On our final meal in Kelowna took us to the Hillcrest Farm Market and Cafe. This wonderful 3rd generation family business includes a full fruit and vegetable farm, a seasonal market that sells produce and canned delights with a cafe rounding out the other half of the space, above all this on a send floor is a full bed and breakfast as well!
Over 100 years ago the Great Grandfather WALKED from Vancouver all the way to Kelowna with his wife to start his own farm, over a century things are still going strong with the land still in the family. The cafe has become very popular with area residents and tourists alike with wonderfully created Indian-inspired dishes as well as North American dishes and baked goods. For lunch we sat down with one of the daughters whose mother is the executive chef and brains behind the menu, they also have a in-house pasty chef who makes a variety of delicious baked goods including all the bread used in the cafe throughout the day.
First we dug into a couple of appetizers including Potato and Pea Samosas with homemade chutney. Biting into these your greeted with wonderful seasoning and great pastry that wasn’t to hard or greasy. I’ve had my fair share of samosas in my life and these rank up with the ones from Vikram Vij, the balance of spices and flavors with the chutney added on made my mouth water. They are known for the samosas here and I can totally see why, I highly recommend them.
Next up were some Vegetable Pakoras with homemade chutney. Again these were perfectly prepared with the batter not being to thick which enabled the filling to shine! They serve these with the same chutney as the samosas and I could have easily eaten the whole plate.
They also have special creation on the menu that is centered around those amazing samosas, this is the Hillcrest Samosa and Sholay Partay! It’s two vegetable samosas topped with curried chickpeas, homemade yoghurt, chutney, diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Again this was another winning dish, the combination of ingredients, textures and flavors really was unlike anything I’ve had before. The chickpea mixture was mildly spiced and was a great topper for the samosas. Texture wise the pasty of the samosa, pop of the chickpeas and crunch from the diced red onions made this a real party on my mouth! This is another one of those must try dishes if you make a visit.
Next up was a fusion of 2 of my favorite things to make Butter Chicken Naan Pizza! With a combination of yummy butter chicken, delicious sauce, cheese and banana peppers on soft naan how can you go wrong. These yummy bites had a nice tang from the tomato based butter chicken sauce and a slight spice from the banana peppers.
The Fresh Naan at Hillcrest is soft on the inside with a good amount of char on the outside, it holds up nicely in the butter chicken pizza and is great for sopping up the delicious curries.
We enjoyed 2 different curries, this is the Matter Paneer with fresh homemade Indian cheese with peas in a curry cream sauce. I’m a fan of anything with paneer in it and this dish was a total winner with me. The sauce was mildly spiced and just creamy enough without being overly rich and the peas weren’t over cooked and still had a nice pop to them when eating the curry. The cheese itself was fresh and they used a good amount of it in the dish.
Next up we had some Butter Chicken that the Hillcrest is famous for. In my time I’ve had a lot of butter chicken and the standouts can be counted on one hand, this was a MAJOR standout! The sauce wasn’t as thick as I’ve had in the past and it wasn’t overly rich, because of this it didn’t weigh down my stomach. Flavor wise the curry had a great tang to it and the spicing was just right, the chicken was moist and they used a good amount of it.
The Hillcrest has a in-house pastry chef that makes all the breads, baked goods and desserts which is something you don’t see at a lot of places. We ended up sampling a variety of sweet treats with the lemon bars and cheesecake being the standout for me but I don’t think you can go wrong with any item you choose. This is a place you totally want to save room for dessert for!
Assorted Bars and Squares
Cheesecake with homemade blueberry compote
Blueberry Muffins with Coconut Snow
Overall I REALLY enjoyed my visit to the Hillcrest Farm Market and Cafe, the food was fabulous and you could definitely taste the love in the dishes, it was some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. If you’re visiting the Kelowna are I would suggest you put this great family run business on your must eat map! If you would like more information about the Hill Crest Farm Market and Cafe please click here.
**Disclosure–I was a guest of Tourism Kelowna and my transportation, accommodation and all meals were taken care of. I am not receiving any compensation for writing about my experiences and all opinions are 100% my own. Tourism Kelowna or the businesses mentioned have not reviewed this post before publication.**