Updated: 16th Dec 2014; This restaurant has changed its name to Cafe Madras according to Urbanspoon.com.
There is something about Simply Curries that catches my attention. I still remember the first time we had lunch there when they first opened about six years ago. It was brand new then. I think it was the striking yellow-orange color of the place.
A few weeks back, some of you recalled that I blogged about Popular Chinese Cuisine. Walking back to our car from the dinner, we walked passed Simply Curries and remarked that we had been to this place before.
Coincidentally, a week later, a friend sent us an email to check out Simply Curries and said that the owner wanted to invite us to do a review on the place.
Simply Curries is very much a hole in the wall kind serving South Indian food. It is located along Kingsway in Vancouver, between Joyce and Tyne. You will not miss spotting Simply Curries — just look for the large yellow-orange signboard.
Vishy is the man behind this place and I must add, very chatty too.
The interior is very simple but it is painted in bright yellow-orange. I asked if he is a NDP supporter (since he proudly showed me a video of Jack Layton’s visit on his computer). He vehemently said, “No, No, No!” … and then proudly added that it’s painted in the colors of the Indian national flag, pointing to the green on the ceiling.
Vishy said that the theme he wanted for Simply Curries is “keep it simple”. He does not believe in very fancy menus with hard to picture Indian names. He has this 3-step ordering system posted on the wall prominently.
Since we were there on Vishy’s invitation, I asked that he surprise us … just serve us what he wants.
Surprise us he did. He made Curry on Fries for Nanzaro. Hmmm … why have anyone not really thought of this? This was great. I personally prefer curries over gravy with fries anytime. You might want to try this. At Simply Curries, this is $4.75.
The other surprise he gave us was these colorful and marvelous Mini Samosas. You will love this. They came color coded so that you know what it is in them. Green is spinach, yellow is lamb, white is chicken and red is beef. Yeah, I know. I had the same question too about the beef samosa.
We absolutely love this. They are plump, well-formed and made in bite sizes. The skin was crispy with a little spiciness in the skin even. Vishy serves this with tamarind sauce as the dip. We dipped it both in the tamarind sauce and the curries he gave us … they are great. Simply Curries sells this for $5.75 a plate which includes a dozen pieces.
Here is the beauty. You will get this for free if you …
… just say “Chowtimes love Simply Curries’ Mini Samosas” and you will get them on the house. How do you like that? :-0
I warned Vishy that there could be way too many takers and he said “bring them on”! So there you go. Go for a meal in Simply Curries, and mention that magical “chowtimes” word and you get this for free.
One thing I want to mention. Vishy is a nice guy and does this out of good faith. He believes his samosas is so good that you will end up getting more from him over the long run. He wanted you to taste his samosas. However, I must say that I had feedback from Dulcinea when we did the free 1528 choc thingy, there were some abuses which I was kind of embarassed when I heard it. So, I am going to protect Vishy and asked that one be fair to him and not in anyway abuse his good intentions by making demands for more samples.
Actually, Simply Curries main operations is not the restaurant. Simply Curries is more famous for the samosas and dosas that he sells wholesale. Vishy proudly told us that every single samosas in the UBC came from him. He had also supplies his samosas to a number of high profile customers (like Glowbal, 4 Seasons Hotel, River Rock Casino). Beside samosas, he also caters for the Indian Consulate.
The above is their normal sized samosas which is quite big. He does sell these samosas uncooked if you want. At home, you could prepare it in a variety of ways … deep fry, pan fry, microwave or use the toaster oven.
Vishy brought us to his operations at the back of the restaurant to see how they are made. He told us that they make the samosas fresh by hand and is not manufactured. He wanted to ensure quality in each and every piece of samosas that he sells.
Vishy sells this by the dozen. One of these big samosas is $1.25 each and will consistently weigh 140g. He randomly picked a few samosas and weigh it to prove it … not that he need to do that but I can see the seriousness he has of his products. I was impressed.
Anyway, back to the meal we had. We had Butter Chicken and asked that it be made very spicy. It was VERY spicy the way it was made. The meat was chunky and what we like best was that he gave us a lot of curry gravy. We love to drench the rice with lots of curry.
While the Butter Chicken was good, the Curry Lamb was much better.
The curries came with rice and naan. I can’t make out this type of naan but I suspect it is one of those mass produced ones which Vishy did not make. It looked more like pita bread but is slightly moist and salted.
Take the chance to check out Simply Curries and especially their samosas. If you do, please let Suanne and I know what you think.