Edmonton ethnic restaurant review
OK, after spending 5 days in Edmonton, I managed to hit a few places.
Savoy's Gourmet Health Cafe (or whatever it's called) - OK dosas, OK sambar, OK chutneys, passable but weak vadas. They serve south indian food but it's not all that excellent. Worth visiting for the veg dosa though. 6/10
Masalaz - this place is great. Their veg thali is a must...go there and try one. It includes sambar, rasam, vegetable curries, rice, chutney, pickle, and a couple papadams. My thalis were very tasty, especially this one tomato and onion curry. The veg curries are cooked south indian style and are very tasty. They made this great coconut and fruit chutney but I'm not sure if it was jackfruit or bread fruit or what. I also tried their dahi vadas (lentil doughnuts in tamarind sauce and yogurt), which was great, and my friend's jerk chicken was passable. The star here is the south indian style curries. I didn't try their dosas or idlis but I'm sure they would be good. I could eat here every day, no problem. 9/10
New Asian Village: they have a pretty good buffet, this is a serious commercial restaurant franchise and you can expect almost a fine dining atmosphere with great decor, clean bathrooms, and good service. Sometimes they will serve dosas and sambar. I went here for buffet a few times. All the curries were good and the boondi raita, vegetable raita, and papri chaat were very good. Great naan, crispy papadams, good selection. 8.5/10
Rasoi: OK buffet. Big place. 7.5/10
Bualong: small place, only one non-disgusting bathroom, but great Lao/Thai style food. I've had better, but theirs was very good. Cash only. Poor neighborhood, you are likely to see homeless people and get panhandled on 97th. 8/10
Pagolac: I was underwhelmed by their pho. The broth just wasn't very flavorful and it had way too many noodles in it. It did however come with sprouts, thai basil, and sliced chillies. They had a lot of other stuff that looked promising, but I just had spring rolls and pho, which were only so-so. 7/10 but I'd try other stuff on their menu to get a better idea of it.
Blue Nile: decent Ethiopian style food. A bit pricey, and there was too much injera for us, but an interesting experience nonetheless. The tibs were not very exciting but the other meat curry was pretty tasty. 7.5/10
The best Indian food store that I visited was Spice Center down on 34th ave. The other ones had a lot less merchandise, although there was one other one that had a pretty good stock, I can't recall the name though, I think it started with a P and was in the same strip mall as the New Asian Village on 34th. They had a lot of fresh produce there, and that seemed to be the focus of the store.
Lucky 97 was really cool and they have a lot of fresh herbs and vegetables. I got fresh curry leaves that were of better quality than those at Spice Center (I came to both on a Thursday, Spice Center gets fresh curry leaves on Fridays).
The Italian Center store is awesome. They had a lot of great stuff there. I even found cherimoya fruit!!!! They are pretty tasty, very different. Kind of like a mushy banana texture but sweet and creamy and kind of pineappley/perfumey too.