An aroma of East Indian spices filled the atmosphere as we stepped into the Indian Flame Bar and Grill on a Wednesday night in May. Custom chairs with IF design and custom logo plates give the place a personal charm in their rustic decor.
Located on Highway 20 in Thorold on the east side of the Allanburg Bridge overlooking the Welland Canal, this restaurant serves more than just a diverse dinner option serving authentic East Indian and Canadian cuisine. It is also a hot spot for Allanburg locals to get a bite to eat and enjoy drinks.
The owner of Indian Flame, Rika stepped out to be our server. He has owned and renovated the restaurant for the past 10 years. By helping us choose our dinner, Rika showed his friendly service and knowledge about their cuisine that is rooted in his family’s heritage.
This restaurant reflects our country’s multiculturalism as Rika explained many Canadians from many ethnicities have enjoyed his signature North Indian dishes like Curry and Vindloo. For customers who prefer Canadian foods, Indian Flame offers North American classics such as burgers, wings, and buffalo chicken wraps. My friend and co-worker Jordan Higham, a loyal Indian flame customer, recommended their Buffalo Chicken Wrap, but it is only available on the lunch menu.
Our excitement fizzled after we learned that their draft beer was not available. They usually feature a promotion on 20 oz. Sleeman draft for only $7. So we switched and started with Sleeman bottles and drank the bar dry after only one each. That was okay because we came primarily with an appetite to taste the unique East Indian foods.
Authentic East Indian Cuisine
Indian Flame was truly an authentic experience. Rika explained his Curry consists of a recipe with herbs and spices that have been passed down by his family for generations. He asked us how spicy we wanted the Curry. So we pumped it up for “nice and hot”. He rated the Curry he served us as an 8/10 on the hot scale. Typically, he satisfies most customers with a 4/10. It is safe to say I was able to hold my own at the Indian Flame. The fireworks of flavours pleased our palate with an amazing explosion of flavours that I did not taste before.An authentic culinary experience in Thorold
The appetizers were served promptly and food was hot, the way we enjoy it. The two of us started by sharing a Samosa ($5) seasoned potatoes and peas wrapped in a light pastry, served in a small bowl. It was flavourful.
The Onion Bhajee ($8) was a generous portion of eight pieces, sliced onions, crisp fried and seasoned with garbanzo batter, served with a tangy sauce that enhanced the food with a long, tasty finish. It was a tantalizing start to our dinner.Onion Bhajee was excellent
For the main course we asked Rika for tips on their signature dishes. So we tried the Vindloo with Beef in a hot and tangy sauce with Roti ($22). We also enjoyed the Curry Lamb ($22) because the East Indian cuisine is all about the curry. The lamb was nice and tender, but the beef was chewy. Rika proudly boasted that their award-winning curry and sauces are hand-made on the premises from scratch.
As an amazing coincidence to the flavourful foods that set our mouths on fire, we noticed the Thorold Fire Department responding to an emergency in the area. We just sipped on drinks to quench our thirst and chill the mouth heat.
After the meal, we stepped out to the patio for a chat with Rika. He showed us the patio that overlooks the Welland Canal. Patio drinks are always refreshing in the summer around a waterway or beach. Indian Flame has a cozy patio where patrons can relax outside and enjoy the panoramic view watching boats cruise through Thorold.
Check out indianflamebarandgrill.com for more information.