The past two Saturday’s in Vancouver have been all about one thing – Vaisakhi. This festival is observed by Hindu’s, Sikh’s and Buddhist’s, and celebrates the start of the harvest season and the birth of the Khalsa. Vancouver and Surrey celebrate Vaisakhi each year with huge street festivals and parades featuring tons of music, dancing and entertainment.
Feasting is also a huge part of Vaisakhi and many people choose to do a “Seva” or act of selfless service during the festival. In this case, that means giving out tons of free food.
Yep, that’s right – FREE! I stuffed my face with delicious curries of all kinds, deep fried naan, sweet desserts and heartwarming chai tea.
Even though I had enough food at Vaisakhi to last me until the next year, I decided to further indulge my curry cravings a few days later at Siddhartha’s Kitchen on Commercial Drive with my friend, Jeremy.
- Aloo Tiki – 2 crispy potato cakes served with a blend of Delhi, tamarind, mango sauces topped with pomegranate and cilantro
- Kuchumber Salad – sample size of fresh cucumber, onion, tomato & bell peppers served with chaat masala & chef special dressing
- Chicken Korma – boneless chicken pieces cooked in an exotic curry, accented with cashew nut and raisin gravy
- Butter Chicken – creamy Shahi sauce infused with fenu-greek leaves, cream, tomato marinade and a hint of coconut. Tossed with boneless marinated smoked chicken; a rich and unforgettable perfection
Chef Siddhartha – or Sid, as he asked us to call him – was incredibly nice and super passionate about his food. He creates traditional Indian dishes with modern twists that make them tastier and healthier, like the Aloo Tiki, which I couldn’t get enough of! The potatoes have a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a hint of spice that is balanced out by the subtly sweet mango sauce.
The Butter Chicken was my hands-down favorite. It is creamy without being heavy with just the right amount of sweetness to still keep everything savoury. The chicken is tender and juicy; each piece cooked to perfection.
I really liked the Chicken Korma as well, but it has a similar flavor profile as the butter chicken. Maybe it’s because I kept eating it after a big bite of the butter chicken, but the curry flavors of the korma didn’t stand out that much to me. I do like that it was also creamy without the heaviness so I didn’t mind repeatedly dipping my naan into it!
The Kuchumber Salad has a very subtle flavor and was a nice palate cleanser between the butter and korma chickens.
I really loved Siddhartha’s menu, which was packed with great vegetarian and gluten-free options. We also ordered a Palak Paneer to go with our VANEATS package. You can tell that the spinach in this dish is really fresh as it really came through in each bite. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough paneer, but I just really, really love paneer, so I’m hard to please haha
Sid also recommended we try his house Spicy Sauce, which will be available for retail in the near future. It’s got a real kick to it and is made with imported chilies. If you love your curry hot as hell, dump a teaspoon of this into your bowl, otherwise, I found little dabs on my chicken was enough to tickle my taste buds without making me sweat.
2066 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC
Kuchumber Salad photo credit: VANEATS FB page
Note: I was given a complimentary preview of this dining package. This review and all opinions are mine. If you’d like me to review your restaurant or food product, please feel free to email me at karra (dot) social (at) gmail (dot) com!