Every time as I step out of my car after parking it near Church and Allan in Oakville in the evening, I can smell the enticing aroma of curry coming from the kitchen of an Indian restaurant, the Coriander Green. I have promised myself that I must try this place some time.
My husband and I are quite adventurous when it comes to food. Our philosophy is that if the place is good, we shall go back and even if it is not good, it is always a useful thing to know.
We found an occasion to dine at Coriander Green. It was a small restaurant with a narrow entrance, but then opened up to a larger dining area. Soft Indian music was playing. I thought the lighting was a little dim when I entered, but I soon adjusted and this did not affect my dining experience.
For starter we had a vegetable pakora. These were battered balls of onions, potatoes, cauliflower and spinach, served hot and freshly deep fried. The bite was crispy on the out side and medium soft inside–just right! I love the taramind sauce which was a little sweet and spicy and it complemented the pakora perfectly.
We ordered three dishes and wanted to try something mild, moderate and hot. Our intention was to taste the authentic “hotness or spiciness” of the dishes, but we made the mistake of confirming with the waitress that the dishes were the way they usually do it. She immediately responded by saying that they could make it milder or hotter to our liking. (I am of the opinion that when a restaurant adjusts the the taste of their dishes to suit the requirement or expectation of their patrons, the original taste of the dishes is often compromised. I am also saying this from personal experience with Thai food and Chinese food.) I wondered if seeking her reassurance that we wanted their authentic taste had worked.
We ended up with vindalu lamb, the coriandar green special byartha and palak chicken. We were told that along the scale of spiciness, they were hot, moderate and mild (as shown below).
We had three very colourful dishes in front of us. I liked spinach and the palak chicken was tasty and the spinach sauce was delicious. The vegetable curry was spicy and delightful, I rated it the best of the three. We found the vindalu lamb too hot–as accustomed to hot food as we were– and as a result, the heat had taken over the spicy and tangy taste of the sauce. (That’s why I questioned whether my discussion with the waitress that it was a hot dish had channeled to to the kitchen an order that we wanted it very hot.)
We ordered three kinds of bread–plain naan, roti and paratha to go with the curry. The naan was the best complement to the curry that evening for its softness and plainness. Somehow the roti and paratha were over greasy and overdone. We were lucky not to have ordered buttered naan.
Besides ice cream, yet not the Indian ice cream (kulfi) that I loved, there were only a couple of offerings on the dessert menu: gulabjamun and rasmali. We ordered rasmali. It was flavorful and aromatic. Two piece of cottage cheese cake with an interesting texture were dipped in a milky sauce (and my wild guess was a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk and rose water). This balanced and rounded off the spicy taste of the food served earlier extremely well.
Chef Harminder came out to greet his guests. It was nice that we were able to offer him our compliments personally, hence making our dining experience more meaningful. We’ll come back another time.
Coriander Green is situated at 342 Church Street, Oakville, ON. http://www.chefharminder.com