Experience Curries from Around the World in Vancouver

Sourced from Maenam; Seafood turmeric curry

Curries, with their rich and multi-spiced flavour profiles, are the ideal cold weather antidote. Spooned over rice with a flatbread, like naan, a curry makes for a soothing meal, whether dining in at a restaurant or enjoyed at home as delicious takeout.

Vancouver has a range of establishments that serve excellent curry, representing a diversity of food cultures that have created their own unique versions of the dish.

Here is a list of ones to get you started on your tour of curry options in the city:

Tasty Indian Bistro

Sourced from Tasty Indian; Butter chicken

Curry’s history is complex and circuitous, tracing the movement of people, goods, and culture as a result of the spice trade, but it begins in India, with a stew made intensely flavourful with a variety of spices, like cumin and turmeric. Tasty Indian Bistro (1261 Hamilton Street) in Yaletown is a gorgeous space, with a golden colour palette and shimmering pendant lighting. The food matches the elegance of the décor, with a refined interpretation of classic dishes. Curry highlights include a lamb vindaloo, aromatic from freshly roasted cinnamon, cloves, and mustard seeds; prawns cooked with coconut cream and onion gravy; chicken tikka in a tomato gravy with a hint of coriander; and channa (chickpeas) masala. Sides, such as raita, chutney (mango, ranch, tamarind, and mint), and garlic naan, round out the meal.

Spicy 6 Fine Indian Cuisine

Sourced from Spicy 6; Chicken vindaloo

Named after the six core spices in Northern Indian curries, Spicy 6 Fine Indian Cuisine (1116 Robson Street) pride itself on the freshness and quality of the spices that it uses. Located in the heart of the downtown core, the restaurant still feels cozy and intimate, with food evidently made with care. Methi chicken curry features chicken breast cooked with fenugreek leaves and traditional spices, while lamb rogan josh features lamb cooked with onion and tomatoes in a yogurt curry sauce. Vegetarians can enjoy yellow daal, with yellow lentils long simmered with cumin, garlic, onion, and tomato; or a lovely spinach portobello mushroom curry, with pronounced cumin and garlic notes. Make sure to save room for gulab jamun soaked in fragrant rose water syrup and garnished with shredded coconut.

Maenam

Sourced from Maenam; lamb shank curry

Some of the finest Thai food in the city can be found at Maenam (1938 West 4th Avenue), with the very talented Angus An at the kitchen helm. The cooking at Maenam showcases An’s culinary pedigree (French Culinary Institute-trained with stints at David Thompson’s Nahm and The Fat Duck in the UK), as well as his attention to the seasonal and the local. His curries find that delicate balance crucial in Thai cuisine, which hovers between sweet, salty, hot, and sour. Standout dishes include an aromatic green curry with halibut, krachai, cauliflower, pea and apple eggplant, shallots, and Thai basil; as well as a Khao Soi vegetable curry with yam, cauliflower, grilled broccolini, roasted shallot, and silken tofu. A penang curry with lamb shank is especially satisfying with its rich and aromatic peanut curry.

Banana Leaf

Sourced from Banana Leaf; Rendang beef

Malaysian curries are wonderfully fragrant, as evidenced by the ones found at very popular Banana Leaf (various locations), a consistent and long-running favourite for Malaysian cuisine in the city. Curry choices include a jumbo scallops assam curry simmered in tamarind juice, with turmeric, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, onion, and coconut cream; a rendang beef with curry spices, herbs, cream, and coconut milk; and a boneless chicken curry with mixed vegetables, coconut milk, and lemongrass. An order of flaky roti canai with vegetarian coconut curry sauce is a must, as is an order of coconut rice.

Gyoza Bar

Sourced from Gyoza Bar; Photo Credit: Mark Yuen

You can taste Japanese curry, which is sweeter and milder in profile than an Indian curry, at Gyoza Bar (622 West Pender Street). The restaurant is currently featuring a Marukatsu pop-up, which melds Japanese katsu (deep-fried cutlets), modern global influences, and Japanese comfort staples. Opt for the Marukatsuu curry, which consists of pork or chicken katsu, housemade Japanese ground pork curry, and Asian slaw. Japanese curry sauce can also be ordered as a side to accompany any of the other dishes.

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

Sourced from The Sandbar; 20th anniversary photo of the seafood curry hot pot

And, for a west coast take on curry, head to Granville Island to visit The Sandbar (1535 Johnston Street, Creekhouse #102), which has one of the best heated patios in the city, with phenomenal views of False Creek. Curry appears twice on the menu, with mussels, wok tossed and served in a Thai curry sauce; as well as with a seafood hot pot, chock-full of fresh fish, prawns, scallops, mussels, and market vegetables – all in a coconut red curry. As part of their 20th anniversary, The Sandbar is featuring select inaugural menu items, like the seafood hot pot ($19.95), at their original prices (year 2000) during the month of November. It’s yet another reason to indulge in curry this month!


 

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If you have questions about the latest provincial health orders, please visit the BC Government website.

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