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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Part sports bar, part restaurant, Desi 2 Go Pizza & Curry’s amalgam of East and West is the brainchild of Chef Jazz Grewal. Trained in restaurants and hotels in India, Grewal draws upon his experience to oversee a vast menu of familiar Indian eats served amid the glow of flat-screen televisions and flowing taps. The roster of 12 beers on tap includes Stella, Sapporo, Guinness, 1664, and their own house brew called Desi Lager. From a British flag to a large drum tantalizingly out of reach on a shelf above, the interior emanates an ambiance of worldliness.