|Poppadoms and Mint Chutney|
It was a little quiet at Masala Bistro for a Saturday at 7 so we were seated by the window with no waiting. Located in the middle of Langley on Fraser Highway, the restaurant is a little warn (seats could use a rehab) but the folks are warm and friendly. Our server, who I think was probably also the manager / owner brought us some Poppadoms and a very nice Mint Chutney to get us started.
We ordered their Appetizer Sampler which came with a Samosa, and assorted Pakora; fish, chicken, vegetable, and paneer. I think we can safely say that all the pakora came pretty well straight from the fryer as everything was hot and crisp. Its a little hard to pick a favourite but the fish was very good and has become my go to at north Indian restaurants. The sauce was tamarind based and very nice.
I have whined a bit lately about Indian dishes (butter chicken in particular) looking like big bowls of sauce that you have to fish around in to find the protein. That was certainly not the case with our mains here. David ( little brother) ordered the Goat Curry and it was on the bone as it should be and very good. Strong warming curry is a wonderful thing and don't shy away from goat when it is available! It is a very tender meat (when cooked properly as it was here) and even qualifies as a little more environmentally friendly than say beef in terms of water and land required to raise it.
I fell for the word "Swahili" on the menu. Kuku Paka is an African dish of boneless chicken cooked in coconut with onion, ginger, garlic, Indian spices etc. And a little snowfall of coconut and coriander on top. Again from my picture you can see that it is chicken with sauce rather than sauce with chicken! It was excellent! The story is that the chef at Masala Bistro worked for a guy from South Africa, where he learned this recipe and it stuck! Good for all of us!
|Naan (more obviously)|
Rice and naan of course. While I whine about too much sauce, I would complain if there was not enough to soak up with rice and naan. I am going to have to try Basmati rice at home as I am always in awe when the grains are long and individual (not sticky) and so light!
So this was great. I feel like we have found a hidden gem and I've been driving past it for years. Don't make the same mistake as me!
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