All you can eat sushi has become a staple of the GTA, and why not? Sushi is somewhat light, healthy, and easy to prepare- everyone wins with the high customer turnover and great value. But something that is often overlooked on the Toronto foodie scene is the increasing number of high quality Indian food buffets. I understand why they are overlooked, because I was not always a believer. It took one very hungry (and slightly hungover) morning to get me to the lunch buffet at Everest, and have no regrets.
Indian cuisine usually prices in around the mid-high range, and the menus rarely change between lunch and dinner, so not only was I skeptical about the amount of food I could eat at an Indian buffet, but also of the quality and variety of the food.
My friend and I arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes before it opened, but they still allowed us in and seated us, the buffet was already open so we greedily began. There was a very good variety of both meat and vegetarian dishes. They had jasmine rice, chickpea curry, mutter paneer (chunks of cheese and peas in a curry sauce), two mixed vegetable dishes; One based with potatoes and cauliflower, the other based with zucchini and cabbage. They had both Tandoori and butter chicken, and a goat curry. They also laid out a variety of sauces including raita and mango chutney.
Impressed with the variety, I tried a little bit of everything except for the paneer. I usually try to stay away from the delicious butter chicken because it is full of cream and fat, but after putting just a but of the sauce on my rice I had to go back for more. It was rich with flavor and even had a little spice to it. The chicken both in the curry and tandoori were juicy and tender, and the goat flaked right off the bone and into my mouth.
For those of you who are not gluten free, just the naan bread is worth the trip to Everest. I tried a little nibble and it took more self control than I knew I had not to eat the entire piece. Maybe it's because I haven't had a piece of naan bread (or any bread) for a long time, but I would be willing to make the claim that this is the best naan in Toronto.
The weakest part of the meal was the desert. They had small dough-y looking balls covered in a syrupy substance. I didn't have one, but my friend gave them less than stellar reviews. They did have oranges and melon, and I'm sure we didn't need any more than that after the amount of food we had just eaten.
India is one of the best places to travel for vegetarians, but I've found that a lot of Indian restaurants in Canada lack in variety and creativity in their vegetarian menu items. It was really refreshing to see four different and skillfully done vegetarian dishes in one amazing buffet.
For the price of $9.99 for the lunch buffet, Everest is more than worth it, even if you can't make it back for seconds.