The Cottage Cheese Urban Indian Restaurant in Kensington Market

Kensington Market in Toronto is the first place I recommend visitors to our city to check out. It’s eclectic and unlike anywhere else in the city. It’s always been a bubbling with excitement as one the most diverse neighbourhoods especially when it comes to food. Teeming with restaurants and food purveyors, it has managed to retain its uniqueness. The Cottage Cheese Urban Indian restaurant is one shining example of why adventurous locals and tourists gravitate to Kensington Market.

The Cottage Cheese Urban Indian Restaurant in Kensington Market

Opened in 2022, this quaint restaurant sits pretty on the corner of Oxford Street and Augusta Avenue. A peek through the wrap around glass front showed a bustling dining room. Tables with two’s and four’s were busy with chatter under the twinkly lights above.

Owner Pratik Parma hails from Mumbai, India and came to Canada in 2019. With his team of creative chefs, the restaurant has created a menu with familiar dishes with contemporary twists. When we inquired about “what should we try?” Our server was delighted to mention that popular dishes like Biryani are different here. The word “elevated” may feel overused these days but indeed, that’s the best way to describe the menu.

Okay, “popular” dishes weren’t what we wanted to know. Yes, we love a good butter chicken and saag paneer but we were open to going beyond the expected. So, with a little more inquiry, our server offered his favourites as well as dishes the chefs were most excited about. By the way, the menu’s legend offers a few icons to help guide diners.

Our server was also good at assessing our palates. “Do you like spicy?”, “Do you eat meat?”, and “How hungry are you?” were great jumping off points.

The Cottage Cheese Urban Indian Restaurant in Kensington Market

He also explained that every part of every dish is made from scratch in-house. But also, what’s exciting is that the chefs draw from seasonal availability of ingredients. That means, every few months they will refresh the menu. This restaurant also doesn’t just focus on one regional Indian cuisine and the recipes are kept tightly to the heart. It’s will no doubt be a culinary journey for the senses at each visit.

Their attention to detail is appreciated especially for those who have dietary restrictions. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc., are noted alongside every dish description.

To start, Beetroot Galette was a nice crunchy appetizer and led up to the meal. Grateful that they were manageable sizes that wouldn’t take up too much space for the flavourful mains ahead. Then, four beautiful Bharwa Tandoori Prawns arrived stuffed with kabbari and fresh herbs spice blend.

The Smokey Baigan Bharta was described as “the humble household eggplant with a chef’s twist” that was deliciously roasted. I know it will be one of those go-to dishes for every visit moving forward. A definitely stand-out!

The highly recommended Chicken Mango Curry was a vibrant and flavourful dish. Tangy and lightly sweet with a coconut base bathed moist morsels of chicken. We didn’t want to waste any of the sauce that we happily sopped up with garlicky naan.

The Cottage Cheese Urban Indian Restaurant in Kensington Market

Laal Maas Lamb made with mathania chillies, yogurt and fresh coriander gives a perfect spicy kick without being overpowering or numbing.

The Chicken Biryani, a fluffy steamy rice dish made with aromatic spices and onions came tucked in a pillowy presentation that kept the heat and moisture balanced.

The signature cocktail menu is also worth exploring. Along with the beautifully crafted Hibiscus Margarita, you can also find equally tasty non-alcoholic options.

Recently, The Cottage Cheese was named the Best Indian Restaurant in Toronto by the Canadian Choice Awards — a consumer driven accolade that is worthy and not just for the culinary skills but also the warm and friendly service.

“Our goal was to create a dining haven where the ambience and vibrancy coexist, but the real conversation starter is the food,” said Parmar. “Our team prides itself on consistently offering a welcoming place to gather, with amazing food and top-of-the-line hospitality. We’re so grateful to be recognized by our guests and are excited for what’s to come in 2024.”

The Cottage Cheese is located at 64 Oxford Street. Visit their website here for more details and to make reservations.


About Sonya Davidson 934 Articles
Covering events, openings and all the deliciousness in Toronto.