Where to find good Indian food in Edmonton?
We'll be in Edmonton next week for a couple of days and would like to have some good Indian food. People have told me to try Khazana but a bit of research leads me to believe it may not be the best place to go. Where would all you local folk suggest?
I went to Khazana a few years back and enjoyed it. However, have not been since so that may say something. Mind you, we often are not interested in driving back to downtown once we have settled at home especially during the winter when one might think a good curry would fit the bill so to speak.
We used to go to the New Asian Village but have not been recently. Not even at their west end location which is closer to home.
Yen, I would be interested in your recommendations. We like all curries but are especially taken with the various Indian breads especially those which are stuffed. I like the option of going the tandoor route whether it be their naan or meat options like lamb and chicken. My heat tolerance is not what it used to be so am looking for flavour over spice. We are not particularly experienced when it comes to Indian cuisine but are open to try anything. My better half does not enjoy fish so that is not important. Nice wine list...although I appreciate Lhasi or beer might be preferred by others...would be good for me. I liked the selection of rose that Khazana had when we went.
Thanks yen! We are much like Bob Mac in that "we are not particularly experienced when it comes to Indian cuisine but are open to try anything", but different in that we do like heat!! We've had what we call the typical Indian - samosa, pakora, naan, butter chicken, beef korma, vindaloo and have enjoyed them. I would like to try some Indian bryani. We're not in to the vegetarian dishes. I'm not really in to lamb or goat. Atmosphere is not as important as quality of food. Liquor menu is not that important either. Does this help at all??!?! We will be staying on the west side of Edmonton, north of the WEM. We know our way around the city using a few of the main routes, but would prefer something relatively easy to drive to and locate. We would be going for dinner/supper and would prefer to keep the bill under $100.00
Thanks again for your suggestions.
I was hoping for help from Bob(!), but i guess i'll do it alone with my (slightly) out of date knowledge.
In Edmonton, i find that the majority of "Indian" restaurants fall are Northern Cuisine - Northern Indian meaning very little difference between the cuisines of N. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Of course, im sure many people will argue with me on this, but i generally find this to be the case. The types of food you're both discussing are generally N. Indian - ghee-based, dairy and meat-centric dishes. Southern type foods (like Dosa's), which are more vegetarian centered, don't seem to have a commercial presence in town.
Now out of these, there are a few choices. I find Edmonton to have a fairly limited variety of East Indian restaurants, something that really surprises me considering the large immigrant population we have here. I also havent lived in Edmonton for 7 years, so forgive the holes in my memory.
Of your typical "Western" N Indian food, there are a couple places i like. Western meaning clean, service oriented, more expensive. Haweli downtown, on the boardwalk, is very good. Good authentic spicing, fairly fresh ingredients, the food here is enjoyable. Now i've only been recently for the lunch buffet, and not for dinner service, but other people i know assure me the dinner, ala carte service is better than the buffet. If that's the case, it's definitely worth trying.
As well, i blogger i often read, who posts on Chowhound as well,likes Haweli too. So you don't just have to take my word for it.
Another N Indian place i enjoy is India Grill, formerly Asian Hut. It's on 99st between 51st Ave and the Whitemud. They are probably most reknown for a vegetarian buffet on Tuesdays (or Wednesdays? I can't remember), but their food is decent - it's the type of place i would go to with people not looking for a super authentic experience, but still quality food.
If you were to think of a little India in Edmonton, it would exist on 34th Avenue between Gateway Blvd and 91st Street. Here's where the majority of the small, more authentic, immigrant run places are. Cheaper too!
In the Pakastani style, i used to very much enjoy LaHore Sweet House. It was cheap, the food was fresh and good,my favorite samosas in town, but my understanding is that they've closed down. I believe a new restaurant has opened up in it's place, but i dont know what it's called - it is/was located at 34th Avenue and 96(?) Street, in a brown, 3sided strip mall complex on the North side of the avenue.
Across the street from it in a former Wendy's(?) or Dairy Queen(?), is another sweet house that has good Samosa's, though a bit greasy. It might be the Punjab Sweet House? Can anyone confirm? Their Chana dal, chole, naan, and curries were all pretty good.
Shan-E Punjab and Sweet House is further on down, but i havent had as much success with their food as the other 2.
Other options you have (where i have dined at before, but not recently) include:
Jewel of Kashmir - on Calgary Trail S between the Save on Foods and the "Lighthouse" (Billingsgate) on the East side of the street. I ate here maybe 8 years ago. They focus on Kashmiri food and Mughlai Indian, which is a basic variation of N Indian. It was average.
New Asian Village - i believe the first Indian restaurant in town, i find it very popular with many Canadians (read non-ethnic) for it's "quaint-ness" and "charm". It also isnt excessively spiced, and it's expensive. I find the overall experience to be mediocre, but it's quite popular for a reason. Think of it as introductory Indian.
Dawat - i've only heard mention of this place, but it's nearer 91st street on 34th avenue. Don't know much about it.
Im not sure why based on your research Khazana wasnt some place you wish to eat at, as it was a place i enjoyed as well. More Tandoor-based, but the food was excellent, and the atmosphere probably was the nicest of all the South-Asian restaurants in town. Of course, it's probably the most expensive as well, but i really enjoyed their kebabs and naan. Can you explain why you dont think it's a fit?
And if liquor isnt important to you, look for genuinely halal places, as devout Muslim owners wont serve alcohol, and you wont pay that premium/surcharge on your meal.
Hope that helps.
I went to Dawat yesterday evening and sampled the buffet. As a Brit whose formative days were spent sampling some of the finest Indian restaurants in the UK, I know what I'm eating. The atmosphere of the restaurant was pleasant and it was well decorated, in fact better than most. The service was polite and reasonable, but I was not entirely happy. They had a good selection to choose from at the buffet and the nan was excellent. The soup was good, as were the salads. A better selection of Indian pickles would have been nice. Pickled onions and bread and butter pickles I can get at home. While 3 of the meat dishes were adequate, the vegetable dishes seemed repetitive. There was not a lot of heat in any of the dishes served and in that I was disappointed. I came away thinking that many of the dishes lacked character. While it was not necessary to make the dishes hotter, some needed more spices to bring out their character. I like cooking this type of food at home and in some cases could produced a greater variety of flavours. I also was a little surprised by the chai-tea. While I have seen tea served with milk on Indian trains in documentaries, this was the first time I had tasted it. Typically, it is boiled in a saucepan and put into a pot. The milk used is evaporated milk. The taste was bland and too milky for my taste. A nice Assam or Darjeeling tea with milk on the side, would have been wonderful, but this was average at best. As I like tea, I drank the entire pot, only to find that it cost me $8! The buffet cost $20, so this is a 2-3$ restaurant. I was a little taken back after paying the bill at the counter, after putting the paper money into my bill fold, to have the waiter try to pick up the $5 in change before I had the chance to pick it up myself. This was somewhat disconcerting. I did not leave a tip, as $28 for this cuisine is a little steep IMHO. I would not have minded paying this for tastier food and a nice pot of tea. I would suggest that if you are going to this restaurant that you choose carefully from the a la cart menu and ask for hot medium or mild dishes. I do not like to add chili sauce to whatever I consume, as the result is that the dishes just taste like hot chili! There you have it!
To the best of my knowledge, the first Indian restaurant in Edmonton was the old Ashoka Curry House that was located on 111 Ave., across from Tony's Pizza. I went to grade school with the younger son and knew them well. Back then, when Mamma was doing all the cooking, it was truly outstanding. Ahhh, good memories!
They subsequently moved to a subterranian location, adjacent to Central LRT station, and now operate one of those banquet operations in Mill Woods.
BTW, I agree with other posters that Maurya Palace is the best Indian food I ever ate in Edmonton. I now live in TO and you can't believe the spectrum and high quality of the Indian restaurants here.
About Khazana, I was reading the comments on this website http://www.itry.ca/EDMONTON/RESTAURAN...
I don't know when they were posted but I just thought I'd ask for a second opinion here on Chowhound. We'd like to try Khazana as we have heard good things about it. I've been to their website and the menu looks like it would suit our tastes.
Thank for all the other suggestions.