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2.5
  • Food2.5
  • Service2.5
  • Value1.5
  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews36

Nirvana Indian Cuisine

2313 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V5T3C9
Tel: (604) 872-8779 Order Online
Neighbourhood: Mount Pleasant
  • Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani, Vegetarian
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Hours: Mon - Sun: 11:30AM - 11PM
  • Nirvana Restaurant offers the best in Northern Indian cuisine, conveniently located near Vancouver hotels, the Cruise Ship Terminal, and the downtown business district.

    "Nirvana" means the ultimate. The absolute. The highest state. Present always and everywhere, this sublime condition lies asleep in our souls - a potential waiting to be realized at the end of an arduous search.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 36 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
The word "Rip Off" definitely crosses my mind
By foodiephil of Richmond (65 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 8:42am [Dine in]

We entered Nirvana, and ordered dinner and drinks. For $6, you get Lassi with rum, and such things. When it came to the table, it was a tiny, tiny little portion - like a water glass, but on a stem so in essence, half a glass. For $6!?

The veggie pakoras were undercooked and so mushy and a bit raw on the inside. They served it with salsa - as in Mexican chips 'n salsa salsa.

The Malai Kofta was *okay*. It wasn't amazing. The vegetable Jalfrazee was a solid mushy dish, not sophisticated in any way; something your kids could throw together from leftovers in the fridge. The naan was okay I guess. Not incredible.

The service was friendly but a bit weird... they removed our sideplates and put our cutlery directly on the uncovered table top in order to serve us our mains. Not best, I guess.

The prices are mind-blowing for what you get (i.e. $11 to $13 per dish, which is a small cafeteria bowl (ceramic, not heated metal) of food), and the food is utterly forgettable.

There's no way I'd go back.

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A tad understaffed
By diningdandy of downtown vancouver (56 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 20, 2007 - 10:27pm [Dine in]

A few days ago I tried this place with my boyfriend and got the dinner special for two non vegetarian. The pakoras were delicious I loved the sauce it came with, the lamb dish was so and so and the butter chicken was pretty good but not the best, i would have given this place a three but The one item that really stood out from the meal was the Mango Lassi which was excellent and the dessert is above average as well. But although we were the only people there our meal came pretty slow and our waiter spent all his time at the phone. I would definitly suggest this place for Lassi and dessert though.

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Won't go back
By Rasputin45 of Kitsilano, Vancouver (97 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 12, 2007 - 11:12pm [Dine in]

Tried out Nirvana with Entertainment Coupon. We found the service to be slow, prices higher in store than advertised on their website and, most significantly, the food was somewhere between so-so and bad. We had the palak paneer, which was okay but the portion was small, the vegetarian sizzler thing, which was not good at all (except the delicious roasted half potato on there), with some weird sour sauce. The naan was dreadfully cracker-like, really terrible. The alu paratha was better, another thing that was acceptable. Overall, it was not good enough for us to go back there again.

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Foul
By King_of_Kitsilano of My Beautiful Kitsilano (47 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 12:02pm [Dine in]

Started with a hostile waiter and went downhill from there.

The place is dark, dingy and dirty-I observed the waiter cleaning tables by just sweeping leftover food off tables onto the floor.

The food was so poor it was almost laughable, either burnt or cold-what there was of it.

The toilets were filthy as well if I really needed to go I'd prefer to use the bushes in the back lane.

Why locals continue to patronise this place-I was with someone who lived in the 'hood and said it was 'fine'-is beyond me.

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Great food and value
By Odile of Yaletown (18 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 6:12pm [Dine in]

Seems like it's a secret for many. I've walked in many times and the place is packed. Looks like a family business, great home cooking, the Korma, vegetale balls, naan bread, everything we've had was good, we crave it at least one a month, eat there or take it home. The best thing to expect is Great Food, value and it's consistent. It's worth trying.

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Disappointing
By momocita of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 10:59am [Dine in]

First of all when we were called back to confirm our order, their phone wasn't working correctly and they couldn't hear me but I could hear him perfectly. He hung up on me and called back again, and eventually I was able to get through to him that I wanted my palak paneer 'hot'. He told me it would be an hour. That's a long time to wait, but it was Halloween so fair enough. An hour and a half later we were starving and grumpy and hoping that every ring of the doorbell would be our food. It finally did arrive, and immediately we were amazed that we'd paid $14 for a small styrofoam cup of butter chicken.
Finally, the food was just bland and disappointing. The naan tasted like upholstery foam, the rice was watery and I've had far better butter chicken and palak paneer at a food court. Maybe they were just having an off day, but I won't risk going back.

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double price for take out?
By badgerbalm of pretentious yaletown (37 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 8, 2008 - 11:11am [Dine in]

this was a while ago, but obviously left enough of a bad impression on me that I have not returned to Nirvana. My one and only time there was ruined by the manager/owner's greed...

A colleague and I went there for lunch. The food took the whole lunch hour to arrive. There was another couple in the restaurant, but that was it. Once the order was taken, we didn't see the server again until the meal arrived. I do recall the naan being good, and the curry tasty.

Another colleague was unable to join us but requested a takeout. We decided to order when we got our food so she wouldn't end up with cold food. The take out arrived 30 minutes after we finished eating.

But the biggest shock was when we saw that they charged us double for take out! I've never seen that before or since, and we were both gobsmacked. We asked for an explanation and the owner/manager said take outs took more effort to prepare. Usually they're cheaper as they don't need to serve them to a customer, but charging double is downright extorition.

Had we known this was going to happen, we wouldn't have ordered take out. But nowhere on the menu does it state there will be a double charge for take out, and he certainly didn't mention this criminal billing practise when we placed the order.

We told him we didn't want it, he told us we were wasting his food. He must have known we weren't as stupid as he pegged us for and after a short argument, gave it to us for the listed price.

If you want to go for okay food served by an aspiring extortionist, this place is for you.

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Awful Service
By tcassels of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 10:03pm [Dine in]

I decided to start buying here when I became vegan. However, we like to order for delivery and it's been nothing short of disaster! Our most recent order took 2 hours to deliver and the food was luke warm when it arrived. When I called to ask at the 1 hr 40 min mark, they told me if I didn't like it, they'd take the food back!!! I normally give benefit of the doubt (given I have many friends who have or currently work in the food industry), but this was just so unacceptable it was unbelievable! As good as the food is, it's no better than other places in the city that have better service.

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served raw chicken!
By cee-licious of Vancouver (37 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 21, 2007 - 12:03am [Dine in]

My co-workers and I decided to try this restaurant since one of their friends suggested it was a good place to eat and decent prices. We normally go to Tandoori King on Fraser but decided to try this new place out. So we did and when we sat down a waiter gave us our menus and we ordered drinks as usual. Quiet inside maybe 3 tables were occupied. We decided to order chicken pakoras, garlic naan, butter chicken and palao rice which are the usual dishes that we eat. Our chicken pakoras came out first and it was barely even hot, luke warm maybe and one of my friends chicken was PINK inside. We decided to tell the waiter and I guess he was new since he had to check with another guy who i assumed was the boss. We decided to cancel our order and by that time the food was on its way out. The owner suggested that yeah "sometimes one or two pieces are like that, but this food is very good and you should eat it". The waitress stood there and looked all pissed off that we didn't want our food anymore. Well who would want to eat after they could potentially get food poisening? God knows what else would be uncooked. My friend went to throw up in the toilet so she wouldn't get food poisening. We just decided to leave and he still charged us for the wine and drinks, which is kinda rude since we were obviously NOT enjoying the meal. All in all, would NEVER go back.

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Great food! (most of the time)
By i_love_food of Vancouver (28 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 3:10pm [Dine in]

I've been here a few times and the food is always served hot and flavourful and the portions are a good size. Last night, the butter chicken and paneer with cilantro and onions were especially yummy!

The food quality is sometimes a little inconsistent (especially if it's busy) and Yes, the service is kind of slow, but it's not any slower than other Indian restaurants (Annapurna is WAY slower), and it's friendly. Definitely a neighbourhood staple.

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There are better Indian restaurants
By occdiner of Surrey (25 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 17, 2007 - 1:20am [Dine in]

Went there for dinner. The dining room is full by the time we get there, so we were expecting good food. The lights are dimmed which makes the room pretty dark. The menu price is higher than the one advertised in the website. Ordered a naan, the Chicken Tikka Masala ($13.95) and the Tandoori Chicken Tikka($14.95). They comes with Rice and Papadum. The papadum is crisp, but tasted too salty. The entrees are way too small portion for the price. The Chicken Tikka Masala has only 3 pieces of chickens in it. The Tandoori Chicken Tikka has 4 pieces. Both chickens are dry.

You could get better food at other Indian restaurants in Vancouver for that price, and you can get more food at an Indian buffet restaurant for lower price.

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Terrible experience!!!!
By monkeypie of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 10:35pm [Dine in]

This was the worst dining experience I have had in Vancouver for a LONG time!!!!

Service was sooooo slow...it took about 15 minutes to ask if we wanted a drink despite that there was only 2 other tables! The two staff members were just standing behind the counter, not doing anything.

Next, when we ordered, we were informed they were out of prawns so nothing basically from the entire section we were going to order from. We had an entertainment coupon so asked if we could get one of their thali dishes with it as they were out of prawns which was what we going to order. They said no, those dishes did not work with the coupon. Finally we ordered butter chicken and saag paneer.

The food was so-so at best...smaller portions, the butter chicken was very tomato saucy with 3 pieces of HUGE chicken rather than normal, bite size pieces. The saag paneer was overspiced and the paneer itself was very bland with only a few pieces in the whole dish! The rice was cold and the naam was small and not very fresh tasting.

Next, a homeless gentleman who appeared intoxicated entered the restaurant trying to sell customers flowers. He stopped at a table with two young women and began asking them for money, asking for sips of their wine, made inappropriate comments about their looks, etc. The women were good sports about it but were obviously uncomfortable and wanted to just enjoy their dinner...the staff did NOTHING...this went on for a good FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT....which doesn't sound like long but if you were there, trust me, it felt very long!

The two staff members just stood behind the desk laughing at the situation rather than doing anything about it. Finally after almost 10 minutes, one of the staff members came over to the man and physically pulled him out of the restaurant in an over aggressive manner (a bit overkill, the staff should have just asked him to leave politely but firmly but like 5-10 minutes earlier!). Of course the man became aggressive as well and pushed the sign over, knocking over a flower pot, spilling dirt everywhere. It was quite a scene and really awkward for everyone. The staff made no effort to apologize to the ladies or the other customers.

We sat at the table for a good 15 minutes with dirty plates before they were cleared despite there was only one other table at this point, had to flag them down to ask for the bill, and then they forgot to apply the coupon to the bill and we had to go to the front and ask. SO ANNOYING!!!

Anyways, will never go back, will never recommend to anyone. AVOID this place, it was anything but a 'Nirvana' experience eating at Nirvana!

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Hang on a second
By li @ mike of Kitsilano (13 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 2, 2011 - 8:19pm [Dine in]

I see many negative reviews on this one. We have eaten here twenty times or so in the past five years.
The majority of the time we did use a coupon. Let me offer you our experience please.

The service has been good on all occasions and they have accepted our coupon with no questions.

The location is not perfect,being next to the adult film buiding, but the Lower Mt Pleasent area continues
to improve and plenty of character and history in the area.

My only negative visit was the last one where a coupe uses foul language throughout our dinner.
At the end of the day I will continue to go back for for bread and karachi.

Give it a try,especially with a coupon. We have enjoyed it.

Mike

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Overpriced Mediocre Food
By rmfont of Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 16, 2010 - 10:21am [Dine in]

I wish I would have checked the reviews on here before ordering from this place. Delivery took almost an hour and when the food arrived I thought that half the order was missing. No, the portions are just REALLY small for the price. If the food were outstanding I could maybe see how the prices are justified, but it wasn't that great, comparable to something you'd get at a cheap food court joint. $14 for barely 2 cups of butter chicken is really poor value. Won't be ordering from here again, there are many other better options out there.

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Not the best Indian in Vancouver
By Foodiebynature of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 20, 2009 - 2:29am [Dine in]

I really don’t know what to say about Nirvana other than there are better East Indian restaurants in Vancouver. If you live in the Mt. Pleasant area it’s convenient.

The staff is friendly but are in no rush; actually they’re extremely slow. I would not recommend going there if you are on lunch break.

The food is inconsistent. There have been times I’ve gone there and the food was fabulous and other times it’s been sub-par. The prices are a little steep for food you could make at home. The portion sizes are again inconsistent.

I usually get the curry lamb which use to have good size pieces of lamb. The last few times I’ve been the lamb pieces were almost non-existent.

I wouldn’t say don’t go there but just expect the unexpected.

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After eating there for 3 years/every 4 weeks
By Odile of Yaletown (18 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 12, 2007 - 8:39pm [Dine in]

We are now getting very disappointed. We eat or have been picking up food for 3 years and craving it, but the last 4 times, the food has been changing, it's no longer consistant and the staff keeps on changing. We must find ourselfves a new indian restaurant.

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It USED to be good
By koopa of Burnaby (16 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 31, 2007 - 4:09pm [Dine in]

This used to be one my favorite Indian Restaurants but not any more. I don't know what happened, maybe the cooks changed or they started to hate their job.
I used to enjoy the butter chicken. It WAS awesome.

The last few times I've had it, the chicken is not really fresh. Once, I've found hair in the food. Another time, I actually had a piece of metal in my butter chicken. (one of those big metal staples that are used to shut boxes!!!!!)?????????

I even checked it out last week after a few months break from the restaurant hoping that the food would be good again but I was disappointed. The chicken was green'ish looking and I asked for them to make it hot but it was mild. They always used to make it hot for me but last few times, they seem to forget.
I would actually give them less than 3 out of 5 but because of my good experiences from the past, they will get 3.

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No Good!!
By honey915 of Kitsilano (16 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 6, 2006 - 11:24pm [Dine in]

We decided to try Nirvana after seeing that they have received 4 stars from other diners. Don't bother to try it! We ordered the butter chicken which was extremely fatty, with the meat tasting "off", the eggplant curry which was luke warm and not very flavourful. It was an overall waste to go there as I've tried many other small Indian restaurants with better flavour. Portion sizes were also nothing to rave about.

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Excellent food
By foodie1 of kitsilano (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 7:21pm [Dine in]

We eat here a couple of times a month. Usually we do take out and you get a 10% discount. The food is always ready for pick up at the time they say it will be. The food is excellent. The chicken vindaloo and the eggplant are our favourites. The onion & cilantro naan is very good. Over the years it has been consistently excellent food. Good portion size and good desserts. The "ambiance" isn't great but the food is.

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Inexpensive food, but small portions
By straw_hut of Vancouver (downtown) (22 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 6, 2014 - 12:26am [Dine in]

So I arrived tonight with the intention of using my entertainment coupon for $14 off.

I love the atmosphere. Even though it is located on a busy street, you could not hear the traffic inside the restaurant. It was dimly lit, and each table had a candle. I was initially happy; we sat down and there were only 2 other couples in the business. We were ready to order in a bit but it seems as though the waitresses were not attentive enough to look up once in a while and notice our stares - after 5 minutes, I had to yell out "excuse me" before someone acknowledged that we were alive.

The order was put in for butter chicken and along with another entrée that had chicken and vegetables but the actual name escapes my mind at the moment..

After a decent 10 minute wait, our food arrives. I could not believe the small portions. It was just a plate with very little rice, along with a small bowl of curry. No free bread, no vegetables on the side. I guess I am being a little picky with Indian food and should expect this since all the Indian places I have eaten serve it this way (I am used to having meat, vegetables and pasta / rice when I eat).

Anyways, back to the meat of my entry - the food I have to admit was good.which is why I gave it a "solid" rating. The curry and rice were perfect.

So we polish off the food and I am probably ready to go to Mcd's for another burger. However, it took forever to get the bill since again, the waitress didn't seem to remember we were there. Also our water was not refilled near the end of the meal.

Overall, the food was good but could have been in bigger portions. And the service could have been better.

I still have a 15% tip though since we got a large chunk of the bill reduced by the coupon.

Good to try, but would not return for a 2nd time.

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