Mango Shiva has been voted as Calgary’s Best Indian Restaurant in 2014. Honestly, my first experience a few months ago was not that great. I ordered a thali (which contained 3 really small curries and rice) a starter (Sev Poori), nan and a dessert. Yes the decor was really nice, but the food was not that tasty as other Indian Restaurants that I’ve been to in Montreal and the U.K. I found out that the main dish had lack of salt and the goat curry did not have that lovely aroma that you normally get out of a goat curry. The Sev Poori was very nicely presented, but the taste wasn’t mind blowing (as I’ve had better but in pretty average restaurants in England). However, the desserts were very unique. I’m not a big fan of rose water, but the ice cream did not have that strong rose smell. The best dish I had to say was the Chocolate Chai Mousse; creamy and rich with chocolate with a hint of spice! With a bill of $40, it was a bit of a suprise to me (this meal was already cheaper than usual because we took a food festival discount). I guess part of the price went towards the decor and the ambiance (which I must say was absolutely stunning, vibrant and modern!).
Today however, I decided to give another try: for the lunch buffet at $22! There was a large selection of food available:
- All kinds of salads – I had the baby spinach salad which was good.
- Vegetable Pakora – I could not taste the actual vegetables; perhaps they were cut too thin. These were more like chips rather than “pakora” but they were very crunchy.
- Aloo Peas – Peas with Potato was very tasty.
- Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken – Pretty average, but no complaints.
- Tilapia in Coconut Milk Curry – Tilapia itself was very dry (I think it was fried and left out to dry for too long before being put into the curry sauce). The sauce itself was creamy and tasty though
- Rice – Both the Basmati Pilau Rice and the Vegetable Rice was very good! Perfectly cooked.
- Nan – Really tasty; just a bit dense rather than fluffy.
As for desserts, there was Rashmali. This was a dessert made with flour and cooked in rich, sweet cream/milk. In this case, it was the first time I did not enjoy it because it had a strong dairy and rose water smell. Probably it was cooked in a unique way, but me having grown up in an Indian Restaurant and experiencing Indian food everywhere, I have never come across something like this 🙂 Carrot Halwa (carrots cooked with ghee, milk and sugar) was not sweet enough and again had something added to it which made it taste a little different from what I’m used to. Finally, the Cheesecake Fruit Pudding was good – it was more like a mango rice pudding with fruits in it.
Overall, I would visit this place again because of its ambience, good service and the variety of dishes they provide for the lunch buffet. It’s close to my work and a great place to hang out. I would also like to try out the unusual Indian/Western style brunch menu at the weekend!