The first time I went to India Bistro Restaurant on Davie Street was about two years ago for a good friend’s birthday dinner. She has been to this place quite a bit and really enjoys the food (although now she’s moved on to living in China and different food). I’ve only started going to Indian restaurants more over the past year or two, as I used to find that the spicy foods would hurt my stomach afterwards (go figure, as I can have seething hot, really spicy Thai food and still feel perfectly fine). I think I also probably just ate a lot of bad Indian food in my past.
I’ve had a few more experiences this year, especially during my travels down to Silicon Valley where I’ve been shown the best places to go by those that grew up in India and are ‘in the know.’
So after my new-found trials of decent Indian food, I decided to go back for lunch to India Bistro and see if it was as good as I remembered it. I knew that they served a lunch buffet for $10.95 (although you can still order regular menu items), and although I’m always skeptical on buffets, we thought we’d give it a shot anyway after looking at the selection.
What stood out to me the most (besides the exuberant Owner/Chef, Kamal Mroke, when I first walked in), was one of the salads I had, with a fresh and slightly sweet flavour. It was made with red onions, and pretty much the rest was mung bean sprouts. I didn’t realize those little sprouts were so good as I’ve never had them before (only mung beans in Asian desserts or treats, or as part of noodles).
I also enjoyed the pakora as the texture was a bit more crispy than I’ve had before (versus mushy and bland). The papadum was pretty standard (I haven’t had much variation on these at all) and the tandoori chicken was nice and spicy. I was disappointed in the butter chicken though – the meat was really, really dry and I’ve definitely had much better (try Indian Oven on 4th for this). Also, some of the other dishes just didn’t seem to have enough pizzazz to them (the curry chicken or the daal, for example).
For dessert, there was Kheer, or rice pudding. The pistachio nuts really stood out in this (in a good way), but I don’t think I’m a huge fan of chilled rice in general.
Overall, I thought that India Bistro provided a quick lunch buffet with a good amount of variety for a fair price, and I would go back again if I have time constraints. Most of the time though, I’ll likely stick to their regular menu.
Note that they also offer takeout and free delivery for orders over $25. Plus, check out their website – it’s pretty entertaining (and good to note that it’ll be open for extended hours during the busy 2010 Olympics coming up in February). 🙂
India Bistro Restaurant
1157 Davie St.