Okay okay, I'd better come out and say it. I love Indian food! I'm British. And that means I should know my curries. We've had a thriving Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani population in Britain for over half a century now and the competition back home is fierce. As a result, we enjoy some of the finest Indian cuisine in the world.
Anyway, I've lived in Canada for two years now and I've been hard pressed, very hard pressed, to find a decent Indian. I live in Gastown. The Sitar around the corner is an abomination to Indian cuisine. What a disappointment! Undeterred, I decided to give Robson All India a try last night.
We ordered the Prawn Balchao, Pilao Rice, Garlic Nan and Mixed Grill using their online system which was fairly easy to use.
Ten minutes later the restaurant called us back to confirm our order. Nice touch. It's good to know that our order wasn't lost somewhere out in the Internet ether! The staff were very kind and courteous and listened to me rant on about how I miss decent spicy curries from back home in the UK. Sorry all you Canadians, but ... how can I put this ... most of you wouldn't know an authentic curry if you were submerged in it from head to toe. Canadian tastes are bland. Show a Canuck a jar of mild chilli powder from across the room and they're rolling around wincing in pain like traumatized kittens.
Anyway, the problem is, go into a restaurant and say "I want it spicy / authentic" and they simply take their bland made-for-Canada massala and chuck a load of chilli in it, totally offsetting any balance that might have existed before. Spicy doesn't necessarily equate to chilli - I think of chilli more as seasoning like salt. And who wants an excessive load of salt chucked into their meal?
THE GOOD NEWS IS ... Robson All India Bar & Restaurant have won a new customer - and a picky one (can you tell? :-)) They LISTENED. The Prawn Balchao was great! Loads of curry gravy- which went really well with mixed grill. The prawns were chunky and only a little overcooked. (It was a delivery after all and those prawns keep on cooking in that sauce!) The nan bread could've been bigger but I guess I'm just basing it on what I'm used to. The mixed grill was really tasty - not too dry - and a really nice variety of flavours.
FINALLY I've found an Indian in Vancouver that I'd return to! Well done Robson All India!