Believe it or not, to this day I still haven’t been to Vij’s. Yes, I know. The closest thing was Vij’s Railway Express, the food truck. So when My Shanti was opened last year in South Surrey, it presented the perfect opportunity for me to get one step closer to Vij’s. We invited WK and MS to join us on a double date.
Going to an Indian restaurant, it’s hard for Mr. to not order a Mango Lassi. So he did. It’s relatively light for a mango lassi, not overwhelmingly thick. There were lots of acidity from the yogurt but just a hint of sweetness from the mango puree. It tasted natural and Mr. liked it.
I ordered the Shaam Masti, a very fruit-forward cocktail. It reminded me of a mojito, refreshing but a bit more tart from the use of citrus juice and blueberry jam. I quite enjoyed it.
We shared a couple of appetizers to start. First, Chhatra Sagar’s Wild Boar Kebabs were nicely charred, well seasoned with a good mix of herbs and spices. To WK and MS it was a bit dry, but knowing that wild boar is leaner than pork I thought they were tasty with just the right amount of juiciness. The accompanying chutney offered some sweetness and tartness that worked well with the sausage-like kebabs.
We’ve had pakoras before, but never oyster ones. Here the Goan Oyster Pakoras were an excellent deal!
For just $11.25 there were over a dozen of oyster fritters to share. The batter was light, and was just thinly coating each oyster, so you can still taste the ocean from each bite. And I liked the presentation of using newspaper clipping on the plate; fancy yet rustic.
Our server recommended Awadhi Chicken Korma and so we gave it a try. It had a generous portion of chicken breast pieces in this spiced nutty sauce. I’m never a chicken breast person — often find it too dry — and this was also on the dry side. I did like the smokiness in the grilling process, and of course, eating the chicken breast with the sauce helped.
Boy, Banglore’s Goat Curry was spicy! The four of us have different levels of tolerance towards heat and spices but this was the one dish that we all found spicy – so that says a lot! The goat meat was tender, wasn’t super gamey. It was spicy without making your tongue go numb, while maintaining the flavours from the herbs and spices. I was expecting the dish to be saucier but I guess this was actually a dry curry.
Lastly, Chhatra Sagar’s Grilled Baby Eggplants was rather small in portion. The dish cost $14 and there were only 5 baby eggplants. They were grilled to nice and soft, and weren’t greasy. I didn’t care for the onions and peppers in the middle of the plate, so I really wished they would just serve up a few more eggplants on the plate.
Overall, we ordered 2 appies, 3 entrees, 2 pieces of naan and a bowl of (complimentary) rice. This was just the right amount of food, so I would recommend similar amount for a dinner for 4.
But wait, we wanted desserts! What caught our eyes was the Rice Pudding Creme Brulee and it was a very satisfying dessert. It’s basically rice pudding with a layer of brulee. The rice pudding was quite good, with lots of coconut milk and pistachio flavours. Definitely something to share.
And WK had a craving for macarons, so we also ordered some Cashew Macarons (they actually spelled it as “macaroons” which confused the heck out of us; wasn’t sure if they meant the coconut cookies). Frankly, it was a disappointment. An order costs $8 and it only came with 3 macarons, so we had to pay an extra $2 for the 4th one. And they came in different shapes and sizes! If they were experienced in making this, they should be able to control the size of each cookie to ensure consistency. The cashew filling was nutty and actually quite delicious, but it was overlooked because there were too many flaws in the almond cookies. To me, this just felt out of place at an Indian restaurant.
Because the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, just like Vij’s, we showed up right at 5pm hoping that we would avoid the lineup. Well, it started out pretty quiet that evening. The place wasn’t filled up until around 7pm or so, and then it was non-stop turnaround of tables. I like the fact that they have a bar area at the back of the restaurant, to allow waiting customers to grab a drink at the bar, or just wait for their table in the comfort of a warm interior. Despite the busy time at the restaurant, our server was very friendly and energetic, and he was very helpful in suggesting dishes to us.
I also like that they bring over a plate of Tapioca Crackers to each table as soon as you are seated. They are lightly seasoned with what I think is five-spice powder. A good twist to chips and crackers.
As a whole, the food at My Shanti was pretty good. I’m no expert in Indian cuisine and I’m sure there are different types of Indian dishes offering spicy and not-so-spicy food. But when I think about Indian cuisine, I would expect and want the spice level to be higher and dishes spicier than what I had here. With the exception of the goat curry. That being said, I appreciated the use of various herbs and spices and went home quite satisfied. Will I still want to go to Vij’s one day? Definitely.
15869 Croydon Drive, Surrey (Morgan Crossing)