Fooderies in Vancouver part 1: Indian

What about a series on restaurants in Vancouver? Sure the Straight and whatever other websites all have their “best of” Vancouver, but I don’t know any of those reviewers so fie on them. I want to know what my trusted friends think. So, first off, let’s talk Indian food. What’s the best Indian place you’ve been to? What was your experience like?

There’s three places I’ve been to lately.

New India Buffet & Restaurant has the benefit of being the closest to me (on Broadway near the hospital). It also has a really good atmosphere. This is one of the few restaurants where I feel okay to take some books & papers and eat and work. The booths are nice and reasonably private. The best part is the buffet. I have never ordered off the menu. I walk in and sometimes I’m not even greeted by anyone, which suits me fine – I just drop my coat in a booth and start on the buffet. The food is not amazing, but they have what I like about Indian food – tasty butter chicken and naan, and gulab jamon – those little desert balls covered in syrup. Because Indian food is my favourite cuisine, but I can’t handly spicy/hot foods, that’s often all that I have. The buffet is $10 for lunch and a little more for dinner. This is one of those experiences I treat myself rarely to, because I tend to eat slowly but constantly over the course of 60-120 minutes, and walk out feeling completely stuffed.

New India Buffet & Restaurant

Maurya Indian Cuisine (also on Broadway but closer to Granville) also has a buffet, which I tried once, just for a change and because I had a coupon. The food was good enough, but all the open tables with no separations had me feeling like I was in a Chinese restaurant. What can I say, I’m a booth man. Maurya gets lots of good reviews but for me something happened that was unforgivable. Since they change up the buffet menu, when I went there was no butter chicken. Sorry kids, that just doesn’t cut it.

Indian Oven on West 4th has, as far as Joyce & I are concerned, the best Chicken Korma in the city. The butter chicken is also very good. Price is good but sometimes the wait is long. And what’s the deal with these restaurants where rice and naan are extra? Weird. Plus they deliver! But make sure they got your order right before you pay. Isn’t that perennial advice, though?

I remember going to Annapurna on 4th, but it’s been so long I really can’t comment.
Has anyone been to Nirvana? (the restaurant)

3 Replies to “Fooderies in Vancouver part 1: Indian”

  1. I have eaten in many Indian places, from the unbelievably yummy Surat Sweet’s Vegetarian goodness on 4th to the utilitarian quality of some of the joints at 49th and main. The Nirvana was the first Indian restaurant I ever went to when I was 12 (yes, that long ago) but I imagine it has changed hands a few times since then. My current fave is in Richmond, call Tandoori Kona and it is great! Lunch time is crazy busy, but dinner is usual relaxed.

    Keep exploring!

  2. Nirvana is great. They have all the classics, and they do it all well. The New India Buffet is the utilitarian solution for the budget minded.

    But, without a shadow of a doubt the best Indian/Indian-fusion in the city is Vij’s on 11th and Granville. It’s not cheap, but it is one of those unforgettable dining experiences. Now, they don’t take reservations, and the line-up usually starts about a half hour before they open. However, they have a lounge in the back so you can sit and drink, and they bring around complimentary finger foods while you wait. I have a friend that sincerely believes it is the finest restaurant in the city, regardless of genre, and at times its hard to argue.

  3. I have heard a few things about Vij’s, but busy restaurants are anathema to me. Maybe some day I will brave it.

    I will definitely have to check out Surat Sweet on West 4th!

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