The next restaurant on our list for Dine Out 2014 was Atithi. Atithi, an Indian restaurant located on W. Broadway and Burrard, is a restaurant that falls into the $18 category of this year’s Dine Out selection. A reason why I decided to add Atithi on our list was because sable fish was offered as part of the menu. Unfortunately, having sable fish on the menu is just a reminder to properly manage your expectations, especially if the Dine Out menu is priced significantly lower than the regular menu.
The Dine Out menu for Atithi specifically mentions that they aim to be more focused on traditional Indian cuisine. I did not go to Atithi in previous years so I can’t really say what their menu was like for past Dine Outs. However, you would imagine that since Atithi is an Indian restaurant, they would be serving Indian food. I can’t imagine what else Atithi would have offered on their menu.
Before we dive into the food, I want to quickly mention something about the portion size. The size of the entrees offered on the Dine Out menu is not enough for 1 serving. The entrees are, in my opinion, meant to be shared among the table. The entrees do come with nan and rice though. The small portion size may be part of Atithi’s focus on more traditional Indian cuisine as I find that Indian food is typically ordered to share.
For my appetizer, I went with the Beet root and coconut, veggie cutlet . The Beet root and coconut, veggie cutlet is served with a side of chimicurri sauce and a sauerkraut-like mixture with sweet chili sauce. The cutlet reminded me a lot of falafel based on how it looks and tastes. The cutlet was tasty and you can really taste the herbs and spices used. I personally thought this was a good way to start the dinner because its almost like a “crash course” into all the different spices and flavors typically found in Indian cuisine.
Sara’s appetizer was the Chicken and yam cone, Spicy tawa fry. Tawa fry is basically a stir fry that is made on a flat griddle. Sara’s first opinion on the Chicken and yam cone, Spicy tawa fry was that it reminded her of fajitas because of the tomato tasting sauce that was used. I tried some and the Chicken and yam cone, Spicy tawa fry did indeed taste like fajitas. Another complaint Sara had on the tawa fry was that it consisted of chicken breast. She would have preferred the dark meat.
I choose the Sable fish with mango , mustard and curry leaves. as my main. This is what I meant by “mange your expectations”. Whenever I have sable fish, it has always been a big slice of the fish. I expected the same from Atithi. However, as you can see in the picture I was wrong in my assumption. But then again, the menu was $18 and I can’t really expect a generous portion of sable fish for $18.
The sable fish was served in a mango curry. The mango curry was very good! Perfect balance of spicy and sweet. The sable fish was fried on skewers and seasoned with salt and pepper. The sable fish was really tender and well seasoned but I had one skewer that had too much of the skin for my liking. I must of had one of the tail end pieces. Overall, the sable fish was still a decent choice despite the small portion size.
Sara choose New-Zealand lamb bengali curry with green papaya as her entree. The lamb curry was not as good as the sable fish for a couple reasons. The curry was not really flavorful and sort of tasted too watery. The curry really was just spicy and nothing else. Because the dish had green papaya, I would have expected a little “tropical” taste to the curry. Instead, the curry was just spicy and really lacked any other flavors.
For desert I had the Date palm jaggery rice pudding with almonds. I really enjoyed this desert and I am not usually a desert person. I will eat desert but I won’t have much of an opinion other than it was more food. The rice pudding was nice and simple and somewhat refreshing after a meal with so many spices.
Sara had the Cardamom crème brûlée chocolate. Let me note that this should be “crème brûlée”. They were really small and the sugar was not burnt so really its not a crème brûlée (I could be wrong…). This was kind of disappointing as Sara was expecting a legit crème brûlée but there was a side of fruit, which is nice.
Atithi is another great choice for Dine Out, especially for $18. If you can get past the portion size and keep in mind you are only paying $18 for a three course meal, Atithi does offer a very good menu. I do want to go back to Atithi and enjoy their regular menu as I do want to try more of their curries – at full size.