My list of go-to restaurants is short. I love trying new places. It’s not often that I settle down and re-visit a spot multiple times. There are just too many great restaurants to explore in Vancouver. However, as soon as I tried Maurya during Dine Out last year, I knew I’d be back. It’s considered by many, myself included, as the 2nd best Indian food in town, after Vij’s.
What sets Maurya apart?
“Maurya uses traditional methods of cooking as compared to the other Indian restaurants. We use a clay oven which is charcoal fired and not gas which gives our Naans and Tandoori dishes a very distinctive smoky flavour.”
The ambiance is awesome. I’m a sucker for high ceilings and cool lighting – Maurya has both. It resembles an indoor courtyard. Apparently there’s also an outdoor patio that I have yet to visit. It’s kind of loud but in a good, hustle-bustle sort of way. Also, lighting stuff on fire never hurts. They had some sort of prawn appetizer that they set on fire at the table. And of course, the food was delicious.
But the interesting thing is I’ve only ever gone there once. It’s their take-out menu that’s had me coming back for more. The prices are lower (not that the dine-in rates are unreasonable), and they have pretty decent portion sizes. Which means I can eat their curries, without rice (or only a few tablespoons if I so choose), and still be full. Their online menu ordering system is well laid-0ut and easy to use.
Hands-down my favourite dish there is the Chicken Chettinad: Marinated chicken in South Indian chettinad paste of coconut and poppy seeds. The flavours and textures of this dish are amazing (pictured above). It’s funny, but I don’t usually order chicken when I dine out, except for Indian food. Other faves are: Butter Chicken, Lamb Roganjosh, and the Goat Curry.
Remember to note your spice preference with your order (mild, medium, or hot – I go for mild, preferring the various flavours rather than “heat”). Also specify that you want gluten-free, and they’ll make sure not to cross-contaminate your food. There’s flour in the kitchen (to make the naan, etc.), but the majority of the dishes are gluten-free. They offer free delivery within 5km ($30 min. order). If you’re into all-you-can-eat buffets, they have one for lunch ($13.99) and dinner ($24.95) – I haven’t tried either, but I’d like to.
I’m curious, what’s your favourite Indian restaurant in Vancouver?