After the movie on Saturday, we headed towards the Granville/Broadway area for dinner. My DH is a great fan of Indian food, and we wanted to try one of Vij’s restaurants. Since we are money-conscious, we decide on the more casual and less upscale Rangoli, on Granville and 11th. The restaurant is good-looking, with freezers full of elegant takeout pouches and shelves of spices on one side, and banquet style seating in a L-shape on the other side. There are tables along the windows, and lots of seating on the patio.
We arrived at about 5:20pm to see a huge lineup for Vij’s next door. Wow. I guess the economy is not doing so bad after all. We snatched a table inside, next to the window. Shane ordered a porter and I had their chai. This was disappointment: the chai was overly sweet (other Indian restaurants the chai comes unsweetened and you can add sugar to your taste), and it wasn’t spiced enough. Still, we we pretty excited about the food. For appetizer we ordered the Lentil, Paneer, and Chickpea Katchori, which was 2 round crispy buns stuffed with the filling ($8.50). The dish seemed like of…small. It tasted ok, but the flavors of the components kind of blended together, and the spice was at a minimum. It came with limp and drenched salad. The highlight of the evening was a cilantro-jalapeno chutney, which wasn't too spicy and had a lot of flavour.
For our mains I got the Lamb in Cumin and Light Cream Curry ($14.50), and Shane got the Goat Meat and Jackfruit Curry ($15.50), both of which came with naan, rice and salad. The Lamb was wonderfully tender, but a disappointment. It was quite bland, and seemed like a toned down version of Indian food. I tried the goat meat and again—lack of spicing, and heat. The naan was not very good either—kind of flat and dense, and Shane thought the portions (especially of the rice) were small. Maybe my expectations were too high, and maybe my palate prefers strong flavors, but I was sorely disappointed and a little pissed off at the experience, because for the money, it seemed like a tremendous waste. I wanted the flavors to knock me over, but it sorely didn’t.
The service was kind of weird—the space was cramped, so the servers hand to constantly slide between my chair and the one next to me. Also at one point a fruit fly got into my husband’s beer, which was about 1/3 full. I told him to drink it up, ha ha, but he wouldn’t. So we told the server about it (the fly was still wiggling in the beer), and she sort of looked confused and didn’t know what to do. It was really weird. So another server came back with the glass….1/3 filled... It was again, really weird. What should have been done? I have no idea.
I was so disappointed. I don't think I would ever go back to Rangoli, but my husband would (though he agrees there are better places out there). In my opinion, there are a lot more tasty and cheaper places out there.