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East Indian Restaurants


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I've recently began eating East Indian cuisine and wondered if anyone can suggest a good inexpensive restaurant. I've tried a few in Vancouver and would prefer not to travel further. I know Surrey has a lot of very good restaurants but my eating companions are hard-core Vancouverites. There are lots along the Main and 49th corridor, as well as Marine Drive and 60-ish.

What places have eGulliteers tried?

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Maxmillan,

Here's a list of places that we find very reliable for fresh ingradients; 'clean' cooking (ie. not the pond-bottom of muddy flavours on offer from some Indian restaurants; and that have servers who are happy to help you with your education in matters incandescent.

One of the best areas to begin your cheap and cheerful sleuthing is in a two block radius of Granville and West Broadway.

At Rangoli, Vikram Vij's adjunct to his highly successful signature room next door, you'll find the same cleanly wrought flavours brought into a very pretty new room. On its east wall, look for banks of coolers that offer prettily-packaged take-away, the better to appease your new nocturnal addiction. An active display kitchen lines the other side; in-between, happy diners find it hard to spend much more than $10. The menu is short and fresh, but if Vik is in the room, ask him for a recommendation. And in the men's room, find an endless reel of Bollywood classics paly out on a wall-mounted screen.

On West Broadway, just east of Granville near Cru and Memphis Blues, a tiny jewel called Velvet produces careful ramps of flavour. The room has Indian provenance too--it's the original site of Vij's--but the multi-tasking owner is Korean. Welcome to the DNA of Vancouver dining. Ridiculously cheap: chick pea curry with a skewer of chicken for 10 bucks. And romantic too.

Two blocks west, just past Fir Street, you'll find a soaring space of many flavours--including local fish (halibut, salmon) wedded to tradtional Indian spicing. Maurya is certainly no hole-in-yhe-wall, however you're more than welcome to do an imprmptu tatsting at the bar. The wine list is the best of any Indian retsaurant in town, the owner Laleet incredibly gracious and a fount of information.

Akbar's Own (1905 West Broadway) offers northwestern--Muglai and Kashmiri--quite mildly spiced Indian at reasonable prices: pilaus, biryania, tikkas. Very fresh, and nice folks.

Planet Veg (on the Cornwall Avenue cafe strip near Cypress) has vegetarian dishes at death-defying prices. The Basmati pot is just $8 and fresh and vibrant.

Rubina Tandoori has a diffusion line of outlets called Rubina Express. You'll find them at Granville Island, Carlyle Centre (downtown) and capilano Mall in North Vancouver. Think Mumbai (Bombay) street food--delicious, quick and cheap. Frequent weekday line-ups at the downtown location over the lunch hour.

Del-Hi Darbar on Main Street (2100 block) is also inexpensive: try the murg tikka and papri chat.

Other notables as you get your bearings: All India Sweets, Annapurna, Ashiana, Da Tandoori, Himalaya, India Grill, Nooru Mahal, and The Quilon.

Happy eating, and let us know how you do.

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver Magaziine

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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You have friends that refuse anything outside of the city limits proper based on some bizzarre "too hip for suburbia" rationale? I was going to mock and suggest you expand your base of aquaintences, then I remembered I have the same problem. THere is nothing funnier than aging hipsters that pride themselves on their "downtown lifestyle" and "open attitude" yet are afraid of Scott Road. Yeah, way to going exploring Magellan. Then again on the other hand I also have friends who are the diametrical opposite, terrified of Commercial or Main.

Still, hardcore Vancouverites should be slapped. Actually "hardcore" anything deserves a slap. City dwellers, runners, oenophiles, whatever, step back and take in a little perspective.

If you get tired of the clean fresh vibrant flavours of Rangoli et al, head down to little India on Main for some Indian food that is if nothing else, cheap. We periodically go to the buffet on the south-west corner of Main and 49th. Something like 5.99 per person. Quite good, although certainly not excellent. Vegetarian. Aloo Gobi, chick peas and panneer, dal; Simple reasanable food. Occasionally we order a meat entree to suplement. The clientele is hilarious, big Indian families (not funny), students from Langara looking for a cheap feed (again not that funny), and hippies, (totally upriotously funny. Yeah, being a hippy in 2004 is pretty damn amusing.) Stay away from the Samosas. Tandori chicken wings make you wish an NFL game was on rather than the bollywood flick ussually showing. And I doubt that is Kingfisher on tap as they claim.

If you really want a sureal Indian meal, head to the Hare Krishna temple on Marine Drive, east of Patterson, north of Marine Way. It's pretty easy to find, the 40 foot statue of Krishna out front is a "Blues Clues" level hint that even hyper 3 year olds can deduce. We've only gone once, food was very average at best, very similar to the above mentioned place on Main, although more home cooked style (and I don't really mean that in a good way). The night we went was the night Princess Diana was killed in Paris, so who knows what has changed since then. (That was an interesting evening. First dinner there, then in the car to hear the news from Paris. The whole world seemed to be going bizzaro on us.) Guarantee you won't find a hair in your food though.

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LOL! I love your posts Keith. And I agree with your assessment of "hardcore". My brother refers to the food found around the Pujabi Market area as "ghetto". I'm more a student of the Tony Bourdaine school of eating ... if it's good enough for everyday folk then count me in!

We periodically go to the buffet on the south-west corner of Main and 49th ... Stay away from the Samosas.

I hope that's All-India Sweets and not the Himalaya you're talking about! The samosas at the Himalaya are IMO the best nosh value in the city. 50 cents each! I'm not talking gourmet or even healthy here ... but pure unadulterated chowhound nervana. Add a 6-pack of your favorite IPA and eat yourself silly. :blink:

If you really want a sureal Indian meal, head to the Hare Krishna temple on Marine Drive, east of Patterson, north of Marine Way.

I grew up about five minutes from there. The restaurant is called Govinda's - 5462 S.E. Marine Drive, Burnaby; 604-433-9728. The statue still freaks me out. Kinda like going to Temple Square in Salt Lake City though. I agree with Keith ... average. But cheap.

Other favorites ... Del-Hi Darbar (dosas!) ... Vij's (of course), Rangoli (3 times I agree with Jamie???), and another "ghetto" spot in Burnaby ... used to be "Planet India" (complete with neon paint & planets on the ceiling!) which is now part of the "Handi" group.

One other small find ... probably going to get flamed for this ... but Curry-in-a-Hurry packages up pekoras and samosas for Costco. My kids like them anyway.

DA

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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What is the name of the joint on the SW of Main & 49th? There is also a very similar place at the NW corner of Main & 50th. The street is anchored by these two dueling Indian vegetarian buffets. We've been to both, but continue to return to 49th oppsed to 50th because the only difference is free pampadams.

And if you get flamed for anything, it'll be shopping at Costco, not buying prepared Indian.

One last thing. "...if it's good enough for everyday folk then count me in!" Us peasants appreciate your open mind. Generally the aristocracy have such closed opinions.

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maxmillan-one gem that fits your parameters is East is East -3243 W. Broadway.

Indian, Iranian, Afghani and Tibetan food all 100% homemade.

Excellent Chai and licensed as well.

Very authentic-music and seating to match any Khyber pass truck stop/tea shop.

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Jenna Jamison for President

2004 Campaign

I'm sorry Mr. Talent, but in light of your recent diatribe bemoaning anything hardcore, any 'installing' will necessarily be left to others. Ms. Jamison, however, would like to share with you that she has been wanting to shoot with Condi for some time now. Scrabble and a selection of herbal teas afterward.

Sincerely yours,

F. Morris Chatters

Communications Director

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Jenna Jamison for President

2004 Campaign

Dear Mr. Talent,

I passed your request for submission along immediately to Ms. Jamison, and although she typically prefers to be dominate, between takes with Condi she allowed that she would like to hear you out. That is because she is curious, or as she said, 'insatiably curious.'

By the way, we used Rummy's unused rose petals to great effect on the shoot, and to answer your next question, Condi looks great in 101st Airborne camoflauge.

So fire away.

F. Morris Chatters

Communications Director

PS--To stay on topic, Ms. Jamison wanted you to know that she enjoys a good vindaloo as much as the next (working) girl.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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And if you get flamed for anything, it'll be shopping at Costco, not buying prepared Indian.

Talent -

Yeah, well, I figured it'd be over Costco. Call it my one weakness for big box retail and accept my most humble and sincere apologies ... except for the big box of organic mixed baby greens salad!

One last thing. "...if it's good enough for everyday folk then count me in!" Us peasants appreciate your open mind. Generally the aristocracy have such closed opinions

I guess if I'm royalty I don't have to apologize! :raz:

BTW ... the Himalayan is at 50th ... so it must be All India Sweets at 49th.

I thought Jenna would have been more a butter chicken girl ...

DA

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Jenna if you are a butter chicken girl, the best and cheapest is on the drive, called tandorri palace, geat naan bread there too and very clean, which is always a nice bonus. I have eaten at the temple on Marine drive a few years back and mr. Talent i think a little hair ball was in my chai tea, i would be a little wary if that is the place that you talking about.

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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My favourite hole-in-the-wall Indian places are All India Sweets (49th & Main) and Mahek (94th & 120th in Surrey). I never do the buffet at any of these places.

Edited by Jeffy Boy (log)
I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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A friend of mine goes to the one on SW MArine Drive and says it is quite good and not like it makes much difference but she is from Bombay and makes incredible food

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I will be eating, breathing and dreaming Indian food for the next few months.

A co-worker told me to try the vegetarian food at the Sikh Temple and that it is free. There's one in Richmond and on Marine Drive?

As for Costco, I'm guilty of buying my organic mix salad there. It's the cheapest anywhere...one pound clam shell for under $5!!!!!

I agree with the 50 cents samosas on 49th and Main...deeeeeelicious and a good value when you have your poor days.

:smile:

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There is actually a place in Maple Ridge that serves decent Indian Food called the G and M. The good news is it's right next store to a Source Adult video store. Thus satisfying both subjects of this thread. Porn and Papadam! Samosas and Sodomy! or perhaps Dildos and Dahl?

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Mia Stainsby wrote about Chutney Villa (147 East Broadway; 604-872-2228) today in the Sun. South Indian and Newfoundlander proprietors, which sounds pretty much ideal--if you promise not to screech.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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There is actually a place in Maple Ridge that serves decent Indian Food called the G and M. The good news is it's right next store to a Source Adult video store.

Coop! I know the place! My kids live out in Pitt Meadows so I drive past every now and then ... past the Indian place I mean ... never even noticed the porn shop. :rolleyes:

Good to know there's a place I can take the kids for decent Indian without having to return to Vancouver. There was also a pretty good place for suhi just off Harris. New owners now. Not so good. :sad:

DA

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There's a great place on Kingsway, a couple blocks west of Joyce beside the Raja theatre, called the Good Morning Panwalla. It's a very casual spot with good food.

My girlfriend recommends a dosa restaurant on the NW corner of Clark and Hastings though I haven't had the dosas there myself.

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Chutney Villa is quite good - friendly staff and clean tastes. I also like the Indian restaurant upstairs on W. 4th, kitty corner from Las Margaritas. I wish I could remember it's name - I think it's Indian Oven.

If you want someplace cheap but good (not great), much better than some of the buffets on Main and 49th-ish, then check out New India Buffet at 805 West Broadway in the medical hi-rise. Lunch is $7.95 and Dinner is $9.95 - you can't go wrong at that price if you only had the Gulab Jamin for desert (on top of the sweet rice is a great combo). It's much better than the Indian buffet at the foot of Davie Street.

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Tried the New India Buffet last week and it wasn't bad. They had a deep fried sweet ball, which, I'm sure, had sweet condensed milk throughout and it was very very good. It wasn't the best Indian restaurant but it was a good value.

I plan to lunch at Maurya on Broadway and Granville, Goya on Fraser and 41st and a place on Fraser and 25th, Nuru Mahal (excuse my spelling.) I saw an ad for Dosa Hut on 1279 E. Hastings @ Clark (South Indian) and don't know anything about that one.

Thanks for all your suggestion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We were in Vancouver last week on our book tour for THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF (locals can keep an eye out for a piece by Mia Stainsby in the Vancouver Sun in the coming week or two), and ended up eating not once but twice at Vikram Vij's RANGOLI.

On our first visit, we especially loved the lamb and pork curries...and on our second, we were sent the crabcakes to try, which were delicious. But mainly we went to try the Indian coffee, which Vikram was disappointed we'd missed on our first visit. Andrew was told that the beans are imported then roasted to order by the same company that custom-roasts the beans for Charlie Trotter's in Chicago. Our second visit also gave us opportunity to see the Bollywood films which air in the bathroom stalls...which Vikram pointed out are positioned as only viewable from a certain (i.e. "seated") angle!

We were delighted to learn that Vikram is one of several prominent Indian chefs being featured at a Monday, June 7th dinner at TABLA in our home town of New York City -- a special event celebrating "New Indian Cooking in America" featuring Madhur Jaffrey, Thomas John, Jehangir Mehta, Suvir Saran, VV and of course Floyd Cardoz, executive chef of TABLA. We wouldn't dream of missing it!

Karen & Andrew

Our visit to Vancouver, etc.

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I went to the new New India Buffet in Richmond last night. On Number 3, Across from Ukrainian Tire and The ABC, in the space recently vacated by Knight & Day. (What an awesome block, what couln't you get there? Breakfast, new car battery and then over to Knight & Day for a classy lunch.)

Too much food on the steam tables for the number of peopel inside. Quality was average, nothing particulary outstanding. The "Vegetable Pockets" were curious. My kid had one that she wasn't eating, I grabbed it and bit. Hmmm, tasted familiar. Didn't know Indians used sour cream, definately tasted of sour cream and not yougurt. Hmmm. Hold on, those are freaking deep fried perogies on an Indian Buffet.

The other strange phenomena was I drank at least eight glasses of water before bed, yet to be slightly indelicate, didn't exit it from my system. I'm concerned if perhaps they forget to remove the silica gel from the chaffing dishes after unpacking?

It'll be a good while before I go back.

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