What’s on the menu at Mishree, a new 6,500-square-foot Indian restaurant and cocktail bar in Mississauga

What’s on the menu at Mishree, a new 6,500-square-foot Indian restaurant and cocktail bar in Mississauga

The impressive space cost $4.2 million to put together

A spread of Indian dishes and cocktails on a table at a restaurant

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Name: Mishree Cocktails and Cuisine
Contact: 825 Britannia Rd. W., Mississauga, 905-690-6500, mishreecuisine.com, @mishreecuisine
Neighbourhood: Mississauga
Owner: Shraey Gulati (Tandoori Flame Restaurants, Happy Singh Street Eats)
Executive chef: Anil Bisht (Tandoori Flame, The Lalit Jaipur)
Accessibility: Fully accessible

In the early aughts, Shraey Gulati couldn’t fathom shelling out $4.2 million for a restaurant buildout. His family, newly arrived in the GTA from Delhi, was on the hunt for a viable business. “As new immigrants, we looked for any kind of opportunity we could get into,” Gulati recalls. So, when a Crabby Joe’s franchise in Kitchener went up for grabs, they didn’t hesitate. Despite being hospitality rookies, they turned it into a triumph. Fast-forward 18 years and Gulati is at the helm of North America’s largest Indian buffet, Tandoori Flame—the newest location of which, an opulent “Vegas-style buffet” experience in BC, has become so popular it’s now the busiest Indian restaurant in the country, feeding an impressive 260,000 diners each year.

The dining room of a restaurant is decorated with milled woodwork and custom wallpaper

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On the heels of his family’s success out west, Gulati sensed Mississauga’s appetite for an Indian destination restaurant. Tucked in a strip mall parking lot yet inspired by resto-clubs like Dubai’s Tamoka and Toronto’s Casa Madera, Mishree positions itself as a place to dine, be entertained (DJs and Sufi singers set the mood) and celebrate late into the night with bottle service and a cocktail program that aims to rival the downtown bar scene.

The food

With a whopping 100 dishes, this is less a menu than an encyclopedia. Clearly influenced by the owner’s buffet roots, the offerings embrace a more-is-more philosophy. The expansive card—though rooted in India’s many regional and traditional cuisines—spans the streets of Delhi and Chennai as well as the shores of Thailand. Whether someone is a vegetarian, a Scoville-scale challenger or a connoisseur of Kerala cuisine, there’s a page for that. And for those who aren’t into Hyderabadi-style biryani or elevated takes on North Indian street snacks, there are also Thai curries, Chinese crowd-pleasers (mapo tofu, chow mein) and Hakka fusion favourites.

Akhrot Aur Aloo Ki Tikki, a savoury appetizer featuring a crispy potato patty enriched with walnuts
Akhrot Aur Aloo Ki Tikki, a savoury appetizer featuring a crispy potato patty enriched with walnuts for crunch and texture, is dialled up a notch with a cashew-raisin stuffing. $21

 

The Gilafi Seekh Kebab is a blend of minced chicken, bell peppers, cilantro, mint and fried fenugreek
Among the Mughlai offerings at Mishree, the Gilafi Seekh Kebab stands out. A blend of minced chicken, bell peppers, cilantro, mint and fried fenugreek crafts a dish that’s not just savoury and subtly spiced but also dangerously addictive. $26

 

Mushroom Dolma, stuffed with mozzarella
“The majority of our menu is very traditional—we’ve realized most of our diners don’t like fusion,” says Gulati. “We have, though, modernized a few desserts and starters.” The Mushroom Dolma, stuffed with mozzarella, is one of those plates. $18

 

Palak Patta Chaat, a popular North Indian street food staple, layers crispy, deep-fried spinach leaves with swirls of tamarind and mint chutney, dollops of yogurt and pomegranate pearls
Palak Patta Chaat, a popular North Indian street food, layers crispy deep-fried spinach leaves with swirls of tamarind and mint chutney, dollops of yogurt, and pomegranate pearls. Each bite is a harmonious medley of textures and flavours—crisp, tangy, creamy and sweet, all coming together one vibrant forkful at a time. $18

 

The Murgh Ki Kalmi features tender chicken drumsticks marinated for 12 hours in a rich blend of spices, yogurt and cream, then char-grilled
Also originating during the Mughal era, the Murgh Ki Kalmi features tender chicken drumsticks marinated for 12 hours in yogurt, cream and a rich blend of spices (green chili, black and green cardamom, coriander powder, cumin seed, dried fenugreek), then char-grilled to perfection. $25

 

These lamb chops are marinated with green chili and mustard before being cooked on the tandoor
These lamb chops are marinated with green chili and mustard before being cooked on the tandoor. $59

 

Nalli Nihari is a peppery Awadhi-style stew made with bone-in lamb shank
Nalli Nihari is a peppery Awadhi-style stew. Bone-in lamb shank is braised overnight in a broth seasoned with black pepper, mustard oil, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaf, ginger, turmeric, onions and tomato paste. $32

 

Two Indian desserts, barfi and malai ghevar
Up top we have Malai Ghevar, a traditional Rajasthani dessert made from ghee, flour and sugar syrup and topped with saffron-scented cream and chopped pistachios. Below is barfi, a milk-based dessert that comes in many permutations. This one, Kukut Ki Barfi, adds chicken to the mix of evaporated milk, pistachios and almonds—but if no one told you it contained poultry, you’d probably never guess. $18 each

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The drinks

It took mixologist Vijay Purty nearly half a year—and 200-plus attempts—to whittle his cocktail list down to just 30 concoctions. “Everything has an Indian touch to it,” he says. That element can be evident in drinks that use spice-forward simple syrups or tropical flavours such as coconut or passion fruit. But the Indian roots of some bracers are more subtle, riffing on what’s currently popular in Bharat’s best bars.

A person pours a cocktail from a crystal decanter into a glass with an oversized ice cube
“These days, floral drinks are very popular in India,” says Purty. The Flora M&M is made with a mix of elderflower liqueur, mezcal and Amaro Montenegro, in which dry elderflower is steeped. The mixture sits for 72 hours before it’s strained and served with a whiff of rosemary smoke. $35

 

A cocktail in cup designed to look like a painted skull sits in a terrium
The King and Marry is a play on a mango mojito. The drink starts with rosemary-infused Don Julio Blanco tequila, which is mixed with mango Malibu and mango purée. $35

 

A mug containing a cocktail made with muddled pineapple, Belvedere vodka and green cardamom, is served in a box with dry ice and fake plants
“The inspiration for the Malabar-ella comes from Southern India, an area famous for its pineapples and spices,” says Purty. The cocktail combines muddled pineapple, Belvedere vodka and green cardamom. $35

 

A goblet containing a cocktail is completely covered in coconut shreds
Oh My Coco tastes like coconut laddu, a popular Indian dessert. For it, coconut cream, white rum, Malibu and a squeeze of lemon are combined in a coupe. $17

 

A cocktail served in a brass goblet is ensconced in a bubble
This drink was named Raslila after a cosmic dance from Indian folklore. “Because when you mix ginger, clove, cinnamon and green cardamom with sweetness and vodka, it feels like it’s dancing on your palate,” says Purty. $24

 

Smoke from dry ice spills out of a brass goblet containing a cocktail
The idea is to pop the bubble with your nose as you take your first sip

 

Three colourful mocktails
There’s also a focus on zero-proof cocktails. From left: a berry bellini sans prosecco, a gingery booze-free paloma and the Coconut Kiss, which combines lychee and passion fruit juices with coconut water. $17 each

 

The space

Open Mishree’s hand-hammered brass front doors and leave the grey and gloomy strip-mall parking lot behind. Cricket Designs Company has done an incredible job transporting guests out of suburbia and into an indulgent realm that blends the Mughal Empire’s past with the GTA’s present. The 6,500-square-foot, 250-seat space engages every sense: guests are greeted by a custom scent crafted by a Turkish perfumer, and the auditory landscape is shaped by an advanced L-Acoustics sound system, ensuring each bass drop is immersive but still quiet enough to talk over.

The wrap-around all-season patio, enclosed by 230 feet of panoramic windows, offers a seamless indoor-outdoor experience, and bucolic details, like faux cherry blossom branches festooning the ceiling, bring the outside in. Gulati spared no expense: every inch of millwork is walnut, and the tables that aren’t made of wood are either Turkish black marble or quartz inlaid with semi-precious stones. There are two semi-private dining spaces cordoned off from the rest of Mishree by sheer curtains. One can accommodate 35 guests, the other 45, and the two can be combined for larger events.

Tables are set for service in the dining room of an Indian restaurant

Banquette seating at an Indian restaurant

The dining room of an Indian restaurant in Mississauga is embellished with decorative woodwork and mirrors

Tables are set for service in the dining room of an Indian restaurant

A closeup of banquette seating at a restaurant in front of a decorative wall and next to an urn filled with dried plants

The doors to an all-season patio of a restaurant open up into its indoor dining room

The wraparound all-season patio of a restaurant, enclosed by panoramic windows for the winter