We don’t find ourselves in the Surrey area of Greater Vancouver too often. No specific reason in particular except that it’s just a little far from our home in Kits – it’s over an hour and a half round-trip! But when we are in the area, we make a point of trying new (to us) Indian restaurants.
Last time we were in the vicinity we checked out Mahek, and before that we dined at Taste of Punjab. Both were quite good. On this occasion, we visited Northern Tadka Taste of India on 96 Avenue in Cedar Hills.
Northern Tadka specializes in, not surprisingly, North Indian cuisine from the Punjab region of India. Therefore, menu items consist of meat and naan freshly baked in the Tandoor, lassi beverages, and other crowd pleasers such as (one of our favs) Butter Chicken.
We were warmly greeted by the host when we arrived and seated at a comfy booth. I love sitting in booths at casual restaurants – don’t you? We noticed that the restaurant was very large and could seat plenty of people.
To start, we ordered a Mango Lassi ($3.49) – This Indian yogurt drink was a large portion, sweet and creamy with plenty of mango flavour.
Delicious coriander & mint and tamarind chutneys were served to accompany our Vegetable Pakoras ($5.99) – These mixed vegetable fritters were battered in chick pea flour and then deep fried to a golden brown. Crispy and not too greasy, these tasty bites were nicely seasoned.
Garlic Naan ($2.49) – Traditional North Indian bread baked in the Tandoor (clay oven) and garnished with garlic and herbs. It was served warm and its interior texture was soft, while its exterior had the right amount of char.
Any respectable North Indian restaurant will offer the popular Butter Chicken ($10.99) dish on its menu. With its tender pieces of Tandoori chicken breast swimming in a rich and creamy tomato based sauce – it’s hard not to like this item. Northern Tadka’s Butter Chicken contained a good balance of spices without being overly creamy or overly tomatoey. It wouldn’t have hurt if it had a little more heat because we love spicy food!
At the end of our meal, the server brought us out two servings of vanilla ice cream topped with a sprinkle of almonds for a crunchy texture. This was a kind gesture and a great finish to our evening. It was almost surprising to experience genuinely warm and gracious service at Northern Tadka. It was a refreshing experience compared to the often indifferent and even blatantly rude service found in many Vancouver establishments!
Overall, Northern Tadka offers friendly, attentive and helpful service along with well-sized portions of tasty Indian dishes. Have you been to Northern Tadka? What did you think of the restaurant compared to others in Surrey?