On March 8th, Dine.TO will be moving to YP Dine Read More
×
Loading Location

309 Dhaba Indian Excellence

309 King St. W.
TorontoON
 
(647) 490-2043
Book a Table
 
Latest Post
Latest Tweet
loading_sm Loading
Latest Update
loading_sm Loading
About
Now open until 3am everyday. Enjoy 20% Off food after 11pm. No charge on delivery. In the year of 1998, P.K. Ahluwalia the chef owner-operator created 309 Dhaba, a dining experience that customizes the menu at your table and prepares special requests for allergies or vegetarians. 309 Dhaba is the definition of "Excellence" and will provide all its patrons the finest in Gourmet Indian...
Now open until 3am everyday. Enjoy 20% Off food after 11pm. No charge on delivery. In the year of 1998, P.K. Ahluwalia the chef owner-operator created 309 Dhaba, a dining experience that customizes the menu at your table and prepares special requests for allergies or vegetarians. 309 Dhaba is the definition of "Excellence" and will provide all its patrons the finest in Gourmet Indian Cuisine - With the delicate creativity and a unique approach to its contemporary cuisine, that has been described by top food critics as "Divine," "Most Innovative," and "Taste intensive." Make it an Event! One visit and you will know why Dhaba is repeatedly named one of the Top Ten Restaurants in Toronto. Join the vip member list and be the first to receive information about what's new and exciting at Dhaba via our newsletter! Join now and enter our monthly contest to win a dinner for two! Winner of "Most Memorable Meal Award" - 2005 Where Toronto. Winner of "Best of Toronto" - 2005 NOW Magazine. Winner of "Best Indian" - 2011, 2012, 2013 Dine.TO.
Coupons
  • 4 Course Pre-Set Meals - Make It AYCE @ No Cost!
    Limited time Only! - Now, You can add All You Can Eat option to 4 course Pre-Set Meals @ No additional Cost *Not valid with any other promotions. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Not redeemable for cash. Please print out and redeem. One coupon per table/party.* (sharing & take-out prohibited) Over ordering charged.
  • $1 Off Lunch buffet (Lunch only)
    *Not to be used in conjunction with any other promotions. Max. 1 per person/party/table up to a group of 10. *Tax, alcohol & gratuity not included. Not valid on any special occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and on New Year's Eve and on any public or civic holidays. Not redeemable for cash. Expires December 30th, 2017.
  • $10 Off your Dinner food bill with min. purchase $50
    *Not to be used in conjunction with any other promotions. One per party or group per table. *Tax, alcohol & gratuity not included. Not valid on any special occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and on New Year's Eve and on any public or civic holidays. Not redeemable for cash. Expires December 30th, 2017.
  • $20 Off your Dinner Food bill with min. purchase $100
    *Not to be used in conjunction with any other promotions.one per party or group per table. *Tax, alcohol & gratuity not included. Not valid on any special occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and on New Year's Eve and on any public or civic holidays. Not redeemable for cash. Expires December 30th, 2017
Events
Today
  • http://youtu.be/khjBpy8_R2Qhttp://youtu.be/MuvuBsvBkhY309 Dhaba presents - Maestro Guru Gene...
view all
Specials
Today
  • ALL U CAN EAT Over 60 items LUNCH: Offering over 60 Items that includes 18-20 fresh home made Salads (with shrimps), 14 Mains(6 non-veg +8 veggie options), 3-4 Desserts, 8 I/Creams, Made to order brea...more
  • ALL YOU CAN EAT 4 Course Set Meal for $35

    Menu offers made to order Jumbo Shrimps, Lamb, Chicken, Venison, Fish(cod), Vegetables, freshly baked Breads & Rice.

    Excludes Beverages, Tax & Gratuities.
    Can'...more
view all

Review: An exciting menu at Dhaba

 
By Stephanie Dickison, reviewed on January 31, 2008

309 Dhaba Indian Excellence's Owner and Executive Chef P.K. Ahluwalia is inspired by people on a daily basis.

That's why he created the Tasting Menus (including French Rack of Lamb with fresh papaya, Winter Warmth Menu (Mmm - venison!) and comes up with...

309 Dhaba Indian Excellence's Owner and Executive Chef P.K. Ahluwalia is inspired by people on a daily basis.

That's why he created the Tasting Menus (including French Rack of Lamb with fresh papaya, Winter Warmth Menu (Mmm - venison!) and comes up with drinks and dishes on the spur of the moment.

"All of my food is inspired by people," he says.

P.K. decides upon a drink for me. There are over 8 brands of wine alone to choose from. He looks at me for a moment and ushers the waiter over, whispering ingredients into his ear.

With a fresh spiked haircut and copped framed glasses, P.K. is modern outside of the kitchen too. He is soft spoken and is not only passionate about making tasty, healthy food, but wants people to really be invigorated by food and enjoy the experience of dining.

They say that happy people make better food and P.K. is certainly a joyous and celebratory fella. He tells me, "Cooking is not a pressure. Relax. Be in a happy mood."

He just got back from a vacation in India last night and seems happy to be back to work.

We talk about the menu. He stocks items that aren't found on many Indian restaurants - venison, crab, lobster, halibut.

"And I'm very fortunate to bring mountain goat from New Zealand."

He laughs talking about preparing soft shell crab. He puts it on a skewer into the tandoori oven.

"It's not a cup of tea. When we cook, we have to think about how delicate we have to go. But it's fun to handle hard things."

(P.K. puts a potato on the end of the skewer to keep it from slipping to the bottom of the oven).

My drink arrives and it's a Green Tea Green Apple Martini. Martinis are $12-$14 and this one arrives with a stick of cinnamon, and slices of green apple and strawberry. With swirling ice cubes, it looked like melted peridot. Absolutely beautiful and refreshing too.

Back to the menu.

P.K. brings in products from all over the world and uses Indian techniques - like Peking duck in the tandoori oven.

"I'll give something a modern touch, like marinate it with wine or splash a little on the lobster to finish it off."

That's what brings people back to P.K.'s place - it's exciting fare that's not heavy. I like that he has pureed mustard greens as a twist on the usual spinach dish.

He says, "You have to know your spices. Being a chef, it's important to know. Every day is a challenge. Every dish is a challenge."

Being at King and John, he gets the financial crowd, the tourists, the neighbourhood folk and people coming from all over the city.

"I feel very motivated when people respond."

The menu is an exciting romp through many textures and flavours. It offers a lot of choices, but, don't' worry - you won't be flapping through a booklet.

"I don't want to overdo the menu," P.K. says. "Indian food is so complex. The client should not feel lost in the menu."

Paper-thin pappadums arrive with green (mint) and red (tamarind) dipping sauces. They are fantastically fresh. Each is hot and sweet and the best I've ever had.

Next I dig into Avocado Chaat Papdi ($9.95), a starter. It comes enveloped in a vibrant radicchio leaf bowl with soft chunks of avocado, homemade crunch wafers, sweet potatoes, garbanzo peas, tamarind yogurt, mint chutney and golden vermicelli. It is creamy and crunchy, soft and soothing. I've never had anything like it.

While waiting for the mains, I look around the room.

Mint green walls with burgundy flower accents let the large room breathe. An orange banquette lines one wall and a stone facade covers the back. White tablecloths and flickering tea lights give the evening a romantic feel.

Susur Lee's wife, Brenda Bent, is responsible for the makeover done about a year ago and P.K. says that they have seen a big change and that patrons are happy.

My entrees and sides arrive and soon crowd the table. Fresh Grade 'A" Venison Mogul ($17.95) with cashew gravy, rich Mogul style and Halibut Bengal Curry ($22.95) served with mild or curry sauce are rounded out with Aloo Kadchi ($13.95) - stuffed potatoes with cashew nuts, root ginger and shaved paneer in a silky scallion sauce; light, fragrant Saffron Rice ($4.95) and Tandoori Roti ($2.95).

The venison is tender and crisp okra is a fun choice of accompaniment. The halibut is silky and the sauce even more satiny. Smooth and tangy, it is so incredibly enticing that I eat the sauce like soup - from a spoon.

P.K. says that people from Bengal "eat fish with a lot of sauce. The sauce is important."

The roti is thin whole wheat multilayered bread topped with onion seed and the saffron based dill stuffed potatoes with pine nuts and paneer are hearty, but yet not heavy.

Somehow I manage to leave enough room for Home made pistachio kulfi ice cream ($6) with dried cranberries and rose syrup and a cup of tea.

Every time I come to Dhaba, it is difficult not to order the dishes I've tried and loved. But I know that I will be missing out on what P.K. is up to.

In the meantime, there's always the lunch buffet, available 7 days a week. There's 15-20 salads every day, fresh soup made every morning and over 50 items to choose from.

Reviews are meant to describe a dining out experience at a given period in time and are the personal opinion of the writer.
All meals are paid for, including all taxes and gratuities. All reservations are made under assumed names. Menu items, prices and individuals mentioned in this review may not be up to date. Dine.TO encourages its users to share their feedback.

2 Comments for 309 Dhaba Indian Excellence

New User's Image
Would you recommend?
Dhaba never disappoints. Cozy room with professional service. The lamb from the picture gallery is perhaps the best lamb dish I ever had.
Posted on January 30, 2014
Lalli Sandhu Profile Picture
By Lalli Sandhu

Lalli Sandhu made a comment about 309 Dhaba Indian Excellence

I am working four years in Indian reastorant in lanzrote.where I work that's very famous place in all canry islands in Spain .but when I see this restaurant's pics. I feel always very good.when ever I will visit to Canada I like to have one dinner there..best of luck to all team...........wahe guru ji ka Khalsa wahe guru ji ki fathe
Posted on
 Please select only one reason why you would recommend this business.