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Nirvana means the ultimate. The absolute. The highest state. Tonight, I don’t think Nirvana has yet reached Nirvana. This cozy Main Street restaurant used to be one of our favourites, but has seem to lost its way. Nirvana serves Northern Indian Cuisine, which uses a lot of dairy products such as yogurt, milk, paneer and ghee (clarified butter). Rotis and Naan are also popular with Northern Indian cuisine, as are the use of goat and lamb meats.
The new bold, burgundy and white sign in the front makes it hard to miss Nirvana. The door squeaks as you open it, and you feel like you’re stepping into an exotic place. The intense burgundy colors throughout the room smack you right in the face. The owners appear to be fond of the colour burgundy. Traditional Indian music plays quietly in the background, transporting you to someplace a little further off from Main Street.
We ordered: boneless buttered chicken, chicken tikka masala, and one chapati bread. While ordering, we noticed rice now costs an extra $2.95. What? If you’re charging $14 for an entree, rice should be included. I was not impressed. The host who took our order acknowledged the change, and suggested we share one rice and be charged for only one. Okay, that was fine with us.
The orders took a long time. A really long time. I was wondering what happened to our Papadums. Papadums are a thin wafers made out of lentils. Some Indian restaurants serve these as appetizers which are often included with your meals. I asked the waiter about our Papadums and he was like, “you didn’t get them?” Yeah, we ate the Papadums as well as the basket it came in, and now we’re trying to get more, you douche! When the entrees finally arrived, we were surprised to see the portions were cut in half. The flavours were not the same and the dishes were not the least bit spicy. The rice was mush.
After finishing our meal and being disappointed with our experience, we noticed they also charged us extra for something we didn’t order. After insisting that we hadn’t ordered it, the waiter then realized he was wrong — but didn’t apologize. The host then asked how our food was, and I said it wasn’t great. He quietly agreed with me. The host and the staff in general are friendly. Overall, the food wasn’t bad… but it wasn’t good either. For a total of $40 including one chai tea and tips, it seemed hardly worth it. Hopefully, Nirvana just had an off day and hadn’t strayed too far off the path of enlightenment.