101-2215 33 Avenue SW
Dinner with my best friends this week, haven't seen them since our last outing at Rouge. The locale for our latest get together was Rasoi Kitchen in Marda Loop. Cruising along 33 Avenue in rush hour traffic, it did not occur to me that Rasoi was on the other side of the road. With what seemed like an endless series of cars heading in the opposite direction, making a left turn would appear to be impossible. And we weren't going to find out. My friend Hazel and I pulled up to some house across the street and parked there (No sign = free parking right?). We then tried to jay walk across the busy street. Not happening. But then someone pressed for the lights at the crosswalk. With all the vehicles stopped. My friend and I scurried across the road.
Upon entering the warm restaurant, my friend Andrea was already sitting waiting for us. Alana and Steve arrived shortly after. Steve was stripping off his jacket before even entering. I'm pretty sure it was something along the lines of -20 out that night. So I'm not entirely sure what was up with that. All this was happening as Andrea almost had a sip of her water. The pungent smell of cucumbers nearly caused Andrea to vomit (Kidding). When the waitress returned, she kindly asked her for a glass of regular water. It is interesting to note that after that hilarious episode (for the rest of us), the waitress began to ask everyone if they were fine with cucumber soaked water. Ohhhh Andrea.
The menu offered a variety of traditional Indian dishes with a twist and Indian inspired items. For my entree, I decided to go for the tried and true dish of butter chicken. Can't go wrong right? Right. In addition to the butter chicken, I decided to go for the tiger prawns which I believe is one of those Indian inspired items. Upon placing our order, a piece of folded papadum was brought out for us to nibble on. Papadum is a paper thin Indian flatbread. It was very crispy but really greasy. Topped with a bajillion spices, it was super tasty and I licked all my digits clean.
My tiger prawns arrived shortly after. "Jumbo" tiger prawns were soaked in a bowl of Turmeric coconut curry and a side of delicious naan bread. The tiger prawns were a little bland and of the not jumbo variety. The coconut curry, on the other hand, was uber amazing! So fragrant. So amazing. I devoured every single last piece of memory foam-esque naan bread and almost drank the left over curry like a soup. I refrained myself because that would have looked really stupid.
Steve ordered the Karma dinner. A three course dinner for $30 with the proceeds going to a project called Nilgris Child Support program in India. For his appetizer, he had the pani puri. Hollow light bread shells are stuffed with chickpeas, tomatoes, chutney and raita. It was decent. A little cold. Definitely didn't see that one coming. My naan bread was better. Steve reminded me that his meal is supporting less fortunate children halfway around the globe. He was clearly jealous.
The entrees began to arrive shortly after our server removed our appetizer plates. The aroma of butter chicken filled the air. Several of us ordered the same thing. Tried and true right? Who doesn't love butter chicken? Tender chunks of chicken were soaked in a tomato cream curry. Seasoned basmati rice were served in a separate bowl with a giant stack of naan bread piled on top. I wish I kept my coconut curry. The butter chicken was very flavourful. The spiciness of the curry was manageable. Definitely not a "my-mouth-is-on-ma-f***ing-fire" spicy. Ginger shavings were sprinkled on top of the curry. Not sure what the purpose of it was. The chicken was very tender but didn't really have a chickeny taste to it.
I was pretty much full at this point but I decided I wanted dessert anyway. I studied the menu and opted for the kheer; A saffron rice pudding topped with rose petals and fireweed honey. It was super thick and pasty. Pretty stuffed by the time I finished it. Steve had the sponge cake for his dessert which tasted like a squishy Timbit. More talk of helping less fortunate people ensued.
Here's what I thought of it:
Atmosphere: 7 out of 10. Neat little place. Can't help but notice the massive exposed duct work above. Damn those mechanical engineers.
Costs: 6.5 out of 10. I'm pretty sure this is the first "Indian" place that didn't have a buffet.
Food: 7.5 out of 10. Certain parts of it were pretty amazing. Other parts were not. It wasn't bad or anything. Just not as amazing.
Service: 7 out of 10. Our glasses were constantly topped up. Andrea had her own little jug of non-cucumber laced water.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10. It's fusion Indian. If you're looking for hardcore traditional, this is not it.