Update: Drove by the other day and notice Rasoi Kitchen is now being replace by a new restaurant called De Thai. Don’t know if they closed down for good or if they moved.
Rasoi Kitchen is located in the Calgary neighbourhood of Marda Loop. I’m fortunate enough to live by it, but unfortunately don’t live in it. It’s a really cute neighbourhood that has few shops and restaurants around and where you find a lot of Calgarians walking about. Rasoi Kitchen is conveniently located in a little cute strip mall that has parking in the back. Yes, my readers, free parking in the back.
Upon entering the restaurant is very nicely decorated without being super dim or super bright. It’s comfortable and very stylish. Our greeter was also our waitress which was who was great and really nice.
Just for those who are unaware, The Big Taste is a 10-day festival where participating restaurants put out set menus for lunch or dinner at set price points. I believe lunch was $15 or $25 and dinner had menus for $35 or $85. You can find a list of restaurants and their menus online at the The Big Taste Calgary website.
Since Ben had a late lunch, he decided to order something off the regular menu. I of course got the 3-course Big Taste menu for $35.00 consisting of Pani Puri, Butter Chicken, and Gulab Jamun.
After ordering we were served with these
The above were complimentary, they were slightly salty and a nice cumin flavour to them. Ben and I were really liking this and kinda had a bit of a crumb grab when it was nearly gone.
My first course came and it was the Pani Puri, it is offered on the regular menu as well for $6.00. Ben and I both really liked this appetizer. The puff was delicate and crispy, with a hint of saltiness to it. Two of the puffs were stuffed with Marsala Chickpeas which were nice and weren’t as spicy as I thought. The other two were with chopped Tomato and Coriander which was refreshing and not spicy at all. The tamarind sauce was sweet and sour, which is what a combo that I love, the Coriander Mint Chutney was alright I do like the taste of coriander with tamarind so it worked really well together. The yogurt was minimal so it didn’t stand out as much compared to the two chutneys. Otherwise, the two types of Pani Puri on the plate really worked well together as they had a good balance of flavours.
Ben’s order came out first, he order their Fish off the regular menu which was a tandoori marinated filet of salmon that was oven roasted and came with wilted spinach, black lentils and a bed of basmati rice. The salmon was cooked great, it wasn’t dry, it was actually moist and the outside of the salmon actually had a nice tandoori flavoured crust. The only thing about this dish was that it was under seasoned. There was barely any salt on the salmon, spinach or black lentils. I don’t really recall the vodka-chili tomato salsa being helpful in the overall seasoning of this dish either. I think both Ben and I were both kinda looking around to see if there was a salt shaker close by. The spinach was cooked well, and we were able to eat that as we both like sautéed spinach and it did have some spices on it, but the lentils were harder to finish as they were bland.
I choose to get the Butter Chicken off the Big Taste menu. It came with Naan and a bowl of Basmati Rice that was cooked with vegetables. Compared to most Butter Chicken dishes that I’ve had, I would say that this was mild. The flavours weren’t as strong as what I’m usually use too when I order this dish. It definitely had more seasoning than Ben’s fish dish and overall it was just alright. It didn’t stand out to me as much as I would have liked, but it was alright. I would say for someone who doesn’t like too strong of spices than this dish would be alright. Just for me, I would have wished it had a little bit more kick of flavour to it.
I ended up choosing Galub Jamun for my dessert off the Big Taste menu. Having this dessert before (my East Indian friend calls it the Indian “Timbit”) at a few other East Indian places I expected it to be very sweet and it was. The doughnut tasted great and the syrup had a nice hint of rose water to it, the pistachios were alright as it was crushed and sprinkled on to the doughnut, it didn’t make much of a difference as the sweetness from the syrup definitely stood out. The Vanilla Bean ice cream was good as it wasn’t so sweet, what surprised me was there was a salty crumble of something like a chocolate cookie was salty and kinda offset the sweetness of the doughnuts and ice cream. Overall, I thought the dessert was solid.
The experience at Rasoi Kitchen overall was alright. The interior is nicely decorated and the waitress was attentive and sweet. The dishes were a little lack lustre for our palates as we tend to like more of a strong flavour when it comes to East Indian cuisine. With that, I feel that Rasoi Kitchen definitely caters to those with a more mild palate, maybe for those diners who want to experience East Indian cuisine but don’t want to go too far off the spectrum of strong flavours and spices.