What’s on the menu at Adrak, Yorkville’s sleek new Indian restaurant
Contact: 138 Avenue Rd., adrakyorkville.ca, @adrakyorkville
Owner: Ambica Jain
Chefs: Narendra Singh, Abhijeet Singh, Dharampal Singh, Praveen Kumar, Satpal Singh
Accessibility: Not fully accessible
Adrak’s Indian culinary stylings cover a lot of ground, reflecting not only the sprawling country’s regional diversity, but both pre-colonial and colonial periods. The concept is propped up by an unconventional kitchen structure: there’s no head chef. Instead, a handful of them—each specializing in a particular area or style of cooking—head their respective sections. There’s a shared a mentor, however: most of the team trained under Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia.
The unorthodox kitchen—which has a sister location in Richmond Hill—deploys exclusively house-blended spices in its lavish creations, like a chili, fenugreek and coriander-laden bhatti masala on a juicy, pan-seared whole lobster. Much of the cooking and baking is done in clay tandoor ovens, which rapidly fire everything from sesame-marinated prawns and tandoori chicken to chili-laced, garlic-speckled naan.
An inspired cocktail program draws on a library of house infusions and other curiosities: think dry vermouth infused with turmeric and curry leaves, chamomile syrup, chiseled coconut ice cubes and black sesame fat-wash. (There are excellent mocktails, too, for the abstaining crowd.) A tight wine list emphasizes lighter-bodied, citrus-forward wines that complement the cuisine. And there’s a solid selection of spirits, too, including a wide range of single-malt whiskey, tequila and even sake.
The foyer is decked out in jewel-toned wallpaper depicting frolicking animals meant to make you feel like you’re standing outside an ancient Indian palace. When guests walk in, they’re greeted by a gorgeous sculpture of the Hindu deity Ganesha. The main dining room is opulent and palatial with hand-carved furniture, mustard yellow upholstery and carved archways. Upstairs, the private dining room stuns with an amber-coloured onyx backdrop on both ends and a glossy black marble dining table that seats up to 20 people.