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Apr 15, 2008 06:53 PM

Anpurna.... new face, how about the taste?

Just heard Gilcrest the other day talking about the new re opening of one of my much missed fav's for veg indian.

So has anybody been yet?

I am looking forward to seeing what the new chef has done!

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  1. Although I read John's rave about the kachori (in the Sun I think), my pessimistic outlook regarding what the changes would bring (see my previous post re: the re-opening of Anapurna and my conversation with the new owner) were confirmed in spades. We decided to venture over there for dinner last weekend with another couple, who also ended up leaving with very similar opinions of the re-opening.

    Note: Anpurna was easily one of my top eats in Calgary prior to it being closed. This is no longer the case as it stands from my first venture into the new space. Here's why:

    1. The interior - it now feels like a cavernous cafeteria. Soulless and cold.
    2. The service - while our servers were friendly, they knew zero about the menu and most notably the new items. The youngest of the staff was actually sitting on the fridge behind the new "urbane" bar talking on her cell throughout the course of our meal...useless!
    3. Quality of the food - yes I expected it to taste somewhat different. New Chef equals a change in preparation and his own take on the menu...fine. However I felt everything was severely lacking; the dosa was thick and pancake like, the filling on the bland side, the app platter was weak and greasy (samosa's looked and tasted like the cheap ones I get from the Superstore occasionally), the dahl was again bland, and the don't get me started on the mango lassi. To top it all off, my stomach was not the least happy with the meal an hour or so after.
    4. Despite being closed for what was it...a year or more? The place is still not done, (unfinished tables & banquettes, lighting not wired etc.) the menu had at least six or seven items unavailable. From a business perspective it does not bode well.
    5. Lastly the price increase - the owner has expanded the space, added some Ikea fixtures, and some god awful sinks & faucets in the bathrooms and as a result bumped the prices up. Where's the added value...?

    It seems that they are vying for an upmarket clientele, what with the offering of entertainment (live music) and a full bar service. Call me Oscar the Grouch, but I left very disappointed to see what was an awesome alternative in Calgary completely shot. For now Tiffin Roti House is my go to for excellent reasonable Indian in the city.

    8 Replies
    1. re: CriolloLover

      There are other South Indian options too- we should compile these, places to get Dossa etc.

      1. re: John Manzo

        That's a list worth compiling...good call. However I wish I knew of somewhere else to get a Masala Dosa.

        1. re: CriolloLover

          Southern Spice in NE. I'm a big fan of this place. I eat there all the time and it's consistently very good. I'd recommend the Rava Masala Dosa.

          1. re: vegaholic

            +2 on Southern Spice. Went there over the weekend based on recommendations on this board and it was delicious. head there on wednesay evgs for the dosa special - $5 for dosa masala!

      2. re: CriolloLover

        I went there this evening. Because the old restaurant closed at 8, I unfortunately never got to eat there, so I'm not sure what to compare the food to.

        I actually liked the mango lassi, and the appetizer platter I had was a little greasy, but very flavorful. I liked the balls filled with dal and spices, and the pakoras.

        However, I too was unimpressed with the cold bare walls and the insane tap/sink combo in the restroom. The server was attentive and friendly, but she didn't have any change for a 20 and didn't seem to be too concerned about that.

        We had two main dishes: chickpeas with some puffy bread, and a dish with onion rice, cabbage/lentils and mixed vegetables (I think it was called Vindaloo on the menu). The bread was all fried ghee goodness, but I really didn't like the curries or the rice. Everything was salty and a little off tasting, like those terrible microwavable Indian food pouches you see in the grocery store. Maybe that's just the regional style. I don't want to accuse them of serving preserved food, but the taste was similar.

        I live in the SW so there's no way I'm going back any time soon. There are places worth the trip to 52 Street (e.g. The Village!) but this is not one of them.

        1. re: 23skidoo

          so you did you get change ? Is it cash only?

          1. re: sleepycat

            I ended up paying with a credit card.

          2. re: 23skidoo

            sadly, i'm +1 on this new anpurna slagfest.
            i went there one saturday afternoon when they were doing their soft launch a few months back.
            23skidoo, i totally agree with you when you say, "Everything was salty and a little off tasting." My partner remarked half-jokingly that she felt like she was getting a chemical burn. and the bathroom sinks! ha ha, you can barely fit your hand under the faucet. we had two servers, and one was woefully inept, but the other was ok. I didn't mind our appy's, and the cocunut balls or whatever are really tasty, but the chutneys and sauces are thin and lacking in flavour. The dosas however, are definitely not what they used to be.

            John, if you've got a line on where we can get good dosas in the city, i'm all ears.

        2. Sorry to reply so late. I was a regular at the original restaurant, tried the resurrected resto during its soft opening. Disappointing through and through: service was friendly but very amateur, food was mediocre at best. I don't understand why they took so long to accomplish so little. I might try it again if it stays open long enough to give it a second chance in the hope that they get better.

          1. i just visited the restaurant for the first time a couple of weeks ago and i would have to say that the food was absolutely delicious. my boyfriend and i had some kachories to start, dosas for our main course and mango and strawberry lassis.

            the service was quite good. she was not only friendly but had excellent knowledge of the menu.

            i found the decor slightly bare myself but they seem to have some good plans on the way. I would say it's definitely worth a second shot. especially once they're fully functioning.