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.
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.
Curry Sensation celebrates the rich culinary heritage of India with a menu that spans many of the subcontinent’s diverse regions. The bistro lays out an extensive spread of tandoori-baked chicken and lamb, fresh seafood curries, fluffy loaves of stuffed naan, and colourful vegetable stews. Artfully arranged tapas plates sate smaller appetites or giant appetites for sharing with batter-fried fish pakora and chili-dusted paneer cubes. Main courses include Indian favourites, such as basmati-rice biryani, butter chicken, and okra masala. Matching the rich flavour profiles, the interior swims with crimson curtains, clay-toned walls, and hardwood floors. There, dining guests sip wine and cocktails, break loaves of spinach-filled naan, and sword fight with skewers of lamb kebab.
Ice Cream 64 & Snacks not only cools down taste buds on a hot day, but it also spices them right back up again. That’s because the ice-cream shop doesn’t just scoop out its signature 64 flavours of ice cream—it also cooks up a select menu of spicy Indian favourites such as samosas, bhel puri, and butter chicken. Alongside these savoury options, they also prepare sweeter Eastern treats such as mango lassis, lychee smoothies, and 26 flavours of bubble tea. All of their treats can be combined into party packages that feature ice-cream cakes.
Chefs blend spices in the kitchen of Handi Cuisine, a rainbow of curries mingling with sunset-orange cumin and goldenrod ginger. Inside a clay tandoori oven, dishes simmer, the air shimmering in the heat. Plates laden with prawns and vindaloo clatter onto tables, pouring forth steam like a volcano posing for National Geographic.:
Weaving a tapestry of authentic subcontinental dishes, the chefs at Maurya Indian Cuisine incorporated ingredients from across India’s varied regions. The country’s street food vendors are represented by the toasted potato and pea-cake appetizers; Goa is represented by spicy chicken, lamb, or beef vindaloo; and the tastes of South India make an appearance in the coconut- and poppy seed–flavoured chettinad paste. The restaurant’s base sauce—a mix of five sauces— flavours hearty, shareable portions of lamb, chicken, fish, and goat. The bistro also keeps vegetarians sated with eats that include black lentils slow-cooked overnight and several styles of naan, including one that is equipped with WiFi.
Food arrives with a choice of ambiance. One is the well-lit dining room decked out with long drapes suspended from a high ceiling. The other is served on the eatery’s patio, complete with its own chef who tends to the outdoor tandoor oven. Whether indoors or out, the staff maintains a high standard of professionalism, earning an array of positive press mentions, including Dine Out Vancouver's Best Bite award for service in 2010.