I’m not sure how I’ve managed to go to a couple of Indian buffets in such a short time period since I’m not really into buffets or all-you-can-eat anything really, but earlier this week I was off to one again with some co-workers who wanted to try someplace new. I’ve been out of the office this week on vacation, but they picked me up and we went over the bridge and outside of our ‘bubble’ again, to Maurya Indian Cuisine in the Fairview area of Vancouver (West Broadway near Granville Street).
Again, we had the option of ordering straight off the menu instead, and there was a large group of us so we could’ve ordered a variety of things, but the food looked really fresh and hot at the buffet (plus we were starving and it was right there in front of us), so we all opted for the easier choice.
I’ve never actually been to Maurya before, but had heard that it was a more fine dining Indian food restaurant with a fairly large wine list, and it’s actually quite roomy and elegant inside. The restaurant also touts itself as being different and more traditional in the sense that they use a clay oven powered by charcoal and not gas, so that gives some of their dishes a more unique and smoky flavour.
So off we went, filling up our plates to our hearts content with the variety of food available. In the meantime, our server had brough some fresh naan bread to the table and some of us ordered some hot chai for an extra charge. What I really liked about this buffet was how they had neatly handwritten on plates with something (not sure what) what each of the dishes were, so it was very clear what you were getting. Sometimes you’ll see buffets with small papers above each item, and half of them are missing (or maybe they just don’t even know what you’re getting either ;)). Also, it was fairly busy here, and I noticed throughout my meal that the staff were frequently bringing out fresh portions of the food.
My favourites from this lunch were the Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese – my top pick of the meal), the Tandoori Chicken (lots of spice!) and the Papadums with the Mint Chutney Sauce. The veggie Pakoras were also quite good and were really fresh and crispy. The rest of the items were more average, I’d have to say, but I did go back for seconds for the dishes I liked the most! They also offered quite a large salad bar with a variety of items, along with some lamb curry, butter chicken, chana masala, and beef vindaloo. And basmati rice to go with everything of course!
As for the desserts, there were two options to choose from. And as you probably already guessed, I had both. The Mango Mousse was quite tasty, and reminded me of a more thicker version of a mango lassi. There were also some grapes and whipping cream on top. I did eat every last bite of this, as it didn’t feel too rich after everything else I’d already had.
The other option, which was definitely much sweeter, was the Gulab Jamun, also known as milkballs in sweet syrup. Now for this one, I had to take it a bit slowly so as not to go into insulin overdrive, but I did want to give it a fair chance as well. Have one of these, and there’s no need for any more sugar intake for the rest of the day – or week, really.
As far as the Maurya buffet went, I liked the open atmosphere and high ceilings, and really did enjoy some of the dishes. I would prefer this one over the one at India Bistro. They kept the food coming out fresh and hot, along with non-stop refills of chai, and also offered a bit of variety in terms of what you could eat for dessert. I will definitely have to return one of these days to try out their regular dinner menu.
Maurya Indian Cuisine
1643 West Broadway
Vancouver BC, V6J 1W9