The aromas of curry and spices draw passersby into Jolly's Indian Bistro, where flickering candles and ambient music create an intimate atmosphere. In the kitchen, Chef Jolly Kumar, who learned to cook from local dhaba chefs during his childhood in New Delhi, prepares fragrant masalas and meaty kebabs in a traditional tandoor oven. Bartenders concoct tropical beverages and pour sweet wines to complement Chef Kumar's spicy sauces, fresh chutneys, and savoury paneer, which were showcased in Vancouver 24 Hour. Ornate iron sconces cast shadows across colourful ceiling drapes and floral, latticed wall panels, providing elegant surroundings to match the refined flavours of Kumar's upscale Indian cuisine.
Boondockers Restaurant was a Snohomish County favorite for decades, thanks to its classic burgers, fries, and milk shakes. So after buying the restaurant, the Bala family made sure to continue serving juicy burgers and old-fashioned ice-cream shakes while also giving the menu a new twist?a sidebar of carefully curated Indian and Pakistani fare.
Originally from India, the Bala family flavors favorite recipes with vibrant spices, yielding savory curries, kebabs, and samosas cooked to perfection. In addition to a full lunch and dinner menu, sweet and savory breakfast fare can be enjoyed with mimosas until 2 p.m., when the champagne flutes turn back into plastic sippy cups till the next morning.
Champions of adhering to traditional recipes and culinary practices, a father-and-son team serves as both the owners and head chefs of New Passage to India. Their kitchen staff whips up dishes native to a variety of Indian regions, granting diners a taste of the subcontinent without the paper cuts that come from eating maps. They handcraft ingredients such as house-made paneer cheese, garden-fresh mushrooms, and fresh lamb with pinches of hand-ground spices. Sensitive to varied tolerances of piquancy, the chefs customize the heat levels of many of their creations to individual preferences. Affable servers wend from table to table within the dining room’s deep-green walls and wooden columns.
The cooks at Maurya Bistro Indian Cuisine harness the high heat of a traditional tandoor clay oven to bake lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian dishes marinated in aromatic indian spices. Coconut-milk sauce flavours pieces of chicken breast, and ginger garlic and yogourt season alaskan salmon. A dozen vegetarian entrees quell meat-averse appetites, with dishes such as mashed eggplant roasted in a tandoor oven with onions, peas, ginger, and herbs.
Chef Gary Bakshi, who grew up in New Delhi, has always been smitten with the spices and flavours of India. As a young man, he trained at the five-star Maurya Sheraton Hotel, where he honed the culinary skills that would carry him through the next 20 years working in local kitchens. In 2005, he and his wife Anu decided to bring the sensuous tastes of India to Vancouver, where they opened An Indian Affair. Within the warm, romantic eatery, Gary crafts a menu that's marked by contemporary takes on Indian classics, such as mango chicken topped with crackling mustard seed and chickpea sculptures of Robocop.
You could say that the art of food preparation is in chef Manish Rawat‘s blood. An India native, his culinary passion started early on by observing his father’s restaurant and catering business. That experience formed the kind of chef he is today: one who is passionate about artful cuisine and the lengths to which he can bend flavours. That’s nowhere more evident than in the way his kitchen staff at Chef's Kebab blends herbs and spices to craft his extensive menu of vegetarian and meat-based entrees and tandoor-baked breads.
But dinner at Chef’s Kebab is a treat for the other senses, too. The restaurant’s use of white plates makes the chef’s colourful food pop, whether it’s the ochre glow of a cashew curry with lamb or the vibrant green of a cumin-spinach puree with farmer's cheese. Inside the tandoor oven, skewered black tiger prawns, peppercorn-flavoured lamb, and yogurt-marinated jack fruit might be found roasting over an open flame or perfecting their tan lines.