Chutney Villa, a restaurant that brings the soul of South India to the heart of Vancouver. We’re cooking up a storm in our kitchen. From authentic spice combinations to zany new concoctions, be prepared to discover a flood of flavors and textures from the rich heritage of South Indian cuisine.. Near Main Street.
We have been here quite a number of times over the last few weeks after stumbling upon this place this fall.
The flavours are subtle and complex, rather than bombastic and sharp, like the food at some Indian restaurants.
We've tried the following, and have been pleased:
Chicken 66 (I don't know where they get the name), channa masala, dosa, murtabak (especially chicken).
You order Taali or a la carte for dinners - taali includes a few extras on the platter.
Personally, I've never had better lamb curry, and though I can't eat prawns, the sauce from the prawn curry is so aromatic that I want to dive right in.
For me, I enjoy this place mostly because the food is prepared fresh. Not very much comes from cans, though I suspect the crab meat for the crab and coconut appetizer might (though I'm just guessing here).
We enjoy the service, and we love the coffee pouring show at the end of the meal, though $3.00 for a small coffee is a bit much.
The prices aren't low, but the quality is there, so hope they keep it up.
I came here with my girlfriend for my birthday dinner and we dined on their Vancouver Dine out set menu.
It was a first time for me ever to have southern style indian cuisine and, being a lover of indian food, i was quite pleasantly surprised and enjoyed my meal immensely. the taste was very good, less buttery and oily but a little more salty than northern indian cuisine.
I do not remember the exact names for the dishes, but we both basically had a dosa and fish hash of some sort for appy. for mains we had the fish curry and vegetable curry. for dessert, it was a mango ice cream and sweet rice.
my only complaint are the portions and pricing.
this place, for what it makes, is on the pricier end even though i felt the restaurant should not have commanded such high pricing due to it's projected customer base.
at $18-25 a dish in its main menu, that is near 2.5 to 3 star pricing and on par with some of the higher end restaurants in downtown and we were just sitting on main and broadway intersection.
i've eaten indian food that is half that price with double the portions and executed with the same skill and taste.
of course, that was if we didn't dine on the set menu and good thing was, the only thing available was the set menu.
the set menu was 18.00 pp. we also ordered a glass of wine and side roti and this brought our total to just over 50.00.
we came with a half full stomach and left full, but if we came with an empty stomach, we would have left half hungry still and 50.00 short.
i just feel, in conclusion, but what this restaurant is trying to be, it needs to keep in perspective it's pricing potential and structure.
i would return again, not because i find them too pricey, but because southern indian cuisine is not too common in vancouver - hence maybe why they can charge a higher price.
Left me wanting more. We tried a few items on a Sunday night and left full, but not super satisfied. Something about the food lacked a "wow" factor. Perhaps it was presentation, flavour, texture...there was something missing. The dosa was nice and big though. Pretty filling. The Chicken Biriyani was a bit plain but spicy enough that I couldn't really finish it even though I specifically asked for mild. The lamb was yummy, but the portion was smaller than I expected. The big huge round metal plates/trays they served the food in didn't really add to my dining experience either. It felt very cafeteria like. Maybe I expected more based on the rave reviews I read. Sadly, this place isn't for me. =(
Great friendly service by what appears to be a family-run establishment. Great ventilation so you don't come out smelling too much like what you've just eaten. Not a large room, but with a comfortable amount of space between your neighbours & yourself.
The menu isn't at all extensive, so it makes it easier to make your choices. Though the prices may seem fair, they are actually not much different from that of Maurya's, if you take into account the portions & quality of fillers served.
The taste is uneventful and my tongue was left feeling bored while my body is still left resenting me for the amount of calories I piled on with the fish dish that was more butter than curry. The lamb was too gamey and bordering on dry. The chutney is tasty, though nothing outstanding. The chai, though I have had better, is not bad. The dessert offering is few (2)--tapioca in a manga juice mix, or an ice cream. Not very exciting. This is not somewhere I'd avoid, as it wasn't a bad experience at all, but it's not somewhere I'd look to return to as I left feeling not hungry anymore--no more, no less--so I've just had dinner, I think. Somewhat disappointed that though I requested for plenty of kick, I got none in my curry, but even then, it would have been alright if the flavours made up for it. I almost forgot I was having Indian food.
The clientele is mainly made up of the non-Asian variety when I was there & whenever I pass by. Occassionally, you see some Asian, but rarely Indian. Maybe to get a really satisfactory meal, it can only be had home-cooked as I've often been told.
The hunt goes on...
Went there for lunch today. I had a lamb curry, rice, paratha, mango juice for a little more than 15 bucks (including taxes) which I thought was very reasonable.
Food: Spicy, but tasty, not scorching hot. Very rich and flavourful curry. Lamb was OK. The paratha was nice and chewy and reminded me of roti canai (malaysian). The sambars and chutneys were a nice combination of savoury and hot, with a definite tropical feel.
Service: Waitress was prompt, friendly and explained to me they didn't have Naan because that's from the North - they didn't have Mango Lhasi because that's from the North, etc... I betrayed my lack of experience with Southern Indian cuisine. I had a chance to chat with the owner as well, who was curious about my first experience with her cuisine.
Ambiance: Indian background music (a little loud though) and the decor is appropriate for that type of restaurant, sheer cloth on the ceiling, etc...
Overall, I was quite impressed and felt I paid a good price for the food, service and ambiance. I will definitely go back.
This experience was not all that great. The food was ok, nothing to write home about and overpriced for what you get, especially with all the competition in the area. The worst part was the service. We waited for about 15 mins before they even came to take our drink order. Then we ordered and the waitress seemed to be inpatient (but they were fairly busy). The food took a really long time (which is fine, as long as it's good). Another waitress brought us someone else's food and started telling us what it was until the owner came up and told her it wasn't ours. They picked it up and brought it to the people who ordered it after it had sat under our noses for a few minutes. They didn't look overly impressed and I'm sure we didn't either.
When the food came, my boyfriend liked his a lot (he got lamb curry) but my chicken curry was WAY too spicy even though I ordered mild and I'm actually not a wimp when it comes to spices. My mouth was on fire the whole time and even though my water glass was empty and placed on the edge of our table no one came to fill it once. If they are going to serve food that spicy then at least make water easily available! The other little dishes that came with the curry were also nothing to write home about but at least one was a yogurt salad that I could dump into my curry to make it edible.
This place has the potential to be good, at least the staff is nice even though service is bad and my boyfriend enjoyed his meal.
However, with all the other great indian places in this city, I won't be back.
It was a random act that brought us to the Chutney Villa for the first time. We were hungry and decided to try it out, since it was the closest restaurant to us at the time. Our expectations were not too high, but in the end we were very pleasantly surprised.
Most (not all) Indian food you get in restaurants is Northern Indian. We love Indian food, generally and specifically, but this experience set the bar pretty high. Southern Indian food is very different, and the flavours were refreshingly unique, compared to the standard Tandoori or Butter Chicken (which I like, but they're a little boring).
Their chutneys are homemade from whatever is fresh and they are always very creative and tasty. Our first time in we had banana-pineapple chutney, and it was delicious. Oh, when they ask how spicy ... hot definitely IS hot, unlike the North Indian restaurants I've been to (where hot is mildly tangy).
I highly recommend the Thali option. It gives you a great sample of the food. The lamb curry is delcious, although one time I had it it was a little too salty.
Overall, I highly recommend this South Indian restaurant.
Chutney Villa serves South Indian Cuisine, which is different from what most people think of Indian food around these parts. Instead of Butter Chicken, Naan and Tandoori platters, you get broth based chicken, lamb and fish curries, and Dosa (savory vegetarian crepe).
Everything is obscenely expensive, for dishes that you can whip up at home with a decent recipe from the Internet. All the Dosa are over 9 dollars and are listed under the category: Tiffin – which
means a snack, not a meal.
The lunch specials are $9.99 and come with a choice of chicken, lamb or fish entrée, rice (the grains were large enough to plug your ears to block out the terrible music) on the side, lentil soup and a Papadam. The actual entrées are all $15 or more a la carte, and $18 or more with a dessert and something else that I can’t remember.
There was no way we were going to blow $60 at this place, so we decided to go with the lunch specials. I had the fish curry, which was very sour with 2 pieces of overcooked fish, resembling the bottom part of my shoes. My wife and sister had the chicken, which was bland. My sister requested that her curry be extra spicy, but it was not. My mom had the Egg Dosa, which was decent. All the portions were on the small side.
Service was ho hum, the drinking water was lukewarm, the overhead speakers howled annoying Indian songs (mentioned earlier) and the door that leads to the washrooms had those bead curtains that messed up my hair (twice) – that was the last straw.
The only thing I found to be slightly amusing with this place was that there was an accountant at one of the tables, tapping away at her laptop, surrounded by a pile of receipts. It’s tax season after all, and for her sake, I hope they are not paying her with the food.
We've been to Chutney Villa twice in the last year, and we'll be back again soon. You need to go in expecting great food, but a somehow different dining experience. The most recent time we went in, half of the small restaurant was a large table of probably around 30 people. Included in this group were about 15 kids who spent the time running around the restaurant and almost sitting on our feet.
The servers were apologetic, but it was somewhat offputting. All of that distraction faded into the distance when the food arrived. So delicious and the taste is not like any other indian food. We first found this place at EAT Vancouver and tried their stuffed Naan. Make sure this is part of your order when you go there.
The chutneys are delicious, and I always require more to be brought to me throughout the meal. The servers are happy and kind. South Indian food is very delicious and should be tried if you haven't gone there before.
Love coming here for their chicken paratel,masala dosas and prawn or fish curries.Lots of different spices and flavours.Good for when you want indian food without the richness/heavyness but still want something spicy.
Service is friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed.
Haven't tried their brunch yet,but it seems interesting.
I had been craving South Indian food for quite some time, and as Vancouver is dominated by north indian and pakistani food, I was very excited to find Chutney Villa.
The restaurant is very nicely decorated with indian art and gentle lighting. Since it is situated on Broadway, however, finding convenient, safe, affordable parking might be difficult-to-impossible.
We were greeted and seated promptly by a polite and friendly server who didn't rush us while we perused the menu. I chose idli and a masala vadai to start, my friends had kurma and lamb curry.
Our dishes came promptly enough, very beautifully laid out and smelling (and tasting!) Excellent. My friend's dishes were pricey but they got their value in quality and quantity. I was less impressed with my food--$6 for four idli the size of golf ball each seems a little ridiculous, considering that they're made of rice flour and lentils. The chutneys and sambar, however, were excellent, nicely seasoned and spicy without being acidic.
The only complaint I have is that once our orders were taken, the responsibility for our table inexplicably fell to another server who was both abrupt and curt with all of us for no reason. Even after we made it abundantly clear that we were ready to pay after we received our bill, we were ignored so long that we decided to embarass the server and approach the cash register ourselves (as a waitress I know this is the clearest way to tell someone "you've ignored us too long!").
Despite this, I'll definitely be back. The food was worth it!
Had brunch here this w/e and the curry chicken (mild, the waitress warned us and advised us to choose mild versus hot) was very tender. Balsami rice and all the dressings you'd find in Indian food was included--paper thin fried bread, salad, and a variety of sauces with lots of flavour for the rice.
Interesting presentation--served in a large silver round pan.
Can do without the incense burning, though.
There aren't too many Indian restaurants, so I'd definitely recommend this one.
Will return again to Chutney to try their dinner menu.
Maurya on Broadway, west of Granville, brunch buffet I'd highly recommend, too.
Haven't gotten around to standing in line at Vij's.
Chutney Villa provides pretty much what you would expect for a $9.95 lunch special with pretty tasty food, but limited menu items.
I had the lamb curry with rice and pappadum and my co-diners had the chicken curry. (The lunch special includes only 4 curry possibilities and that's it.) The curry was quite flavourful and spicy, as requested. There was not an overabundance of lamb, but the portion was merely adequate. It was served with 4 different chutneys which were explained and a couple of sauces. One was yogurt-based and the other a kind of gravy. I'm not that familiar with this type of Indian food, so I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with all of these. There wasn't enough rice or pappadum to use up much of the sauces.
The service was functional, but not warm. We had to go looking to get our bill at the end, but at least they weren't rushing us out.
There are cheaper lunch places in the neighbourhood, but the food here is quite good and the restaurant itself a little nicer and looked a bit cleaner than some of the other cheap lunch joints nearby.
The room is nicely decorated in an Indian style and they place some Indian music, but not too loud. A comfortable place to have lunch with friends or business contacts.
I've been to CV a couple of times and was impressed with the food and the service.
They have a number of interesting menu items that you will not find anywhere else in town, and I look forward to trying them all. I appreciate trying something new and Chutney Villa is the place to do so.
The staff have always been very friendly and helpful, and their recommendations have always been spot on. The place has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere - clearly it's a very family-oriented business. Additionally they are very community-minded, supporting local charities.
If you want to try something interesting for breakfast, try their "sunch" which is a big plate of yumminess, but only available on Sundays.
The music was appropriate and played at an acceptable sound level.
As an added bonus, this is one of the "ocean wise" restaurants in town, meaning they take care to provide sustainably harvested fish.
Seeing as how the other reviewers were pretty split on this place, I decided to give it a try. I ordered the chicken curry lunch special. It was tasty enough, and plenty spicy! Still, nothing to write home about. And $8 for a tiny dish of curry with 2 side dipping sauces, papadum and naan (which cost extra).
I wouldn't mind going back if not for the service. The server, whom I presumed was the owner, was inattentive, if not rude.
I suppose I must have had a different server than the previous vegan poster, as I found mine quite friendly and helpful. She pointed out which meals were vegan friendly and which ones could be modified to accommodate.
The food is pricier than I'm used to, but the portion sizes are quite large too. Splitting a $20 plate between two people is a surprisingly pleasant experience. I've been there three times now and have yet to regret going there.
I've been to Chutney Villa twice for dinner in the past two weeks. We all thought it was great food and would score higher but the decor is just standard so brings down the rating otherwise I consider the food and sevice four stars.
The currys and gravies are full of fresh spices and really infuses the sauces well. This they tell me is what Southern Indian food is all about. I find many Indian dishes can taste the same only the meat changes but with each dish we got, each one was distinctively different and really tasty. The first time we went there were four of us and we shared the dishes amongst us. Not much conversation as we were so into the meal.
I told a friend about it and she went with two others and her words for the food was impressive. They all really liked it. So it has thumbs up from seven of us so I encourage you to try it. You won't be disappointed. It looks like nothing from the outside but feel we've stumbled onto something good here.
Favourites? Chicken curry (KVC?), pappadum (wish they gave you more), lamb curry and the starter that was cauliflower. Says on menu back by popular demand. Nice spice and I don't even like cauliflower much. Soooo good.
I have been only one but would like to go again. My bf eats there practically once a week and is always super full and happy everytime.
Food: The brata bread was super good. I can't remember the exact dish I got, but garlic was a main ingredient. I really liked it and I remember it being very tasty.
Service: Solid, fast service. Nothing to complain about whatsoever.
Value: I can't remember thinking thta it was a super great deal, so I am going to have to go with decent.
Ambiance: They tried their best, they really did, but it's not great.
Chutney Villa is a great spot for a relaxing night of scrumptious Indian food. I've been four times and the food is always delicious, vegetarians and carnivores are both easily accommodated, and the service is friendly, warm and welcoming.
Chutney Villa is unique in its ability to create and serve authentic dishes from Tamilnadu. Unique dishes line Vadai made from banana flowers and "Manga, Thengai, Pattani, Sundal" which you can find only in Madras beach are on the menu. The restaurant offers on weekends meals served on a banana leaf which is completely authentic. I found my order of Masala Dosa and Iddili cooked to perfection. The sari-clad waitresses were attentive and very efficient, despite a nearly full house when I visited on a busy Friday night. If you are looking for a change from the usual fare found in Indian/Pakistani restaurants found in Vancouver, Chutney Villa is your place. I definitely will go back!