TKREToronto The Kathi Roll Express

Posted on July 2, 2013


When I received an invitation to try Kathi Rolls of The Kathi Rolls Express (TKRE), I admit I knew nothing about it.  That was actually the reason I came.  Googling the term, I found out that this was street food from India.  It was essentially flavorful Indian filling wrapped in a parantha or Indian flatbread.  The flat bread was cooked in a big griddle and as it cooked, a beaten egg added another layer on top.  To this, an extensive choice of filling completed the roll.  I tried so many rolls before but I just had to try what was different with this roll.  Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to try it out.

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Accessibility was not a problem reaching TKRE. Situated between Bloor and Wellesley on Yonge, it was pretty easy enough to get there.  From the outside, I saw that they placed the kitchen right by the window.  I always liked places that allowed you to watch the food being prepped.  I find it more entertaining and more engaging.  TKRE surely did not look like traditional Indian restaurants that I have been to.  Instead of the traditional exotic designs what greeted me was hipster graffiti aesthetics.  A lighting feature made of plastic crates, elaborate Indian posters and graphic designs on the tables, my favorite being the He-Man table, it surely was one of a kind.  I arrived first of all that were invited to the tasting and while I waited, they handed me a mango lassi to cool down.  I must say I could get addicted to it.  It was like eating a whole mango, just fresh sweetness without going overboard.

When the crowd arrived, the party took place at the backyard patio.  A tray of the Chicken Tikka Roll and the Achari Paneer Tikka Roll started the tasting.  I grabbed one of each, wanting to experience both the meat and vegetarian options.  To decide between the two ended to be a tough one.  The meatiness and very good marinade of the Chicken Tikka competed with my love for anything paneer.  Very notable to say that the kathi rolls were not too heavy.  That layer of egg made the roll fluffier and less dense. One might expect that the roll to be rich and greasy but since the bread and egg were cooked on the hot grill, greasiness was not an issue at all.

At that point, I thought the tasting was done but the host Megan informed us that we can try anything we like from the menu.  Owner Sumit Kohli gamely listed what we selected from the menu and answered the questions that came from the crowd.  When he came to me, I was indecisive.  I was curious about the rice platters but after getting confirmation from Sumit that the rice platter was a generous serving, I opted for a sandwich.  What I asked for was the Sandwich Mumbai style Mashed Aloo.  Grilled sandwich with home-made mashed potato with cheese, signature chutney and spices, wouldn’t that immediately grab you?  Other than paneer, I have a weakness for Aloo Tikki, an Indian mashed potato patty.  To make a seemingly grilled cheese version of it, just grabbed my imagination.

When it finally arrived, the sandwich was just begging to be eaten.  Distinct grilled marks and obviously crunchy and hot, I just did a few customary pictures and dug in.  The crunch was very satisfying and the warmth was very comforting.  What also made it extra special was that detail of adding masala spices into the grilled toast, adding another layer of taste to the beautiful sandwich.  That particular sandwich would make me come back again.  Original and delicious, I don’t think I can keep away too long.

Thank you Megan and Sumit for the warm hospitality.  Now that I know TKRE gives such delicious street food, I surely would be back soon to try some more!
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