With a city as multicultural as ours, the food scene is anything but bland. The selection of authentic cuisine is phenomenal with menus from all around the world. But if you are looking for comforting cuisine that brings people together, I have one answer: Indian food.
Indian cuisine is full of flavors, colors and spices, and offers a wide variety of dishes and recipes sure to please everyone. Being vegetarian, one of the best things about Indian cuisine is how vegetarian friendly it can be. Indian food is the perfect choice for plant-based diets, you’ll just have to brave the heat! Even if you can’t handle the spice, there is so much to Indian food beyond its Scoville levels. Outside of spicy curries, there’s also filling samosas, creamy sauces, and delectable sweet desserts.
If you remain skeptical, I highly recommend trying Restaurant Sahib. For West Islander foodies who love to indulge in the spicy, Restaurant Sahib is one of the top restaurants they list. There’s good reason this cozy restaurant is so well loved. Not only is their food authentic and delicious, it’s the perfect restaurant to suit your convenience. With delivery and sit-down, you can satisfy your cravings anytime you want. You also can’t go wrong with its price! With its freshly prepared buffet menu ranging from $14.95 to $19.95, Restaurant Sahib is the best Indian place in the West Island to get your Indian food fixing.
Just by looking at the menu, you’re opened to a giant array of options, it can almost seem overwhelming. For newcomers, just flag down one of the welcoming staff for their recommendations. If you want to go safe, start-off with their top-rated samosas. For your main course , you can’t go wrong with one of their curry dishes… but if you can’t handle the spice, their butter chicken is one of the best rated in Montreal! Ordering a-la-carte also gives you options on how spicy you want your curry. Just reading their descriptions on the menu will make your mouth water.
Want to try more of their menu? Don’t worry – their buffet option has you covered. Stop in anytime from 11:30am to 2:30pm or 5:00pm to 9:30pm for an all you should eat buffet. Although it’s not the entire menu that’s offered, you still get a wide selection to choose from. Just make sure you leave room for some Gulab Jamun for a sweet ending!
After taking in some serious grub, we sat down with Restaurant Sahib’s owner, Rajiv, to discuss our shared passion for food, and especially the current food culture in Montreal.
Rajiv: I always dreamed of opening a restaurant, I have been working as a general manager, and when the opportunity came, I took it. I started my career in India, I started working as an apprentice in one of the most prestigious hotels called the Oberoi, and then I went to live in Salzburg Austria, and did a degree in one of the most renowned schools. I always dreamed of moving to North America. I lived in Bermuda for four years and managed a restaurant while I was there. Then I met up with the Bombay palace group in North America and they sponsored me to move to Montreal to take over their one of their restaurants. I worked for them for 9 years, and the restaurant was sold because the owner did not want to pursue it anymore, so that was when I opened my restaurant here. It was an Italian restaurant, which I took over because it went bankrupt and made Restaurant Sahib. I had a concept of what I wanted to do, we opened with 0 sales, and we built our clients one at a time. That was 17 years ago, in 2003. This is our 17th year. We had MTLBlog and Narcity write about us on a few occasions too. The West Island demographic has changed over the years, we’re welcoming a lot more French clientele where Indian food is becoming more Mainstream.
It has changed considerably. When I first came here from 1993, our client base started out as British people, where Indian food was number one in England, who wanted what they knew from England. But now more and more people are recognizing that Indian food has gotten more mainstream, 7 or 8 years ago maybe?
When I started out, I wanted it to be an Indian pub. I wanted to serve British beer with Indian food. While we still have British beers, we added Austrian beer because I found my favourite beer from Salzburg, we also have Guinness and some Indian beer on tap. The concept of becoming a British style Indian pub was what we wanted to do in the beginning. We’re pretty much that, but a lot of people now will want us to cater to them, so now the catering aspect of the business is starting to take off.
The problem with opening more locations is finding dedicated staff. We’re trying to get local, trained staff. Serving tables is not a profession in Canada – it’s something you do as a student, it’s not like Europe. I’m trying to make do with what I had here, if the occasion came where we had more employees, we will certainly expand.
Indian food is best shared, when you have 3-4 people, order some dishes, some appetizers. You just don’t order one dish for yourself, since it’s an amalgamation of lentils, daal, and chicken. We have different sections, like the tandoori style, where we have our own tandoor. Our tandoori dishes are one where meat is marinated and grilled on a skewer. We also have curries, varying from South India to North India. Down south is the Madras style, from the North we have more fruitier sauces. Feel free to ask the waiter, they’ll be happy to compose a menu for you. There you have it folks! The next time you’re struck with a craving for Indian food, make sure you stop by. You can order online on their website, call-in, or stop by for a sit-down meal. Either way, they’ll be happy to see you!
By Kristal Lok