The Fat Beet is an all day eatery at the base of a condo tower in Thornhill where Indian and Israeli cuisines meet on one menu. Expect to find thali combos ($19.80) and veggie samosas ($9.80) alongside pita sandwiches and an array of vibrant vegetable dishes.
The interior is sleek and modern. Chevron floors, vinyl lettering in the windows advertising"street food," a wall of distressed wood panels and a chalkboard are among the few evocative details.
Food arrives to the table as it's ready, and in this case the corn cakes ($9.80), which resemble mini muffins, are up first. These little cakes are fluffy, moist and studded with corn niblets, translucent onions and the subtle flavour of celery seeds.
Next up is a red quinoa salad ($9.80) with watercress leaves and watermelon radishes in a lemon, mustard and sumac dressing.
My favourite dish of the day is a plate of mung beans ($9.80), which features onions, curry leaves, pepper and mustard seed. The dish comes topped with roasted carrots, za'atar spiced pita croutons and dollops of thick and creamy sumac-dusted labneh.
The main entrees at lunch hour are pico ($11.90), intended as a cross between tacos and pita wraps - they're fanciful creations that come with fillings ranging from chicken schnitzel dressed with pickles and harissa to lamb meatballs with warm yogurt, pine nuts and pomegranate.
I try the crispy shrimp, which comes with Sriracha-marinated prawns in a creamy dressing with arugula and slaw. The flavours don't strike me as particularly Israeli, but it is tasty nonetheless.
The toasty pita is particularly good. It's seasoned with greek yogurt, garlic, lavender and ginger and is baked to order.
Sandwiches come accompanied by a choice of the aforementioned quinoa salad or a side of addictive Phoenician fries sprinkled with parsley and sumac and served with a whipped garlic dipping sauce.
Love rice ($16.80) is another vegetarian option on the menu. This boldly flavoured briyani-like dish is laden with tangy pickled vegetables and finished with creamy tzatziki.
From the list of heartier mains there's a peppery pan-fried halibut ($19.80) in sambar curry with potatoes. It's not especially spicy but the heat creeps up on me the more I eat.
I'll have to return to try out the brunch menu. Dishes like butter chicken shakshuka and sweet potato pancakes with yogurt and maple leave me intrigued.
Photos by Jesse Milns