Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zaika Indian Bistro Bar


Zaika is a modern Indian bistro that's very close to my office, so I've been there a couple times for lunch with coworkers. The place is probably the cleanest Indian restaurant I've been to, and to my delight there was no intense odour of Indian spices that clung to my hair and clothes after my visit. The owners are a young Indian couple, and they did a good job of creating a trendy atmosphere.


The most popular lunch option is the all-you-can-eat buffet for $14. But on my first visit I opted for an a la carte entree — the mango chicken ($17), served with plain naan and basmati rice. The downside was that I had to wait for my dish while watching the buffet-eaters at the same table wolf down their food, but my naan looked a lot fresher and fluffier than theirs (or at least I convinced myself that was the case). The mango chicken sauce was a very mild curry. So mild, in fact, that it almost didn't seem like Indian cooking. I enjoyed it, but I did expect it to be a bit more aromatic.


On my second visit I tried the buffet, and I have to say that this is the better option. Good value, good selection, and tasty food. Thanks to the lunch crowd, the food cleared out quickly and fresh plates were constantly brought out from the kitchen. None of the food was dry and stale like it had been sitting on a hot plate all day; everything was hot and fresh.


Apart from hot foods, there was a salad bar with a selection of salads and veggies.


Desserts included fresh fruit, rice pudding, and a sweet and crunchy pastry called jalebi.


I tried a little bit of everything and that was already enough for me. I could have gone for a second plate, but I've learned not to stuff myself to the point of explosion at all-you-can-eat events.


The mango lassi ($4.50) was also really good. This tropical yogurt-based beverage was creamy and fragrant, garnished with a dot of red rose syrup that added a special twist of flavour.


I've heard that the dinner buffet is not as good since customer turnover is lower, but I personally haven't tried it. The lunch buffet was excellent though, and I would definitely come back again.

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2 comments:

pyaria on May 17, 2013 9:37 pm said...

ooo mango chicken!

Were the buffet entrees as aromatic as you'd expect Indian cuisine to be?

krispy on May 17, 2013 11:56 pm said...

Yes the buffet entrees were much more aromatic and some were spicy. The level of spiciness was tolerable though, even for non-spicy eaters like me.

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