When it come to Indian food Palki Restaurant has been serving up some of the best Indian in North Vancouver for 14 years now. Bhupinder and Balwant Mroke have a long past of bringing Indian cuisine to parts of BC that traditionally were void of this delicious food but where he really has shined is with Palki. For this dinner I was joined by a few other food writers including Rickard Wolak and Stephanie Yuen.
I’ve visited the East Vancouver location before but this was the first time coming to the original North Vancouver location. With the restaurant being just off Lonsdale it’s really easy to get to if taking transit but if driving parking might be tricky in the area. The dining room is good for all sizes of groups with a good selection of table, booth and banquette seating and the room gets very intimate with beautiful lamps and candlelight when the sun goes down.
For our dinner we were served a selection of great wines and cocktails including The Palki pictured above made with fresh mint, ginger simple syrup, pineapple coconut water, lychee and white rum. The wine list is diverse and is currently being updated with some amazing BC wines, some pictured above.
We started off with some Samosas with 2 different fillings, beef and vegetarian. The samosas were served with the traditional mint and cilantro chutney along with a tamarind chutney. One thing about both of the samosas that I loved was the pastry, it was nice and thin. Filling wise I liked the taste of the meat and the spicing was nice but it was slightly on the dry side, the vegetarian option was nice with more of the spice coming through.
Next up we had some Pakora’s but instead of the onion ones I’ve had before these were Prawn and Chicken. The spicing on both of the pakora’s was just right with a good amount of heat. The prawns used were nice and plump, the batter was crisp and they weren’t over cooked. My favorite was the chicken variety though, the meat was nice and juicy and they used nice sized pieces of chicken. When paired with the Rose the heat was much more noticeable but the wine totally complimented them.
To go with our mains and a must order item in my opinion was a selection of freshly made naan bread. Starting on the left is the Garlic and Basil Naan, next is the Onion and Basil Naan and finally the Kasmiri Naan. The Kasmiri naan was stuffed with chopped dried fruit along with nuts so it was slightly on the sweet side and traditionally eaten near or at the end of the meal. The other naan’s I’ve had before and were equally delicious here, I would recommend them along with the spinach and paneer variety to anyone.
To start things out with some of the classic vegetarian dishes we had the Gobi Aloo. With a mix of cauliflower, potatoes cooked with fresh coriander, ginger and tomatoes this is a filling and flavorful dish just on its own. The cauliflower and potatoes were cooked thoroughly without being mush and the spicing was nice but I would have liked the sauce to me a bit thinner.
Next up was Saag Paneer. This dish is one of my favorites and I was surprised to learn they also put broccoli in it to add another depth of flavor. The paneer is made in-house and the take the extra step of condensing their own milk for the cheese, it has a firm texture but is smooth and buttery in mouth feel. Overall I loved this and went back for 2nd’s and 3rd’s.
Now moving onto some seafood we had Prawn Goan Curry made with coconut and coriander along with ginger. I can appreciate this dish for the flavors and ingredients but my personal taste in curry’s is richer and more meat based protein wise.
One of my favorite dishes of the night is a Canadian staple, Butter Chicken. Palki’s butter chicken isn’t as heavy as it is traditionally made and has a nice tomato tang to it, the meat was still moist and tender. Sauce wise with places that make lighter butter chicken you run into either a sauce that is too tangy or sweet, this butter chicken was none of those and is a must try item.
The Lamb Rogan Josh was the most flavorful curry’s of the night. With a good punch of heat this curry is packed with the flavor of the lamb and the sauce is great to sop up with the naan and enjoy with a nice glass of red.
From the Tandoor we had the Chicken Hariyali Kebob. I’ve enjoyed this dish at the Soho Road Food Cart before and really liked it so seeing a sizzling platter of this come out put a smile on my face! The boneless chicken is marinated with yoghurt, fresh cilantro and mint which gives it that beautiful green hue. The chicken for this was moist and tender with big flavor from the marinade.
For dessert we were served Rice Pudding along with Gulab Jamun. The rice pudding was scented with cardamom which I think I’m going to start adding to mine when I make it at home-it was delicious. The rice pudding wasn’t overly sweet and I could have easily eaten a whole bowl. The gulab jamun traditionally isn’t one of my favorites due to it being overly sweet but Palki gets props for balancing the warm, sweet syrup with a nice blend of spices.
Overall I enjoyed my feast at Palki and would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid Indian meal. All throughout the night people who live near by were coming in for take out and the diners that were eating in all looked like they enjoyed themselves-it was smiles all around. If you’re looking a great deal at lunch Palki offers lunch buffet Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 2:30pm for just $10.95.
**Disclosure-I was invited by the owners for dinner and the meal was on them, my experience and opinion are completely my own.**