke it. Dip them in the chutney or the sambar, a spicy, tomatoey lentil soup . You can judge a dosa place based on how good their chutneys and sambars are. They should be in-your-face in terms of flavourful spice—they shouldn’t just be hot.”
Go-to dish #3: Medhu vada, served with coconut-ginger chutney and sambar. $4.50.
Tasting notes: “Cooks add ginger, onions and chilies to the same batter that the idlii are made with, and then deep fry it to make medhu vada, They’re like savoury, crunchy doughnuts.” $4.50.
2555 Erin Centre Blvd., Mississauga, 905-814-1919, jalsafastfood.com
“This place makes authentic Mumbai street food, so I have a real emotional connection to it.”
Go-to dish #1: Vada pav. $2.95.
Tasting notes: “This is the staple street food in Mumbai. If you love burgers, you have to try this—it’s bread stuffed with potato fritters. As a kid, I’d eat it for breakfast. Can you imagine having this in the morning? It’s hot and spicy and it wakes you up.”
Go-to dish #2: Dahi puri. $5.45.
Tasting notes: “Street vendors sell dahi puri year-round at Mumbai’s beaches. They’re crispy flour shells stuffed with yogurt, potato, chickpeas and tamarind chutney. They’re awesome one-bite snacks.”
Go-to dish #3: Misal pav. $6.45.
Tasting notes: “This dish is a mixture of everything: lentils, grains, potatoes, chickpeas and a beautiful spicy curry. You dip bread in it—like an Indian Sloppy Joe.” $6.45.
Eddie’s Wok ‘N’ Roll
6400 Millcreek Dr., Mississauga, 905-542-8613, eddieswoknroll.com
“Hakka Chinese food is really popular in India. It’s basically Indianized Chinese food, so, for example, noodles are mixed with garam masala. This is my kind of comfort food—it really brings me back to my childhood, because this was the first non-Indian food I tried. My in-laws get takeout from here all the time. I think it’s the best hangover food.”
Go-to dish #1: Chicken chop suey. $11.95.
Tasting notes: “It’s not very healthy, and I’m pretty sure there’s artificial colouring in this dish, but it tastes so good. It’s one of those things that’s so wrong but so right at the same time.”
Go-to dish #2: Chili chicken. $11.75.
Tasting notes: “This is fried chicken tossed in a gravy of chilies, ginger, onion and soy sauce. It’s delicious with rice.”
Go-to dish #3: Chicken chow mein. $11.95.
Tasting notes: This has a lot of Indian ingredients in it including onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. It has that charred taste you get from the wok—that smoky flavour that can’t be replicated at home.”