The Mirch Masala Experience.
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Ever have a craving for something that you just can’t explain? Well on Fathers Day, Areeb was having an intense craving for Indian food. I often cook Indian dishes at home, but my versions are more Fijian style Indian dishes- so there is a lot of onions, turmeric and heat spices like masala but not intense spices like many Indian dishes have.

Deep gravies of roasted tomatoes and caramel onions, with star anise and black cardamom and cinnamon- delicious and spicy!

Since we have a handful of favorite restaurants, Areeb decided to stick to one of his normal favorites, Mirch Masala Restaurant, located in Surrey British Columbia- not to be confused with the one in Surrey UK 😛

Hungry For Indian Food!

We have been here many times, since it is a Muslim halal restaurant, therefore perfect for us. Aside from being Muslim, why chose Halal? Well I’ll explain that maybe in another post. But if you find a Halal restaurant anywhere, it pretty much means, you’re going to get flavor and value! So seek them Muslim restaurants out!

This particular Fathers day, we decided to go all out. We ordered our kids favorite the Butter Chicken and our favorite the Curry Lamb, but this time we decided to order their Tandoori Platter and make everything “MEDIUM” spice.  With small children, I have always made a habit of cooking and keeping things mild, because their little tummies can only take so much. But good exposure from my moms cooking has brought up their sensitivity and tolerance; and honestly, they like the spice because it does kick up the flavor profile of the food!

He really likes his butter chicken!

Areeb is a spicy kind of guy too! Me, being born Fijian and used to spice, have a larger threshold for spice, but Areeb can out spice me- which terrifies my Indianess >_<

The kids agreed, they will give it a try! So we did it! We ordered medium even for their beloved butter chicken.

We ordered for our meal:
-butter chicken
-lamb curry
-tandoori platter (or mixed platter)
-plain and garlic butter naans
-palou rice (rice stir fried in cumin seeds and peas)

Since butter chicken does have a sweetness to it from the whip cream they add, it wasn’t as intense as I thought it would be. But still it was at least 2 levels up from Mild. They were eating away, but drinking away at the same time. They loved it! That spiciness didn’t stop them. With every bite they would drink water, but they just wouldn’t admit defeat and stop. The flavor was just too good, the taste too delicious to let spice stop them.

Pushing on!
The life line of the table, water!

We tried to get them to try some tandoori chicken from the Tandoori Platter, but after one bite, I’m afraid they threw in the towel on it and continued with their butter chicken instead. LOL When I tried the tandoori chicken, it was considerably spicier.  But still so good we didn’t stop eating it.

Tandoori chicken off the sizzling plate.
Tried a bite of tandoori chicken.
Gave up! 🙂

Butter Chicken:
What can I say other than awesome! Creamy, with good chunks of chicken breast, sweet and spicy flavors. Its a must if you have kids! Great for adults too!

Butter chicken hungry.

Lamb Curry:
If you have never tried it before, do it! Do it now! Amazing gravy, lamb was so tender. With little bites of ginger and onions in that gravy, it  just makes those bites intense and bursting with flavor! GO NOW AND GET IT!

Tender lamb curry.

Tandoori Platter:
You get the whole tandoori taste from the tandoori menu. Chicken, lamb and prawns, all comes in a sizzler plate that’s just steaming. Comes on a fresh bed of veggies and a wedge of lemon to add that extra yum! Was so delicious!

Tandoori Platter on a sizzling hot plate! Careful!

Naan and Rice:
Perfection! We got both the plain naan and garlic butter to try, and yep, we made the right choice! It was that little extra delicious when you’re scooping up that lamb or chicken. The rice was fluffy, stir fried with butter, cumin and peas and again, it’s just that little extra flavor that completes the meal.

Soft naan

Everything was incredibly fresh and delicious! The dishes came with 2 chutneys, mint and sweet chili tamarind. It also came with a undressed salad with fresh lettuce, raw purple onions, cucumbers, radishes and cilantro. Trust me, it all works beautifully. But the salad was a tad bit exciting considering everything else was just  flavor!

OH and squeeze that lemon on that tandoori platter- it’s a must!

The Atmosphere:
Its as authentic as you can ask for in a western indian place. When we went, trendy Bollywood music was playing, which the kids loved. Areeb prefers more soft Indian music playing instead so it doesn’t intensify the slow pace that you want when savoring Indian food. It’s well lit, with their windows not blinded down, good lighting so you can see your food and the people you’re with. The  Indian details like a mural of the Taj Mahal, to the lantern lights, it all just adds to the experience. But is it the most authentic? Well since butter chicken isn’t actually a dish in India- you get my drift. But still it’s really good. Plus they have a fish tank! Fishies!!!


The Service:
Was good! Our waitress was fabulous! She was quick and came and topped up our water and checked up on us not too often but enough. She also brought extra plates and napkins without having to ask. She also gave the kids little lollipops for their good behavior. They aren’t always good at restaurants, but this was butter chicken man! LOL
The food came in about 15 mins, which isn’t too bad, because they do make things fresh so it’s expected. Also we wanted everything all at once. We ordered no appetizers, Areeb doesn’t see the value in those, he prefers just to eat salad before or add another dish.

We had leftovers obviously, because it was a lot of food we ordered. The only thing we polished away was the tandoori platter. But this way we had lunch packed for the next day- savvy! We ordered no deserts, simply because Areeb wanted a coffee and donut from Tim Hortons after. But try their chai milk tea and gulab jabmoon- perfect sweet ending after a spice induced food coma.

I should also add that it’s good to have Indian food every now and then. Even if you cook up something at home. The spices, turmeric, heavy amounts of ginger and garlic do your body good, and helps your immune system, don’t believe me, google it! Everything from gut health, to cleaning out your arteries, to cancer fighting- you will find in an Indian dish. So plan your next meal to be an Indian meal, and experience not only amazing flavors, but body good too. Just don’t over do it. Hahaha.

Taj Mahal in Surrey 😛
Heading out!

Please watch our youtube video to watch the kids reactions to the food, to how the food looks, to the restaurant itself! And as always, thanks for reading and watching 🙂

See you next time!

~~ Lazina ~ ~

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