In the shadow of the beautiful Madina Masjid mosque at Danforth and Donlands, there's a solid block of of halal restaurants. Makkah restaurant, located in the middle of the block at 1020 Danforth, is known in the neighbourhood for its top notch Pakistani and Indian eats. Makkah is the formal name of the city of Mecca, which is depicted in a large photo in the restaurant's dining room.
I also sampled some food from the steam tray. If you're expecting the lukewarm, bland, overcooked fare you normally get from Indian steam tray restaurants, you're in for a pleasant surprise. I ordered the meat thali for $6.99. I got chili chicken--big chunks of good quality boneless chicken coated with an intense layer of spices. It came with piping hot dahl with telltale red chilis sticking out to warn you of its fieriness. The plate also came with perfectly cooked mixed veggies and an entire plate of pilau rice.
"I live downtown but I come here because I love spicy food," enthuses one client, Farhad. "I'm from Pakistan originally. My mom was too tired to cook today, so I came here. This place feels like home." He ordered two whole tandoori chickens ($15.95 each) to go.
There are some other interesting items on offer here: you can get tandoori quail, complete with salad and rice or naan, for $7.99, and foot-long kebab sandwiches for $4.49. On Tuesdays, they offer their spicy chicken biryani for a eyebrow-raising price of just $3.49.
Makkah restaurant is located at 1020 Danforth Avenue at Donlands. Tel: 416 406-2500. Delivery from 3pm til 11pm with $15 minimum order. Makkah has a second location at 2980 Danforth Ave at Victoria Park. Tel 416 693 2222.
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