Saffron Indian Cuisine Central Burnaby, Burnaby

Used to be a good Indian Cuisine option, still doing alright!
Rating – 3/5

The first time I had a lunch buffet at Saffron was way back in 2008 when I was visiting the lovely city of Vancouver. Back in the good old days the food items did have flavors like somewhat close to authentic Indian cuisine.

However over the years what I found is the taste has watered down considerably and is now mostly devoid of any Indian spices.

I understand the local people don’t eat too much of spicy food but being amply spiced doesn’t mean that it should be overdosed with chillies. One could have good spicy food without it being chilly and I wish someone can remind them that they used to serve some really good authentic Indian food.

Lunch buffet during the weekdays is an economical option and usually Tandoori chicken is alright but is devoid of proper marination. So once you’re done with the outer roasted covering of chicken whatever is left in the rest of the layers is completely bland. However you will do alright by having this with their awesome green chutney (mint sauce preparation)

Their butter chicken is too sweet so please don’t have any high hopes and all the people getting introduced to Indian cuisine, this is not how the butter chicken is supposed to taste.

Their onion pakodas are usually nice and good to have with the mint chutney.

Another good item on the menu is the Samosa, I have never failed to have atleast a couple of them during my numerous outings.

My favourite items from their once authentic Indian Menu were chicken vindaloo and Paneer gravy preparations, these dishes are still the best compared to the rest of the buffet fare.

In desserts, they usually have Gulab Jamuns which are always better if served hot.

Their kheer (rice pudding) is quite alright but is a little less sweet. Their other fruit custard like dessert is fairly ok as well. They also have fruits like pineapples and melons to accompany the desserts.

There is also an assortment of veggies/cold chicken cuts along with dressings available to make up for that Okayish salad preparation.

It’s best to have the lunch buffet during weekdays (around 15 CAD) due to the offered price in comparison to dinner or buffets on the weekends.

It’s definitely not the best Indian restaurant in Metro Vancouver or in Burnaby for that matter.

However for a slightly above average lunch buffet that doesn’t quite burn a hole in your pocket this isn’t a bad option at all, but beware this is not exactly close to authentic Indian food.

Village Pizzeria Harrison Hot Springs

The best Pizza I ever had!

Rating – 5/5

Let me get straight to the point, if you’re tired of the usual mundane, bland, chewy – rubbery kind of Pizza and you like your Pizza to be hot and spicy, this is the Place to be!

Try any of their Gourmet Pizzas and you will not be disappointed. My personal favourite is the Spicy Thai Chicken, one Large serving can easily satiate 3-4 people.

For this taste and attentive service it’s rather inexpensive with a Large Gourmet Pizza for 21$ only.

Whenever I am in Harrison Hot Springs, after witnessing the serene surroundings this is the place where I have my Lunch or Dinner more often than not.

I sincerely wish they had a branch in Vancouver or in India ):

Visited last in April 2014.

Krishna’s Dosa Grill Whalley, Surrey


A Biryani to die for!

Rating – 4.5/5

The name is Krishna’s Dosa Grill – a typical South Indian Restaurant in Surrey, BC. As the name suggests you can expect authentic south indian food like uthapam, dosa, idli, sambhar etc which I kind of like but not a die hard fan however my wife absolutely loves her dosa & idli so I can’t argue with the headquarters and so I relunctantly went there for the first time a couple of years ago.

However I am glad that I did because in doing so I discovered the Best Biryani (Goat Biryani) I ever had, I come from India and I can vouch that it’s an amazing rice preparation of it’s kind and is a Tamil (Chettinad preparation) variant of my favourite dish πŸ™‚

It’s totally a VFM place and the owner “Rajan” is absolutely a gem of a host ! Do give a visit if you like South Indian food, other than Biryani my all time favourites are Chicken 65, Chicken Vindaloo Dosa (spicy) and the old school Masala Dosa.

I used to visit this place every alternate week or so when I was in Canada.

For all the locals that are still out there, please go for this as you have an absolute gem right there and I don’t get food of this taste and quality back here in India as well, go ahead and have fun πŸ™‚

Green Lettuce Kensington, Vancouver

An amazing place for Desi Chinese food!

Rating – 4/5

Well if you’re from India and if you miss the Indian Style Chinese food served back home, this is one place you should definitely be and relive that great taste.

The owner himself is Chinese who was born and brought up in India and most of the Staff speaks both Cantonese and Hindi so beware what you say in your local language while you Order πŸ˜‰

Speaking about the food items, Chilly Chicken in starters is crunchy, spicy and very tasty. In main course one can order Masala Fried Rice (Chicken/Veg) with Chicken/Veg Manchurian. Prices are reasonable and portions served are generous.

There’s an additional 15% off for takeaway orders and the servers are attentive and courteous.

One word of caution – this place can get awfully busy during the evenings and especially during week-ends.

So if you don’t let them know in advance you may end up waiting for 30 minutes or more.

It’s always a good idea to call them first and give your name, you may still have to wait for 10 minutes or so but it’s still better than waiting forever so an advance reservation is highly recommended.

Amrikko’s Indian Grill Parksville

A supposedly Indian Cuisine restaurant with nothing Indian about it!

Rating – 2.5/5

It is your usual run of the mill watered down version of Indian Food which you could find all over Canada. Add to that a pathetically slow service though the servers seem nice when they eventually show up.

It seems they were probably understaffed during our visit as the waiting time was more compared to what usually is the norm.

Out of what we ordered Tandoori Chicken was still alright but everything else in curries was at best bland.The ambience is nothing to write home about either!

All in all if you are in Parksville and craving for Indian food you may still give it a try but don’t go with high expectations and you might not be too disappointed.

Gateway To India Nanaimo

All Indian Cuisine fans – This is the place to be!

Rating – 4/5

To begin with as advised by others don’t be put off by the shabby exteriors as this place can boast of one of most nicely done interiors in Nanaimo.

We went on an early Sunday evening around 6pm as we had to catch the last ferry back to Vancouver on our return from Tofino.

It was a good time to visit as usually on Sunday evenings they can get extremely busy and with limited servers around it can take some serious doing to get their attention on a typical busy evening.

On the service front there’s definitely an improvement required but thankfully we didn’t face any such issues on this particular outing.

As far as the food is concerned, it’s top class Indian food that has its Indian soul intact and scores full marks on the authenticity meter.

We had ordered the following:

Tandoori Chicken – 4.5/5, a nice and tasty chicken preparation with an almost perfect marination, works well with their green chutney.

Shahi Paneer Chicken – 4/5, the combination may seem a little unusual to start with but the end result came out pretty good. It was a different and tasty preparation that went really well with the crisp Naans and Rice preparations.

Mango lassi – 4/5, not like the perfect serving but considering it’s Canada and not India this was still an impressive preparation and might be among the best one could hope to get.

Ambience – 4.5/5, the interiors are tastefully done with comfortable seating, soothing lights and music that isn’t loud but just about right.

I would have loved to overall rate them atleast at 4.5/5 but due to issues with service I am unable to go beyond 4/5.

However if you live in Nanaimo or just visiting and if you’re craving for Indian food, this is the place you can’t afford to miss! Happy eating πŸ™‚

Gulberg Fine Cuisine, Surrey

It needs to be your lucky day !

Rating – 3.5/5

In 2013-2014 when I was in Vancouver for nearly an year for an office assignment I visited Gulberg around 3-4 times. I loved what was on offer in my first visit, an all you can eat buffet lunch on a Saturday for about 14$ which was a real steal considering it had Tandoori chicken, mutton curry, Paneer tikka masaala, onion and potato pakodas, mix veg curry and my all time favourite chicken Biryani.

When you consider the Biryani alone can cost atleast 10$ on an average at competing restaurants it was indeed a very good deal to find a quality Biryani in a buffet like this.

Now coming to the luck part of it, I could have rated them atleast 4.5 based on a couple of encounters however based on another couple of outings it would be difficult to even rate them average as the preparations were so ordinary.

So its like rotating a wheel of Fortune, if you’re lucky enough when you visit you might have a very good time and at other times it may turn out to be an average experience. In a nutshell the quality is not consistent here but it’s worth taking a risk and giving it a shot by all means atleast once.

The Ambience is fairly Ok and the service is workable most of the times.

It’s basically a Pakistani restaurant with almost all of them being of Pakistani descent including the cooking staff and it really surprises me that not once I felt that I am eating anything different from the Indian food I usually eat. This is to underline that Indian and Pakistani food is so similar in taste and preparation especially the Non vegetarian items.

A number of times I saw their Arab speaking Patrons enjoying the same food fare which just shows that the Indian/Pakistani food is famous and loved by all if prepared the right way. A lot of times I see people completely washing down the food with hardly any spices to suit the local taste but then it gives rise to a serious identity crisis where the food authenticity goes completely out of the window!

In Gulberg you won’t exactly find a typical spicy Indian Style food but you can take comfort from the fact that it does have spices, a little on the milder side but the preparation is more or less fairly authentic.

House of Dosas Kensington, Vancouver

Inhospitable staff in hospitality business !

Rating – 3/5

Sorry to begin on a negative note but it needs to be emphasized that the service and attitude of the serving staff needs major renovations here. C’mon guys please buck up on this front because the food you serve is fairly good but kindly remember that yours is not the only place serving what you serve and there’s enough competition around so here’s hoping that you do realize the importance of being courteous and don’t take your patrons for granted.

Coming to the ambience, it’s fairly basic and the seating alright. Don’t think I need to mention anything more on the service.

Some of the good items I have had here are Chicken 65, chicken vindaloo dosa (spicy), masala dosa and the chicken biryani was good as well.

If I had to just rate on the food I would have definitely rated them at least 4/5 because the dosas are very tasty and the accompanying sambhar tastes fairly authentic. Haven’t had too many dosas of this quality in Vancouver so a big thumbs up for the cooking staff.

I wish only if the front staff and a young fellow at the counter were doing their job as seriously as their cooks then it would just have been a perfect combination.

If you could neglect the rather indifferent attitude of folks all around then its definitely a value for your money place and huge thumbs up for the taste and authenticity of the cuisine!

Vij’s Fairview Vancouver

Much ado about nothing!

Rating – 2.5/5

Vij’s indeed is a chick place with a well stocked bar, happening kind of ambience, pretty expensive, thronged by all kind of people and not just Indians.

However what Vij’s indeed is not – it’s not an authentic Indian food joint by any stature of imagination. I don’t think they claim the place to be authentic Indian style food as well and it’s more of a fusion kind but let me clarify, whatever is being fused here is not at all an Indian taste, enough for setting the expectations I guess.

They don’t take reservations on phone and if you can’t reach by 5pm, you’re in for a wait of at least 20-40 minutes which can range up toΒ 90 minutes if it’s a weekend.

We went for an office celebration and we were a group of Indians, Chinese, North Americans. We ordered a number of dishes and the ones I remember were Rajasthani style spicy goat with vegetables, wine marinated Lamb Popsicle with spinach potatoes, chicken Samosas, some Eggplant dishes, some alcoholic beverages and lemon ginger drinks for the Non alcoholics like me.

Sorry to say but none of the preparations tasted like Indian food, I would say it’s a western kind of preparation which just uses Indian names and I couldn’t find anything except the Samosas and lemon ginger drink to appeal to my palate.

Don’t want to be harsh here but it’s an overrated place which is extremely expensive with little portion sizes and there’s hardly any bang for your bucks.

Service is fairly polite and quick and can say the only good part, seating is fairly congested and not so comfortable either.

Overall it was a disappointing experience if I just consider about what we ate and how much we paid, rest all other parameters don’t quite matter if the essence of a restaurant which is food is not up to the mark.