No haven for the indifferent philistine, Indian vegetarian restaurant Perfection Satisfaction Promise is rich with the artistic, philosophical, and spiritual influence of Sri Chinmoy, a renowned Bengali author, poet, artist and spiritual philosopher. Colourful prints of his art hang from the walls, a single shelf near the beverage cooler contains a sampling of his books and other works on eastern philosophy and meditation, and the staff, both servers and cooks, wear traditional Indian saris. A stack of sheets containing a passage of Chinmoy’s teachings on happiness is located near the entrance, and patrons are invited to take one as they exit. As well as displaying his artistic and philosophical influence, Satisfaction Perfection Promise actually derives its name directly from Sri Chinmoy, whom the owners had a chance to speak with at a prayer meeting held by Chinmoy. Indeed, the little restaurant is conducive to the peace and tranquility its owners and staff support. Located at 167 Laurier, at the corner of Laurier Ave. E. and King Edward St. and set steps down from the sidewalk, Perfection Satisfaction Promise offers a bright, cool escape from the frenetic activity of the city outside. Greenery is plentiful, with plants on every window ledge, and the ambient flute, drum and occasional sitar of classical Indian music play softly from overhead speakers. While the place is relatively small, lending it an intimate atmosphere, good use is made of the space it offers, with bright white walls and ceiling, save for one yellow accent wall and a large mirror.
Perfection Satisfaction Promise’s menu offers an array of mostly Indian soups, salads, entrees, and deserts. Many foods are vegan, and are easily identified on the menu by a tiny lettuce leaf symbol located next to each one. All items on the menu are vegetarian. Considering inflation, the cost of most dishes relative to their serving size is fair if one considers that all entrees, soups and salads, as well as most baked goods and deserts served by Perfection are prepared in house, using whole (and wholesome) ingredients. Prices range from $2.00 for a baked or fried Indian Samosa, to $10.25 for a veggie burger served with the house garden salad or a bowl of soup. I visited Perfection Satisfaction Promise on two occasions prior to writing this review, and am partial to their Red Lentil Soup, which, coincidentally, was their soup of the week on both occasions. Prepared with red lentils, spinach, lemon, sweet potato and Indian spices, the Red Lentil Soup’s mild flavour is not bland, but delicate, aromatic, and slightly spicy. With a consistency similar to pea soup, the red lentil soup goes well with the free slice of 9-grain brown bread offered with each cup or bowl, which the customer ladles his or herself. Both the baked and fried samosas are satisfying as sides or snacks, filled with spiced and diced potato and peas, and served with a tangy tomato-onion chutney. Perfection’s organic lemonade, prepared in the restaurant and served in a tall class for $3.00 or a shorter glass for $2.25, offers a refreshing accompaniment to any meal or snack, and any one of the restaurant’s six varieties of cakes, squares, and brownies should seriously tempt any diner with room to spare for desert. While I’ve never experienced much of a sweet tooth, I tried both the vegan carrot cake and the brownie and found both to be flavourful, rich and moist. Taking a third of the menu, Perfection Satisfaction Promise’s signature is a selection of “Painted Potato” dishes going at between $6.50 and $9.00 per serving. The Painted Potato choose-your-own-adventure experience begins with a choice of baked potato, mashed potato, sweet potato, or brown rice, over which a topping is served. The diner next selects one or two vegetarian toppings out of eleven. Don’t be fooled by the label “topping” though; each topping is a medley of flavours and textures on its own, from the Indian Dhal to the Pesto and Sour Cream to the Broccoli and Cheese. - M
167 Laurier Avenue East
613 234 8840