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September 23, 2019

Best Restaurants: Best Indian

Avenue Best Restaurants 2014

Photography Curtis Comeau

1.

GURU FINE INDIAN CUISINE

On the Guru website, the reason behind its name is explained. A guru is someone who is an authority in a certain area and that’s exactly what the restaurant wants to achieve with its food. And it’s obvious from executive chef Deependra Singh’s attention to detail that it’s succeeding. Singh, who has been at the head of the kitchen since the restaurant opened four years ago, wants you to enjoy your meal – on request, he’ll suggest a wine pairing from a vino list created by Gurvinder Bhatia. The dishes at Guru are complicated and rich in flavour and texture, including the Guru butter chicken samosa, a crispy triangular samosa stuffed with the creamy title ingredients. Guru poutine sees crisp potatoes topped with chickpea butter and gravy, while the mango chicken has a sweet flavour courtesy of the coconut and mango sauce. The elegant, sleek interior of Guru is often filled with the delicious scent of spices that draws you into the space, causing your stomach to rumble in anticipation. -C.B.

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

Runner-Up

KHAZANA

I’ve never been to India, but sitting down at Khazana before hitting the buffet tables creates the illusion of what my Western imagination perceives to be Indian culture. The dining room features three large open fireplaces and terra cotta decor. Both buffet and a la carte options are available, but the star of the show here is the buffet, featuring two of the most memorable dishes, kadai paneer and butter chicken. Both are served in a similar tomato and butter sauce, making them easy to combine over soft basmati rice. Or you can scoop up the mixture with fresh naan. -E.S. 

10177 107 St., 780-702-0330, khazana.ab.ca

Honourable Mention

NARAYANNI’S

Daya and Selva Naidoo, the owners of this spacious restaurant, came to Canada from South Africa in the 1980s. They brought with them knowledge of South African food tinged with European influence and Indian spices. The result is a buffet featuring Indian cuisine without heavy cream sauces, MSG or preservatives. All of the staples of Indian cuisine are there, including delectable chicken curry, chicken biryani and vegetarian samosas. But there are also plenty of gluten-free and vegan items. There are no a la carte options and the buffet changes daily, so go with an open mind and an empty stomach. -S.B.

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

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