Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Restaurant Review: Jolly's Indian Bistro

I haven't done a restaurant review here for a while - if at all. But I was so impressed last night that I thought I should pass this along. I like Indian food but it has been a while since I went out looking for one. Indeed, it was Groupon that brought me here. I have signed up for their email - but months went by before I saw something I might actually use. Fortunately, this Groupon lasted six months, so we did find a way to use it eventually. Jolly's is small, and very popular already, both for dine in and take out. One Friday night around six or so we saw lines to the door. Obviously no chance of a table that night - but there is plenty of choice a short walk away. Not Indian, but all sorts. Early Tuesday evening it was a different story. The place was nearly empty and the few of us there were regarded as secondary to filling a huge take out order. One guy (presumably Jolly himself) working hard in the kitchen. But when our starter came (we shared) it was very tasty - pakhora. I ordered lamb rogan josh, my partner chicken biryani. That comes with a small salad on the plate, and a pile of basmati rice - even with the order of biryani - a rice dish. And two naan - so quite a blast of carbs. The lamb was tender and tasty - and quite mild. The biryani quite the best I have ever tasted - fragrant might be the best word. There was quite a lot of biryani to pack up for lunch the next day. The bill - including a pint of draft Okanagan Springs IPA - was around $60 - ignoring the coupon and including the tip.

One niggle of mine is the serving of food that is supposed to be hot on cold plates. The lamb came in a metal bowl, and the side salad was already on the plate. That did mean we could easily share - something many people like to do. But maybe it would work better the other way round if they have a plate warmer.

The decor is modern and tasteful - not a sign of red flock wallpaper. And even on Tuesday it was filling up fast by the time we left. Groupon obviously spreads the word across Vancouver, but one thing I have heard from a merchant is that small businesses can quickly get overwhelmed and may not have adequate margins to withstand deep discounts at high volumes.

If you are a Kits local, you probably know all about this place. if not, call ahead and reserve. I will be going back even without a coupon.

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