From the warm lighting to the centrepiece fireplaces, the atmosphere at Khazana is indicative of heat. Even the logo of the upscale Indian restaurant is centred on the flames of India’s tandoor ovens. And while Khazana is known for its expansive lunch buffet, the dinner experience is well worth the visit for any fan of spicy sauces and fire-grilled meat.
We take our server’s advice on the fish Khazana to start. The marinated chunks of pollock are served crisp, though soft and tender on the inside. The white fish marries well with the thick tandoori dipping sauce and does its duty in prepping us for the main attraction: the mixed grill – a hearty sampler of Khazana’s grilled items.
It’s a carnivore’s dream: The Peshawari lamb is served medium well and the grilled salmon is cooked with a crispy layer of seasoned skin. Rounding out the plate is a tender and spice saturated Alberta beef Boti, while the tandoori chicken stands apart with a fiery yogurt marinade locked in with a perfectly charred exterior.
No Indian cuisine experience is complete without testing your limits. At Khazana, the sure-fire way to do this is to order the vindaloo, the hottest dish in the joint. We order ours with lamb (the other meat choices are beef, chicken and shrimp), and when it hits the palate, the heat is on. Tender chunks of meat are bathed in a rich, spicy curry sauce – one that satisfies as much as it burns.
In the end, cooler heads must prevail, and to tame the stomach, a cool and creamy Indian ice cream, kulfi, is the best medicine. The pistachio-and-saffron-infused dessert douses the flames, leaving them a distant, but pleasant, memory. (10177 107 St., 780-702-0330, khazana.ab.ca)