IMG_0595The first time I tried a kathi roll was 10 years ago … in New York of all places. The second time was again in NYC where, like a seasoned expert, I introduced it to my travel buddies, all of whom seemed a little skeptical to try an East Indian sandwich from the side of a dodgy food truck in Times Square.

One bite … and they were hooked.

Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to accompany Gastroworld to a food bloggers meetup at The Kathi Roll Express (TKRE), courtesy of the fine folks at Zomato Canada.

As the name suggests, this quaint and quirky little restaurant specialises in kathi rolls, but not just any small selection – there’s over 40 different vegetarian and non-vegetarian rolls on offer!


What is a kathi roll?

Think of it as an Indian burrito … which is ironic given that TKRE also has (in addition to its rolls) a Grand Indian Burrito. Mostly served as a snack, the kathi roll contains a meat or vegetable filling wrapped in a paratha (soft, layered Indian bread), and sometimes coated on one side with a fried egg.

For the meetup, TKRE had a special menu prepared just for us.

The Kathi Roll Express
The Delhi Cooler

Our welcome drink, on the cosy back patio at TKRE’s Yonge and Bloor location, was a Delhi Cooler, made with vodka, mint, coriander, and Limca (a carbonated lemon/lime soda that I’ve only ever had on vacations in India), and topped off with a touch of chaat masala. It was flavourful and heavy.

As for our “starters”, we were very, very spoilt. From the mouth-watering plate of chaat, to the scrumptious Tandoori Fish, the burst of flavours had us rushing to scoop up every last bit on our plates.

But it was the Tandoori Wings that truly hit the proverbial ball right out of the park. Marinated in yoghurt, ginger, garlic and aromatic spices, before being tossed in the tandoor oven, it was … in one word … incredible. And now I’m salivating from the memory of it.

The Kathi Roll Express
Chat (wheat wafers, chickpeas, yoghurt, mint sauce)

The Kathi Roll Express
Tandoori Fish (fried fish on a bed of yellow rice)

The Kathi Roll Express
Tandoori Wings (aromatic spices, yoghurt, ginger, garlic)
The Kathi Roll Express
Four different types of kathi rolls!

And we were only just getting started!

What followed was four different kathi rolls:

  1. Butter Chicken
  2. Paneer Shaslik
  3. Peri Peri Chicken Tikka
  4. Shami Kabab

Every roll was a star in their own right and equally delicious, but the Butter Chicken roll, made with a creamy butter sauce and tangy spices, would have to be my top pick.

By this time, we were sufficiently full, but had to unbutton our jeans for one final course – dessert. Here again, TKRE treated us to a twofer: a shot of mango lassi followed by a selection of Indian milk cakes … or as I fondly know them, mithai.

The Kathi Roll Express
Mango Lassi

The Kathi Roll Express
Milk cakes

Fortunately, the cakes were packed away in a cute little takeway box, and accompanied by a lovely, personalised handwritten card from our Zomato hosts. While they may be new on the scene, Zomato scores a lot of points on really engaging and getting to know its users. Hosting these types of meetup events, and collaborating with quality restaurants like TKRE who share the vision, is one of the main reasons I love supporting these folks, and enjoy documenting my dining experiences.

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A big thank you to Zomato for hosting such an awesome meetup, and to TKRE for spoiling us with such a generous menu! It’s always a treat connecting with fellow food bloggers over something that we’re mutually passionate about.


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