Walking along Commercial Drive, your first sign of Siddhartha’s Kitchen is a large, colourful mural on the restaurant’s south wall. Siddhartha translates to “an essence well proven”. A modern Indian restaurant infused with traditional values, this one year-old, family-friendly restaurant serves up hearty and healthy Indian fare, with all the usual favourites on the menu.
Chef Siddharth Choudhary has nearly 13 years under his belt, having worked in various kitchens in India, England, Ireland, and now Canada. I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Choudhary at the 2013 Social Media Awards. The occasion of our visit was to taste the newly-minted VanEats dining package, on now through August 10.
For $18, you’ll get:
– Aloo Tiki: 2 crispy potatoes cakes served with a blend of Delhi, tamarind, and mango sauces topped with pomegranate and cilantro
– Kuchumber Salad: sample size of fresh cucumber, onion, tomato and bell peppers served with chaat masala plus the chef’s own dressing
– Chicken Korma: boneless chicken pieces cooked in an exotic curry, accented with cashew nut and raisin gravy
– Butter Chicken: boneless marinated smoked chicken and creamy Shahi sauce infused with fenu-greek leaves, cream, tomato marinade and a hint of coconut
Rice is also included, but we couldn’t resist ordering a garlic and basil naan, part of a collection of six on the menu, including garlic and cilantro, onion and cilantro, plain, peshavvari (stuffed with coconut and raisin), and garlic.
The kitchen uses Oceanwise-certified seafood in its dishes. On the sustainability front, Chef Siddharth often frequents local shops to procure his ingredients. Siddhartha’s staff is friendly and service is not rushed.
We both admired the colourful, local artwork on the walls, particularly the large gold/green buddha painting directly in front of me. Another cool moment was in the washroom, where Indian music engulfs the space. I’m not kidding. I felt as though I’d been transported to India.
The chicken dishes have subtle differences in taste, and both are presented in white square bowls on a flat tray. The butter chicken pieces are first smoked, then marinated in a creamy tomato and coconut Shahi sauce, adding even more spices and flavour to the meat. The chicken korma’s sauce is perfect for dipping the naan into.
Many dishes are gluten-free and/or vegetarian, making it a relatively painless experience for fellow diners with certain restrictions.
I’d gladly return to Siddhartha’s, with or without the motivation of a killer deal of a dining pass. Their food is simply awesome: flavourful, well-cooked, and fragrant. As well, the tandoori chicken is prepared without oil, baked in a Tandoori oven.
The VanEats package portions were perfect for a filling meal. A few desert options round out the menu. Siddhartha’s is currently awaiting a liquor permit and expects to have it in a couple of months. Plans for an outdoor patio are also underway.
Siddhartha’s Kitchen is located at 2066 Commercial Drive in Vancouver. It’s open seven days a week from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm. Free local delivery is offered as well as an online takeout menu.
My meal was compliments of Van Eats and Siddhartha’s Kitchen for the purpose of previewing the Siddsation dining package. My husband paid for his meal and side dishes.