Beyond the Rhetoric


Atithi Indian Cuisine on Burrard St, Vancouver

June 27th, 2013 by
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Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

Vancouver is very lucky in that not only do we have some absolutely stellar restaurants in our city, but we also have a broad range of top-notch world cuisines. If you want great sushi, you can have that. If you want awesome souvlaki, you can have that. If you’re in the mood for a Sri Lankan dosa at three in the morning, you can have that too. And yes, we have a large number of East Indian restaurants too.

When Susanne and I went to a chocolate tasting session at XOXOLAT earlier this month, we were offered a special promo to have dinner at Atithi down the street too. Since we were in the neighborhood and we needed to eat dinner, we figured it was worth a shot. Now, I try my best not to judge a book by its cover, but it seemed pretty obvious that Atithi was catering more toward a North American-minded clientele and these suspicions were generally confirmed by how the food was presented.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some people may feel put off or intimidated by a place like India Gate, but it does mean that you will have to approach Atithi with a slightly different kind of perspective. Perhaps the Kitsilano location had something to do with that.

Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

If it were not for the actual items listed, the two-page menu would look like it belonged in any number of the “west coast” restaurants that we have in and around Vancouver. While there is a dash of class having a menu like this (rather than being filled with pictures of the food and funky text), the pricing appeared to be more than reasonable.

Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

Banana Blossom & Chicken Naan: Served with mango and curry leaves chutney ($8)

We started our meal with this appetizer. I found the naan to be too undercooked for my tastes and there really wasn’t much stuffing for this almost quesadilla-like dish. The chutney was nice, though.

Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

Railway Station Curry: New Zealand lamb cooked with tomatoes and fresh cilantro ($15)

This was my main course. The tomato-based curry was simple, but it had pretty good flavour. As a “railway station” curry, it wasn’t spicy at all, but that was what I was expecting. While I was happy to see that they didn’t really skimp on the amount of lamb, it was disappointing that the meat was generally on the dry side.

Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

Jumbo Tiger Prawns in Black Pepper Curry ($16)

And this was Susanne’s main course. The black pepper curry was certainly something different from what we normally have, but the “jumbo” prawns weren’t exactly all that jumbo. The presentation also made us feel that the plate felt very empty. If they served the same six prawns on a long rectangular plate, it would instantly look more appealing.

Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

Each of our mains was accompanied by the same sides: some (even more) undercooked naan, rice, and a basic green salad.

Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vancouver

Mango Pudding

And finally, Susanne and I shared this for dessert. I don’t recall exactly what it was (we didn’t get to choose), but I think it was a mango-based pudding or mousse. It was almost like eating some mango-flavored yogurt. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was bad, but it was rather forgettable.

Atithi on Urbanspoon

We didn’t go in with the highest of expectations and, in that regard, Atithi Indian Cuisine wasn’t exactly disappointing. The food was just decent and given that we were given the “special” price of $15 per person (one appetizer to share, two mains, and one dessert to share), I suppose we received a decent value.

I don’t think that I’d return to pay regular price, because there is far better Indian food to be had in the Metro Vancouver area. That said, if you have a hankering and you’re out in Kits, you could do worse than Atithi.

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Michael Kwan Freelance Writer

3 Responses to “Atithi Indian Cuisine on Burrard St, Vancouver”

  1. Ray Ebersole says:

    Michael, the tone of the review shows your true feelings, you say decent and wouldn’t go back for regular price. This is actually out of character for a food review of yours.

    Normally you are more positive even when the food is not up to standards. There is only one time you have really panned the food, restaurant and staff. That was the The Disgracefully Epic Failure of Victory Seafood Restaurant, Burnaby

  2. […] her boyfriend to experience the Xoxolat chocolate tasting on Burrard Street. Before my dinner at Atithi Indian Cuisine earlier this year, I also tried the chocolate tasting class at Xoxolat. You really do learn a lot […]

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