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"The food is great," he said. "It's the only place in Saskatoon offering dosas."

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  • Aug
  • 9

                King Of The Court

Awesome Indian cuisine at a mall? Yup!
Published Thursday May 3, 01:16 pm
Craig Silliphant

 


Photo Credit: Amielle Christopherson

“Now I’m going to visit the only court I can never be in contempt in — the food court!”

-Homer Simpson

I’ve always enjoyed the finer things in life when it comes to dining and drinking, so I’m sure my wife Jenny had a specific idea in mind when I told her I was taking her for a nice dinner the other day. The menu? Indian food. The venue? Samosa King.

The name was the first thing to arouse her suspicions, and then all my romantic pretenses were blown out of the water when I pulled into the underground parking at The Centre at Circle and Eighth — where Samosa King presides like royalty over the mall’s food court.

Obviously, food court joints don’t often appear in the dining column of Planet S magazine. I’ll admit I love fast food in moderation, but it’s rarely worth talking about in forum such as this. Most of the fare is created in a laboratory and shipped frozen, only to be deep-fried and served, soggy and greasy; it’s not exactly farm to plate.

Samosa King, however, is different. I don’t think anyone told the owners that they’re expected to cut corners in the fast food world, because they actually make everything fresh in-house. (I imagine the other food court owners plotting against them, although maybe I just watch too much TV.) In fact, Samosa King offered up some of the best Indian food I’ve had in awhile, entirely comparable to many of the local Indian restaurants with brick and mortar locations.

We wanted to try a wide variety of menu items, so we shared a bunch of different plates, starting with the veggie Samosa, which was delicious (they were also available with beef or chicken). It was a substantial pocket of pastry, filled with a mash of spiced potatoes, peas, lentils, and coriander. They tasted really fresh, and even had a slight kick to them — much better than the freeze-dried pastry sacks you sometimes get. My wife doesn’t generally like samosas but she liked these ones, which says a lot.

Next was a beef curry, which also came with veggies and rice. The curry was flavourful, filled with tender beef, onions and even slices of jalapeno pepper. (You can also get a butter chicken curry or two different vegetarian options.) The curry was good, but the vegetables that came on the side were even better — a spicy mix of onions and potatoes. The rice soaked up the curry nicely and the whole thing tasted very authentic.

It was actually my mother-in-law that tipped me off to Samosa King (who says all mother-in-laws are bad?), and her recommendation was to try the dosa. I’d never had it before, so I didn’t know if it was a food or a new dance craze sweeping the nation (“Do the Dosa”?). It’s actually a crepe made of black lentils and rice batter, stuffed with mashed chickpeas and your choice of meat (we went with beef). The crepe was a bit crispy outside, while the filling was a soft and tangy surprise inside. It was very tasty, but the beef was a tad elusive. I’d have liked a bit more of it in there, although that’s a pretty minor gripe.

The real hero on the plate was the chutney it was served with — I loved it! It may have been meant for the dosa only, but I was dipping samosas and anything else I could into this amazing, bright-tasting concoction.

The standout dish of the entire meal was the onion pakoda, which is a fritter-like creation, referred to in other Indian dialects as pakoras. It’s probably not the healthiest thing on the menu, but then again, deliciousness can often stand in stark opposition to fat content — and I was silently chewing and nodding my head in agreement from the first bite.

The Samosa King pakoda is made with onions and spinach, battered in flour and deep-fried. It was like some sort of huge and exotic onion ring, and though it came with its own yummy sauces, you better believe I dipped it in that chutney.

At the end of the meal, both Jenny and I were thoroughly impressed, though each by different things. Jenny was a fan of the dosa and the vegetables, and I was won over by the pakoda and the samosas. Overall, we both agreed that the meal was consistently excellent throughout.

I should also mention that though this was enough food to feed about four people, it cost a mere $24.00. (I remember once eating at an Indian buffet in town that was $20.00 a person, and the food wasn’t half as good.) It just goes to show you that you can find some of the best food in some of the strangest places. I hope this location is only a stepping-stone to an actual restaurant, but for now, I’m a loyal vassal to the (food) court of the Samosa King.

by,

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