Late last winter, work quietly began on the space that would eventually house India Rosa, a new Indian restaurant on the corner of Mont-Royal and Brébeuf. Everyday I would walk by wondering when this place would finally open and a few weeks ago, the decor was finally revealed; it is stunning. From the second I saw inside the restaurant (I’ve had my face up against the windows more often than I care to admit) I knew I wanted to cover it for DJNL. Last week, I finally got my chance to try some of the food. From beginning to end, it was outstanding – you need to come to the Plateau to try it for yourself.
Starting with the decor, India Rosa is a work of art. The months-long work it took to transform this space was well worth the wait. Warm, natural elements like honey-coloured wood and a slate floor make up the bulk of the decor’s backdrop. Velvety mint green and light pink coloured cushions, fresh flowers and plants soften the restaurant’s aesthetic, creating an inviting atmosphere. It’s not a typical restaurant you’d find on the Plateau which makes it all the more unique.
The food at India Rosa is some of the best Indian food I’ve tried in Montreal. Whether you’re out for a cocktail and quick bite or you’re more interested in settling in for a full meal, you won’t be disappointed in what this restaurant offers. They have a spectacular (and well priced) cocktail and wine menu. The cocktails are Indian-inspired takes on classics that are packed with flavour. We tried the Indian Summer (Indian Summer gin, chartreuse, lemon juice, homemade chai syrup) and a virgin take on Rosa’s Elixir (normally made with Hendrick’s, Lillet blanc, cardamom syrup, lemon juice and coriander).
For our meal, we started with three entrees that could have been a meal in themselves. India Rosa’s vegetarian samossas baked to perfection with a crisp chickpea crust and piping hot ingredients that burst with spicy flavour. Their fried onion bahjis, which were coated in an Indian lentil batter, had a light herb taste and despite being fried, didn’t feel heavy or greasy. We also tried the malai shrimp which were marinated with cardamon and cashews. The marinade didn’t mask the natural flavour of the shrimp which was a treat.
As we finished our entrees we realized that we were already getting pretty full but this didn’t stop us from continuing with the meal. For the main course we tried both the vindaloo lamb and tikka chicken. The vindaloo lamb had a spicy, perfumed flavour and the meat was cooked so well, it fell apart at easily at the touch of a fork. The portion was well sized. The tikka chicken was equally flavourful with a deeply spiced yoghurt sauce and generous serving of chicken. It was excellent, it was all excellent – I can’t say that enough.
I couldn’t end this article without mentioning the sublime service we received at the restaurant. The team works very well together and the causal yet professional approach the restaurant has towards their patrons allows us to feel welcome in the space. India Rosa hit it out of the park with our visit and as I sit and write this article at 10:30 in the morning, I am starving and all I can think about is Indian food. I can’t wait to go back.
Image credit: David Major-Lapierre