Siddhartha’s Nirvana Dining Package

I was recently invited by Vaneats.ca to try out one of their upcoming dining packages called “Siddhartha’s Nirvana“. Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen is a small Indian restaurant located on Commercial Drive. Siddhartha’s took over Corner Tandoori that was previously in the same location and they just reopened and rebranded themselves a few months ago. There are some reviews on Urbanspoon that comment about the lack of decor inside, but the restaurant has been updated since the reopening and it has a clean modern feel to it with warm decor.

I started the meal off with a beautiful looking mango lassi. Drinks are not included in the dining package. This mango lassi was creamy and refreshing and wasn’t very sweet, but still had a mild mango flavour.

I was also served some hot chai. The aromatic tea was creamy and full of spices. They served it with a side of sugar, but I found that the drink already had a pleasant sweetness to it.

The package began with a trio of appetizers that included (starting from the left) chicken tikka masala, monsoon scallops, and vegetable pakora. My favourite appetizer was the chicken tikka masala. It was a large piece of white meat chicken that was juicy and covered in Indian spices. The chicken had the typical smokey flavour that comes from the tandoor oven. The scallop in the middle wasn’t that large but it was meaty. The outside was more firm than most other scallops I’ve had, but it still had a good flavour to it from the mango sauce. The last appetizer was the vegetable pakora, which had an ultra crisp batter on the outside and a soft fritter on the inside. This came with a side of spicy chutney for a dip.

The package includes a nice platter of two main dishes and a bowl of basmati rice to soak up all the sauces. On the left is butter chicken and on the right is baigan bharta.

The butter chicken is made with boneless pieces of white meat chicken in a tomato cream sauce. I’m normally not crazy about butter chicken, since I find it is a bit boring and overrated at many restaurants, but this version was perfection. The sauce was so creamy and rich and it had a wonderful velvety texture. The pieces of chicken in it were large and retained their moisture. I also liked how there were lots of cilantro and other spices in it, which enriched the flavour of the curry. This is the best butter chicken I’ve had and I would highly recommend it.

The second main dish is the baigan bharta which is made with smoked roasted eggplant that is cooked with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, Indian spices and lemon. I didn’t know what to expect from this dish but I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. The eggplant has a hearty texture and adds a delightful smokey flavour to the dish. This dish was a bit spicy and left my tongue tingling from all the different bold flavours. This would be a great option for a vegetarian and I would even order it again for myself.

You can’t have curry without naan, so the package comes with a side onion, tomato, and cilantro naan. I normally stick to plain naan at restaurants, but I enjoyed this one. The naan was fluffy and crispy and the fresh veggies and spices really livened it up.

For dessert the package includes a unique item called ras malai. Ras malai is a ball of cottage cheese soaked in a light milky syrup and they drizzled it with mango syrup and topped it with a strawberry. I don’t like the texture of regular cottage cheese, but this had a firmer texture than what I am used to and I enjoyed it. The cheese sort of reminded me of a fresh goat cheese. The milky syrup made it creamy and the mango syrup and strawberry added a fruity sweetness. The whole dish was quite refreshing and it was a good way to end a meal without feeling sick.

Once again Vaneats.ca has put together a mouth-watering package at a great restaurant. They are great at finding hidden neighbourhood gems and I would return to Siddhartha’s. The 50 dining passes go on sale at 7am on April 25, 2012 for $16 on Vaneats.ca. At many Indian restaurants one curry dish and rice will cost you $14, so this is a steal!

Recommendation:

Yes, for the best butter chicken around.

Disclosure: I did not pay for my meal.

Siddhartha's Indian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Tags:

Categories: $$ ($10-$15), Grandview/Hastings, Indian, Vancouver

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