I do not write restaurant reviews—I figure you usually get what you pay for. I'm also pretty easy to please, and will settle for a full belly, even if the food doesn't blow me away. It's pretty unusual, then, for me to come out of a restaurant feeling angry and ripped off. I forked out quite a bit for a terrible lunch, and even if I get lucky and can hold this one down (my girlfriend has not been so fortunate this evening), there was so little food I left still feeling hungry. That's quite the trifecta.
Menu options looked promising, but the amazing-looking sekh kebab advertised on the flatscreen TV is no longer offered. I settled for tandoori chicken meal, while my girlfriend tried the lunch combo with butter chicken and chickpea curry. With a soda each, a samosa, and an aloo tikki patty, and tip (you have to pay up front) I shelled out $35—pretty steep for a lunch date, but I figured the leftovers would be worth it.
It took quite a while—about 10 minutes—for the food to be ready, and I thought it odd when I saw the man behind the counter bring out a knife and cutting board before preparing our trays. Even with that foreshadowing, I was baffled by what I was served—a sectioned metal tray half covered in rice with a smattering of tiny bits of sliced pink and grey chicken on top, a small portion of lettuce in one section of the tray with a drizzle of yoghurt and spices, two or three tablespoons of chickpea curry drizzled over the aloo tikki in another, and the final slot empty. My girlfriend didn't fare much better—her butter chicken was cut up into tiny pieces, along with a few tablespoons of sauce, while she also got two wedges of sliced naan.
Ok, so judging by the portion sizes, there weren't going to be any leftovers. Maybe that would have been ok if the food were anything other than marginally edible. First off, the rice was cold—cold enough that it chilled any of the chicken and sauce it came in contact with to the point of being lukewarm at best. The tandoori chicken was unlike anything I've ever seen—perhaps it was deboned and cut into cat food-sized chunks out of politeness or some terrible misapprehension of what Canadian consumers of Indian food want. The dozen or so thumbnail-sized pieces of chicken were soggy from marinating in a vinegary sauce—overall it was reminiscent of microwaved leftovers, and did anything but sizzle. The same chicken was thrown in with the butter chicken sauce, the flavour of which was difficult to make out given the tepidness of the dish.
For what was there, the chickpeas and samosa were alright, while the lettuce at least hadn't yet turned brown. The aloo tikki was good in some mouthfuls, crispy critters in others, and cost $3 for a single piece a little bigger in diameter than a toonie.
We finished our plates in a rather shocked silence, left still feeling hungry, and learned from a few reviews that we read afterwards that we could look forward to all kinds of digestive unpleasantness for the hours to come. That all said, do yourselves a favour, save yourselves some money, and stay as far away from this place as you possibly can.
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