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September 20, 2019

Best Restaurants: Best Indian

Avenue Best Restaurants 2013

Photography Curtis Comeau

1.

NARAYANNI’S

This family-run restaurant has an extensive, constantly evolving buffet of South African/Indian food. Matriarch Selva Naidoo focuses on redefining traditional curries by nixing cream-based sauces for clear broths. While the switch may make your meal healthier, it doesn’t affect the rich, intricate tastes of masala chicken or wild salmon chutney. Celiacs and vegans are also welcome to dig in with carefully labelled gluten-free and vegan options. Sweet squash, delicious couscous and crunchy kale are among the vegetarian dishes. Meanwhile, the papadums could possibly be the ultimate in Indian snacks – oh-so-satisfying lentil crisps are completed when dipped in fiery mint or sweet mango chutneys. The food is great, but it’s the warm, friendly atmosphere with a cozy fireplace that really makes Narayanni’s feel like home; that is, if your home happens to include a mother-figure constantly trying to feed you. -Sydnee Bryant

10131 81 Ave., 780-756-7112, narayannis.com

Runner-Up

GURU FINE INDIAN CUISINE

Chef Deependra Singh prepares high-end Indian cuisine in a sleek, low-key environment. Like many gourmet restaurants, Singh recommends pairing many dishes with wine – spicy Indian cuisine goes well with a sweet wine like a pinot noir, providing a unique contrast. Guru even has its own wine list, composed by Gurvinder Bhatia of Vinomania. The menu has classics like butter chicken, but several standout dishes are showy and complicated, including the lamb-chicken kebab. They look like little wraps, but they’re all protein, no carbs – spiced ground chicken is wrapped around lamb and baked in a clay oven.  -Caroline Barlott

17021 100 Ave., 780-484-4300,  gururestaurant.com

Honourable Mention

MOKSHA

Those intimately familiar with Indian cuisine will navigate Moksha’s buffet with ease, while those who are new to it will probably feel more comfortable ordering off the extensive menu. Both options equal hearty, satisfying Indian food in an open setting. The butter chicken is substantial with thick hunks of juicy chicken smothered in a rich, creamy tomato sauce bolstered by spice. A basket of fresh roti arrives hot at your table – it’s the perfect accompaniment to sop up your leftover sauce. The tandoori chicken is also worthy of a mention, with an ideal amount of heat packed into every drumstick.  -S.B.

9266 34 Ave., 780-468-9500, moksharestaurant.ca

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