Calgary: Worst Meal in Ages - Skylark
Now, for the people who've been around a long time, you remember when Miles used to post regularly. In fact, for a time (before John and Gobstopper really took off on their posting), he was the only one responding to most posts.
When asked for his favorite Indian place, he would always espouse the wonders of Skylark in Forest Lawn. I gave it a try a couple years ago, and it was ok, but today, two of us were looking for some Indian and we figured we'd give it another try.
Well, all i have to say is: i would NEVER patronize this establishment again. Even if it was free. And im a cheap Asian. That's quite the comment coming from me!
Now granted, it was the buffet. And it was busy. But heck, we wanted to yell at the patrons as we left "What the HECK are you doing eating here!". We left and went down the street to Bombaza for some excellent Pupusa's. That's how bad it was... we left a buffet, hungry still, to get some El Salvadorian street food.
The short of it? $9.95. 10 dishes of selection. Rice (which was ok), Veg Pakoras (which were decent), butter chicken (that was white... no joke. The sauce was white. And there wasnt really any chicken in it. And it kind of tasted like Campbells Cream of Mushroom mixed with butter), Tandoori Chicken (which i actually spit out it was so bland - worse than Chinese Medicine Chicken), Vegetable Mash that was completely unrecognizable for what veggies were in it, Beef Curry that was stringy, tough, and bland, but considered reasonable relative to everything else, chana masala that was worse than what you get out of a can, and dhaal.
We got two pieces of Naan that looked boiled dough. Completely flat, and so tough that it wouldnt soak up water if you tossed it in the ocean. It, however, had no problems with delivering the oil slick that glistened the surface.
That was it. Oh, no drink order. Didnt clean up plates and cutlery. This place must be riding dirty to stay in business. Miles, if you still lurk, im sorry, but i would never recommend this place again. Anyone else, if you really want a meal where you think "damn, i'd rather have eaten at McDonalds", then this is the place for you.
There is a new place on Stephen Ave called Ganga, it's underground where Case de la Salsa was, and I had the buffet the other day- it was an odd experience, because they had the best pakoras I have ever had- I have never had such beautifully fresh crisp pakoras on a buffet table in my life... and the tandoori chicken was nauseatingly undercooked- beyond gross. I was happy AND angry.
wow. i'm surprised. maybe the lunch buffet isn't their thing. i was there for dinner sunday, and the meal wasn't substantially different than dozens of others i've had there (and may have gushed about in previous chowhound posts along with miles).
I'll admit that in truth, their strength probably lies more in value than in taste. Their thali platter at 12.99 is easily enough for two meals. That sunday, the butter chicken on my platter certainly wasn't white, and the flavours were good. the aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) was a little overcooked. The fish that comes with the platter is a bit weird, but somehow i'm addicted to it, and is probably a large part of why i keep coming back (i suspect most would find it overcooked and dry, and most chowhounders would laugh at me outright for liking it).
I'm a fan of their vege pakoras as well. Some other indian restaurants in town do them slightly better, more delicately with a little less batter and more veges and served with more chutneys/sauces, but i'm a fan of the portion size (a small heaping plate). I get pissed off when i pay 8 bucks for like, four small little pakoras (but three cups of chutneys).
I would still recommend them (but apparently not for the buffet), but with the caveat that this is not fine dining, it's good neighbourhood dining, at a good value.