Vancouver is filled with many well-known restaurants like West and Hawksworth, but you don’t have to break the bank to get a great meal. Indeed, there are plenty of hidden gems out in the suburbs too. So, prior to Adalynn’s arrival, Susanne and I went to visit a couple such restaurants. We’re always up for something new!
Like many other East Indian restaurants, both of these curries were served in metal dishes and we ordered some naan for soaking up all that delicious flavor. The spices were just right and we were particularly impressed by how juicy they were able to keep the chicken. Curry is never something that is particularly photogenic; you just have to taste it to love it. It would have been nice if the naan were a little more toasted, though.
Service was prompt, friendly and attentive. Perhaps if the interior were a little more open and welcoming from the outside, King Mahal would be a little busier. In any case, we’ll definitely be back for the $10 lunch buffet. It’s vastly superior to the pricier and less satisfying Atithi for sure.
Speaking of places we’ve seen dozens of times and never tried, we’ve driven past Safari Snack House on Canada Way near Deer Lake Park several times too. Unlike King Mahal, I did make a mental note to try Safari “some day” and that “some day” came a couple weeks ago. The menu at Safari is best described as East Indian, but with an African spiced flair. Seating is limited and the decor is decidedly humble.
In addition to a rotating daily menu of specials, Safari features a $5 dine-in lunch special during the week. For five dollars, you choose a couple of items and they’re accompanied by a small side.
You might look at those plastic baskets and equate Safari to some trashy cafeteria. And you’d be wrong. While I wasn’t exactly blown away by my kabab (crispy fried meat ball) or my daal bhajia (deep friend crushed lentils), I was satisfied with the “exotic” spices contained within. The cassava fries (mogo) were very lightly seasoned, allowing the natural flavor to come through. Susanne said that her samosas were fine, but she would have liked more potato in the stuffing.
If you’re looking for a light lunch that’s a little bit different, Safari Snack House is worth checking out. It’s humble and honest food and the $2 chai comes with unlimited refills. We plan on returning at some point to try their grilled items, like the beef mishkaki and tandoori chicken.