The joy of living in a temperate rain forest sometimes means that your heat turns on in the middle of the day on July 2nd, and the weather resembles late October. Originally I was scheduled to go to Maurya later on in the week, but all the rain and grey and yuck outside prompted me to seize the moment and move up my reservation.
I had the luxury of obtaining a complimentary dining pass for Maurya’s Spice through VANEATS before they went on sale to the public. I thought the restaurant was beautiful with its high ceilings and subtle, but elegant décor. It was the perfect place to go for date night.
The service was impeccable. Moreover, I was seated promptly, the wait staff was polite and intuitive, and I never had to ask for a thing. Our meal started with Papadum, which is a thin, savoury, crispy, wafer-like appetizer. We casually broke off small pieces, and dipped it in the mango chutney and the cilantro paste that was provided while we waited for our food.
We’d been given the heads up by a fellow food blogger that this dining package is a lot of food to eat on your own, so we decided to share the meal. When it arrived I was a little skeptical about the portions, but it actually worked out well for us. Included in the dining pass was:
- Garlic and Basil Naan, Indian leavened bread flavored with chopped garlic and basil
- Mixed greens & beets salad, lightly tossed with vinaigrette
- Seekh Kebab, minced lamb mixed with spices & skewed in charcoal oven
- Mixed Vegetables, seasoned and pan fried broccoli, bell peppers, green beans, zucchini
- Chicken Chettinad, Marinated chicken in South Indian chettinad paste of coconut and poppy seeds – 2009 Dine Out Vancouver Award Winner!
- Daal Maurya, Maurya’s Pride! Black lentils cooked overnight. A real accompaniment to an Indian meal
The Garlic and Basil Naan bread was so amazing with the Chicken Chettinad and Daal Maurya heaped on top of it. We ordered another basket of the Garlic and Basil Naan (at an additional cost) at the end of the meal to sop up the remainder of the sauces, and that put us at a comfortable level of full. It’s no wonder that the Chicken Chettinad won a Dine Out Vancouver award. The lovely flavours of coconut and Indian spices and poppy seeds blend together for rich flavours; there were big smiles from both us after our first bites. I thoroughly enjoyed the Daal Maurya, and I’m glad that a very traditional element was included in the meal.
Perhaps I would have had more of an opinion of the Seekh Kebab if I wasn’t sharing, but I did enjoy the texture which was less like lamb and more like sausage meat and the spices were quite fragrant. It was nice to cleanse our palette with the mixed vegetables and the salad, but the stars of the meal were definitely the Chicken Chettinad and the Daal Maurya.
That concludes the VANEATS portion of our meal, but we decided to prolong our date and went ahead and ordered us each of a cup of Masala Chai and the Ras Malai to share. Please do yourself a favour and try real Indian Masala Chai. The stuff that is sold in grocery stores and cafes all over Vancouver doesn’t hold a flame to the real thing. You’re missing out on the bold flavours of whole spices and tea that have been simmered together, rather than ready to use syrups or bags for steeping. I had Ras Malai for the first time not too long ago, and I will confess that it has grown on me big time. I have fallen in love with the sweet, spongy dessert. This delicate, milky dessert has silky flavours of rose water, pistachios, and saffron. I highly recommend that in addition to your VANEATS package that you try these items, your tummy will thank you!
Be sure to get your Maurya’s Spice Dining Pass from VANEATS, there are limited passes available for a limited time, so don’t wait. Happy dining!