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Best Indian Restaurant in Kingston

best Indian restaurant in KingstonIt’s the third week of 2011, which is noteworthy as I’m one week closer to fulfilling my first resolutions of the New Year. In response to all the holiday feasts and mass consumption of spirits, our household gave up liquefied cheer, as well as dining out for January. We’ve got a few other year-long resolutions up our sleeves, but these small, short term goals are certainly pointing us in a positive direction. As a reward for all the wholesome living, at the end of this tunnel of sobriety we’ve got a fantastic birthday dinner planned later this month where we’ll sit down to enjoy a feast at the best Indian restaurant in Kingston.  My mouth salivates just typing the words. While our reservations have already been made, this week’s poll asks:

The best Indian restaurant in Kingston is:

  • Curry Original (43%, 65 Votes)
  • Darbar (28%, 43 Votes)
  • Taj Currie House (19%, 29 Votes)
  • Curry Village (6%, 9 Votes)
  • Tandoori Sizzle (4%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 152

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This poll question is likely only appealing to a certain, small percentage of Kingstonians, but if I can inspire at least one person to take the plunge and dig in to their first Indian feast, it will be worth it. I can still remember my first time.  The sweat trickling down my brow, the taste unbelievable.  Although I have a special place in my hollow leg for vegetable pakura and chicken madras, one of my favourite aspects of a good Indian meal is sharing with friends. When a bunch of folks get together, each ordering a few choice dishes, the result opens your gastronomical horizons up to new and exciting tastes.  Personally I would never order dishes such as butter chicken, aloo gobi or saag paneer, yet I’ve tasted them all, and would do so again.

While local options may be somewhat limited, where is the best Indian restaurant in Kingston? What dishes do they serve better than the competition?  Thanks to ourmanwhere for the delicious photo accompanying this week’s poll question.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

26 thoughts on “Best Indian Restaurant in Kingston

  • January 17, 2011 at 9:55 am
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    Paulina's is probably the best value – the buffet especially on Bollywood Friday Nights is very good, and quite reasonably priced, with a large variety of dishes, including their Chili Curry they enter in Hospice Kingston's Chilifest. I like that Paulina's is very active in the community, they had a booth at the Multi-Cultural festival last summer.

    El Asador, located in what used to be Jeffery Scissorhands, has a very nice selection of curries available in traditional or wrap form – I understand it is run by a former employee of Curry Original.

    I've been to Taj twice (giving them the benefit of the doubt) and it was too salty for my tastes, and overpriced even for notoriously expensive Indian food. Small portions, also.

    Curry Original is very good, but even pricier than Taj. The food is tasty, and the atmosphere is nice.

      • January 17, 2011 at 11:12 am
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        There were at least two chairs there last time I went. :)

    • January 17, 2011 at 11:13 am
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      An honest oversight, same reason Rahim's Cuisine or Paulina's didn't make the list. In any case, I think the major players are well represented. If your vote is for El Asador, make it known in the comment section. Have always wondered what that place was all about, but have yet to give them a whirl.

  • January 17, 2011 at 11:23 am
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    El Asador is a great late night option if you want something in the realm of being healthy (read: not a burger, pizza or poutine). I had a burrito from there at about 2am on St. Pat's last year. I'm still not entirely sure how burritos go with Indian food but it was fast and fresh, but really lacking in flavour. I'll have to go back and try one of their Indian wraps. Any suggestions?

    • January 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm
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      Ah, yes. That fully explains why El Asador didn't make the list. As mentioned they do burritos and such, while I was not totally familiar with their menu, and unaware that they had a decent offering of curry.

  • January 17, 2011 at 11:37 am
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    My preference goes to Curry Original. Great food, great atmosphere, great service. I've never had a single complaint any of the times I went there.

  • January 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm
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    Ever since swearing off Curry Original after an unfortunate incident involving an employee berating me for working at a law firm, my #1 pick is Taj. Their vegetarian lunch special is delicious, inexpensive, and boasts quite a few dishes on one plate.

    • January 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm
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      Now there's a spot that honestly deserves to be included on the poll. Definitely not missed intentionally, an oversight on my part. Cafe India is always busy, and the fresh aroma coming out of that place is welcomed, as it helps combat the McD's smell from across the street.

  • January 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm
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    Curry Original is the best but very pricey, and i have always compared the rest to curry original and then whether the better price and lesser quality food is better than spending the extra to have the best

  • January 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm
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    Darbar's portions are outstanding – always leaving more for the next day. And the people who own it are wonderful. Always my first choice.

    • January 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm
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      I found their food to be incredibly salty the last couple of times we've ordered from there. They also forgot the rice in my take out order and didn't really seem to care. I chose Taj Curry – super nice people, and one of my regular lunch spots.

  • January 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm
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    Darbar's 1970's signage should not be a distraction…some of the better Indian cuisine I've had in a while. And they will alter the spice. Hot is HOT! Great place.

  • January 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm
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    I haven't tried all of these places yet, so I can't really vote. In my very limited experience so far, just as with generic 'Indian' restaurants in Britain, the few places I have tried overdo the salt and/or sugar, and tend to produce dishes that aren't as subtle and varied as they should be – hot or otherwise.

    BTW, that's a view shared by a good friend of mine who has worked as a chef in Indian restaurants and makes a mean dosa and sambar. On the whole, if I want to be certain of getting good Indian food, I'd rather go round to his place…

  • January 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm
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    my vote is for Rahim's. great authentic taste, very good prices, large portions, and you can choose your heat preference.. from very mild to Pakistani HOT.

  • January 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm
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    After being to Curry Original, Curry Villange, Taj Curry, Darbar and Rahim's…Rahim's has been the only one who have ever asked me about my heat preference. All the others from my experiences have come mild. At Rahim's I choose Canadian hot which is enough for me to get a sweat on. If you're daring try the hottest which is Pakistani hot.

    • January 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm
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      While Darbar is my fave, I'll definitely be trying out Rahim's thanks to the numerous recommendations. What dish would you recommend? I've never been one to shy away from the heat, so I'd likely try the Pakistani heat just to see how it measures up.

      • January 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm
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        I usually get the chicken tikka and tandoori, but a friend of mine loves the lamb korma

      • January 27, 2011 at 10:41 am
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        As long as you get the fresh garlic naan and homemade mango ice cream, you'll have a great experience! :)

  • April 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm
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    I can't believe how bad your taste buds are off for Indian food. I spent 4 months in Delhi and Tandoori Sizzle is hands down the most flavourful and, Real Indian restaurant in Kingston the food is incredible!

  • April 19, 2011 at 1:25 am
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    Curry Original is hit and miss. I've had amazing food there, and I've had incredibly bland, frozen vegetable creations.

  • April 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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    I had Tandoori Sizzle yesterday. The rice was good but I couldn't eat anything else. I'm a vegetarian and was given a dish that had chicken in it even though it was supposed to be vegetarian. -1 in my books. I also sprung on some Darbar last week and it was as fantastic as ever. Great portion sizes with delivery and fantastic Veggie options!

  • April 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm
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    I had Tandoori Sizzle a few weeks ago and was appalled at the price. I had a medium vegi dish, and it came to $18 and they weren't going to even give me rice until I made sure they included it. For that price I could have gone to Curry Original or Darbar and had much better food for that price!

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