Monday, December 3, 2012

Yummy Modern Indian Fare at Rangoli

As I entered Rangoli, my spirits were immediately lifted when greeted with sweet aromas of Indian spices, rich colours from the hip but simply decorated interior and Bhangra music cheerfully playing in the background. 

Rangoli restaurant & market
This warm welcome is symbolic to the meaning of the restaurant's name. Rangoli is an Indian ancient folk art of patterns, made from coloured ground rice, decorated in front of home entrances. This practice is an expression of hospitality that also enhances the beauty of its surroundings.

Rangoli is Vij’s charming sister restaurant, located right next door on 11th and Granville Street.  Positioned as the more causal eatery that doubles as a marketplace selling Vij's frozen and packaged meals, it is open for lunch and dinner. 

Owner Vikram Vij is spotted regularly on sight, at both Vij's and Rangoli, warmly greeting and serving guests. When I visited, he was out-of-town on his annual culinary tour. He brings 15 to 20 foodies to India and is their personal tour guide, introducing them to his favourite restaurants and markets as well as teaching them how to cook local Indian fare.
Bottomless Chai Tea
In the absence of Vikram, Rangoli's manager, Cory, happily recommended his favourites from the menu. To help warm me up from Vancouver's winter rain, he brought over a steaming hot mug of chai tea. It was a light and creamy brew of black tea and milk with the perfect spice balance of cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and star anise. The chai is bottomless, so I delightfully cozied up to a couple of chai mugfuls before dinner arrived. 

Savoury Chaat
Cory brought out my first course, the savoury chaat, a traditional Indian snack. Served cold, I enjoyed the texture and flavour medley of crunchy wheat crisps with the creamy yogurt and the spicy baked potatoes with the sweet chutney.

Lamb in cumin in light cream curry
For my entree, I ordered the lamb in cumin and light cream curry. I liked there was a good amount of tender lamb tucked among the stewed peppers and onions. The naan, basmati rice and spring salad were all great companions for the curry that had a light richness with gentle hints of cumin.

Meeti Roti
Being stuffed with savoury chaat, lamb curry and three servings of chai tea didn't deter me from ordering dessert. Going with Cory's final recommendation, I ordered the meeti roti, made of chapatis (flat unleavened bread) filled with Demerara sugar and cashews then drizzled with vanilla custard. Strings of julienned mint brightened up the dish and I managed to polish off 3 meeti roti wedges!

Amazing chefs at Rangoli
At Rangoli you can have the best of both worlds - quick and friendly service with dishes that hold the same elegance and modern-Indian flavours that can be found at Vij's, minus the line-ups.

1488 W 11th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
(604) 736-5711

My recommendations:
Chai Tea $2.50; Savoury Chaat $8.50; Lamb in Cumin & Light Creamy Curry $15; Meeti Roti $5.50

Rangoli on Urbanspoon

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