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Ganesh removes economic obstacle to dining out

May 2012

If you’re looking for a solid Indian restaurant for Sunday brunch, a place that also offers Western-style buffet breakfast, Restaurant Ganesh is it.

But you won’t see it on a casual drive since it’s easy to miss, located in an office building in St. Laurent, sharing a parking lot with an Esposito’s supermarket. The main dining room is a few steps down in a semi-basement, and once you enter, you will see a statue of Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of success.

You then enter a dining room, much of which is set up for traditional Indian weddings, with special chairs set up for the bride and groom and family, facing a dance floor. Crystal chandeliers give off subdued lighting over a dozen or so tables adjacent to the buffet. Popular Indian music on the loudspeakers prepares you for the taste treats to come.

We were warmly greeted by Daniel Landreville, a longtime friend of the owner, Ram, and as the first guests to arrive he offered us our choice of tables, richly set with tablecloths and cloth napkins.

The selection was displayed on two tables: the first with salads, a nice selection of fresh cut fruit, and several Indian desserts. The main table had the pakora and samosa starters, soups, curries, tandoori chicken, vegetarian dishes, nan bread cut in triangles, and appropriate condiments.

The fact that this all-you-can eat feast, from 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays, sets you back only $9.95 per person, coffee or tea included, is a tremendous deal. The selection may be wider at other Indian buffets, but it will cost you a good 50 per cent more.

All three of us agreed the quality and freshness of the food, the warm service and pleasant surroundings made it a rare find in these economically difficult times.

Barbara and my mother, Ruth, started with the fresh tomato, cucumber and lettuce salads, and passed on the potato and chick-pea salads. The veggies were fresh and crisp, so fresh that Ruth, still watching calories at 94, declared no dressing was needed.

For those who fancy a Western-style brunch, there was a table of French toast, omelettes, bacon and ham, pancakes, home-fried potatoes and beans. Kids can take home a mini-box of cereal from the dessert table—unopened.

Having had breakfast at home, I avoided the starters and sampled the curries—lamb and beef were on the milder side, just right for the time of day. The butter chicken was flavourful. Ruth and Barbara enjoyed the Basmati rice with saffron and peas while I went for the warm nan bread.

We dipped into dessert—delicious gulab jamun, spongy milky balls soaked in rose-scented syrup and caramel custard, with plenty of luscious fruit.

Ruth loved the fresh whole strawberries, contrasting their richness with the bland ones often sold at this time of year in supermarkets.

We heartily endorsed her verdict of Ganesh: “All this fresh and tasty food, and fine service for $9.95 including tea or coffee: It’s a steal.”

Restaurant Ganesh offers a special Mother’s Day brunch for $14.95 including tea or coffee and a flower for each mother. They also cater weddings and other celebrations. 300 Marcel Laurin. The buffet is offered daily. The price is $12.95 in mid-afternoon and $14.95 from 5 pm to 9 pm. Combos are $12.95. Not wheelchair accessible but only a few steps down. 514-747-9392.



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