We’ll see you in there.
Connect to customize your food & drink discovery.
Each of Toronto’s 158 neighbourhoods presents a different perspective of the city and a charm unique to the local restaurants, attractions, corner stores and residents that call those few blocks their home.
Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood is well known for its elaborate collection of luxury fashion boutiques, cafés and lavish restaurants packed to the brim with guests as a testament to the quality of their offerings. Adrak Yorkville fits seamlessly into this carefully composed symphony but also succeeds at standing out as the first to bring elevated Indian food to a city known widely for its diversity.
Adrak, located just a few steps south of Avenue and Davenport Roads, is a newer and just as polished addition to the area serving high-end Indian cuisine prepared by chefs that have been trained under a Michelin-star chef with exceedingly sharpened skills, Chef Vineet Bhatia.
In 2001, Bhatia became the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star for a restaurant he had opened two years prior in Chelsea, London, called Zaika. He describes his cooking as “modern, progressive Indian cuisine” and passionately claims that his cooking is, “from my heart and from my mind.”
Among a growing list of international ventures Bhatia has created along his journey, this passion and soul has now been brought to Toronto, thanks to Adrak’s owner Ambica Jain, and is evident throughout one’s dining experience.
Although this is Adrak’s second location, the first being located in Richmond Hill, it is a more refined dining experience embellished by incredibly attentive service, an elevated menu and elegantly designed dining rooms. Additionally, the kitchen uniquely possesses no head chef and is run collaboratively as each chef respectively takes care of an area of the menu that pertains to his or her expertise.
Upon arriving for dinner at Adrak, one is greeted by the Hindu idol Ganesha seated on a marble tabletop, stained by blues and golds with depictions of the arts. Lord Ganesha is said to bring prosperity as well as good fortune, and is worshipped typically before starting a new endeavour.
Past the entranceway, one enters the distinguished dining room, painted in bright yellows, deep greens, and beiges, and is entirely furnished with décor and furniture imported from India. Woven patterns are seen repeated in the archways, backs of chairs, and wall patterning to create a visually stunning setting for your experience.
The menu itself is not an outlier of Adrak’s meticulous design, with a warm greeting written across the front and a guiding map included in the bar menu. Head bartender Rakesh Mulik explains that each cocktail is placed in a certain province on the map due to its connection to an ingredient, historical moment, or geographical feature.
Their most popular cocktail is called the Himalayan, an amber-coloured drink that arrives in a smoke-filled glass dome and is garnished with a marshmallow to represent snow -- which in this case will luckily never melt.
This smoky drink contains a balanced mix of Bulleit bourbon, spiced oolong tea, and a slight sweetness from the French vanilla, but is dominated by saffron -- a spice that was imported through the Himalayan Mountains bordering India from Kashmir.
Near the centre of the map is a small picture of silk hanging and half-woven to represent the Golden Nine Yards cocktail, named in correlation to the typical length of a saree. The depiction is placed in Karnataka, the Indian province that produces nearly 50 per cent of the country’s highest quality silk that is used to create sarees, mulberry silk.
One cocktail with a historical connection to the introduction of the tomato to Indian cuisine is called the Biliti Begun. It contains tomato juice and is symbolized on the map by two tomatoes that dot the East side where the British first introduced the fruit. In India the Bengali name for tomato is “biliti begun,” meaning “English aubergine,” and is now a staple ingredient in a number of authentic Indian curries and dishes.
The intricacy of the bar menu is reflected in the interactive service present throughout dinner. If creative tableside interaction and presentation is something you look for in a dining experience then look no further than Adrak!
Their Rani Kachori is such a beautifully designed small plate it almost hurts to watch the crisp puri bowl draped in silky, pink yogurt crack open as the waiter gently taps it with a spoon. However, the deep-fried bread hides treasure inside and all is forgiven once one tastes the incredibly balanced sweet, spicy, tangy, and savoury flavour of the chickpeas, vegetables and chutney offset by the crunch of the puri and pomegranate seeds.
Watching the tomato-fenugreek sauce coat tandoor-roasted pieces of boneless chicken to create the dish commonly known as butter chicken, but organically known as Murgh Makhani, is a drool-worthy moment.
It may only be comparable to the anticipation one feels while watching manager Tatoba Rane carefully cut open the seedy puff pastry that encapsulates their Awhadi Gosht Biryani. Rane explains that the lamb and rice finish cooking under the puff pastry cover to lock in the nutrients, juice and flavour. It is paired appropriately with a delicate garlic yogurt.
Adrak’s Pista Lamb Chops are a crowd favourite and arrive at the table presented elaborately on a wide dish encased by a high lid in smoke. The meat from these elegantly stacked lamb chops is tender with a slight kick of spice, and the sweet sauce they are coated in combines with the nuttiness from their pistachio crust and a dollop of mint chutney provides a decadent bite.
While the bar menu’s cocktails are inspired by specific regions, the food menu takes on inspiration from provinces throughout India as well as modern and slightly altered iterations of Indian classics. There doesn’t appear to be a single element of Adrak Yorkville that is not carefully thought out and deeply related culturally or historically to the South Asian country.
A private dining room hides on the second floor decorated with paintings that each depict historical moments or symbols of significance. The décor here has also been imported from India, including a stunning pink and beige stone wall ornament that punctuates the back wall of the room.
Mulik has also hinted at the possibility of new sustainable menu items hitting the restaurant’s menu in the near future with a generous tasting of pineapple syrup he freshly made from the skin of a pineapple.
Adrak certainly offers a thorough and enriching dining experience, while filling a necessary gap in Toronto’s food scene. They are currently open for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Wednesday to Monday.
Reservations are available on OpenTable for anyone new to or long-time lovers of Indian cuisine!