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Swad Indian kitchen: Your journey to the heart of India begins here

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New Delhi, the capital city of India, was the ruling seat of the Mogul or Mughal empire (Muslim dynasty of Turkic-Mongol origin) for centuries. Mughals were known for their refined tastes in food, language and architect. The modern day Delhi is still soaked in those royal tastes. In fact  most of the Indian dishes including Tandoori Kebabs or the famous butter chicken that have now risen to universal acclaim have their origins somewhere in the Mughal era.

Being born and brought up in this city, my palate too was used to the food, that leaves a long lasting refined taste of smooth curries blended with cashew nuts, butter, cream and Indian spices. For initial years after settling down in Vancouver, I used to crave for that aromatic food.

Who knew my search would end here in Swad Indian Kitchen. Located in the heart of West Vancouver, the restaurant claims to stand for its unique Indian menu which says: “Each dish tells the story of a beautiful place steeped in ancient cultures.”

Swad’s literal meaning is taste. True to its name and claim, the restaurant is indeed dishing out recipes from all across India (not limiting itself to North western region of Punjab) giving them an innovative twist with the unique Mughal taste. In one single trip to this restaurant you can travel to the heart of Delhi with its specialities like Dal Maharani or Butter Chicken, extreme North with Kashmiri Korma or Rogan Josh, Southern India with its special chicken Chettinad or try tastes of Goa and Mumbai with Mumbai Machali or prawn curry made with coconut milk.

But one can ask how would all those essential sharp Indian tastes suite a Canadian palate trained for mild foods. “They do,” says the confident owner of the restaurant, Kamal Mroke. “I told my chefs to cut back on butter and salt to customize the dishes for Canadians.” Mroke says his aim is to serve fresh and healthy menu with love.

We were greeted by Mroke and the very friendly staff who took pride in what they were serving. First came the appetizers Cauliflower 65 and Paneer Taka Tak. The first on the table — Cauliflower 65 (small florets marinated with honey and chilli) takes its cue from a very famous South Indian appetizer Chicken 65. Being a vegetarian myself, I used to feel secluded in friends gatherings when they boasted of eating Chicken 65, but after eating its vegetarian version at Swad, I feel part of the gang.

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The inviting and elegant decor of Swad provides experience of traveling through the rich flavours of India.

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Experience a truly unique culinary experience with traditional and fusion infused creations that will guarantee your return visits.

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Mix Vegetables Rich in Flavour

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Delicacies Cauliflower

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With over 35 years of experience restaurant owner Kamal Mroke promises to give extraordinary authentic high end delicacies and specialties

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The main course too was full of fresh vegetables cooked in cashew nut curry accompanied by soft and flaky breads. Guiding us through to our journey was the very hospitable staff and Mroke himself who did not let us leave without tasting their dessert Mango pistachio ice cream. “I can guarantee, you will never find this unique dessert all over Canada. I invented it myself,” he said. Mroke, himself is a trained seasoned chef and an experience restaurateur.

Mroke has been in the restaurant business for over 25 years. He arrived in Vancouver from his native Punjab in the early 80s plunged himself into the restaurant business as a bus boy and dishwasher while going to school to become a chef. His first business was a cafe in a North Vancouver motel in 1986 after which he operated restaurants in Calgary and Seattle which were frequented by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen. In the Lower Mainland, Mroke had Handi in North Vancouver, Dawat in East Vancouver, Copper Chimney in Downtown Vancouver before opening India Bistro on Davie street.

In 2015, Mroke decided to open Swad. The restaurant may be very young in age in an old established street of West Vancouver that boasts of many other old eating joints, it is not unknown and not struggling to establish its identity. Swad has already earned its credits amongst the locals of West Vancouver who love to come and spend their evenings in a cozy elegant ambiance. “People just do not come here to eat and leave. They come here to relax. They have their drinks then order a full three course meal,” Mroke says.

Suzanne a resident of West Vancouver, who was visiting with her husband was hosting her parents visiting from Nanaimo. She is no stranger to this place. “Me and my husband discovered this place quite late. But when we discovered it, we came here thrice in that week,” she said. She loves the cozy interiors and of course the food.

The Palak Kofta (dumplings, deep-fried, with layers of spinach, Indian style cheese and gram), Mooghdum Kebab (bone in chicken thigh marinated in yogurt and cashew nut sauce), Mango chicken (chicken coated in mango sauce) are some of the favourites of this couple. In fact all the dishes she listed are top selling menu items of this place.

All the dishes on the menu have unique names just like their unique tastes.

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Swad INDIAN Kitchen | 1734 Marine Drive | West Vancouver, 604-281-4411 | swadindiankitchen.caOpen daily for lunch and dinner.

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Surbhi Gogia is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in media. Prior to moving to Canada, Surbhi worked with Indian media with specialization on child and education related issues. Currently she resides in Surrey with her family and enjoys exploring various cultural aspects of this beautiful country.

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Food & Drink

The Best Late Night Takeout Spots in Surrey

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By Manisha Singh

It’s almost midnight and I know exactly what you’re thinking. You want it, and you want it now. The only problem is, you’re sick of McDonalds, Burger King, and A&W.

You crave a delicious meal, exquisitely crafted by a real chef. But look at the time, what options could there possibly be? Especially in Surrey – a city where almost every sought after food option closes by 10pm.

However, to your surprise, there are a few hidden gems scattered across the city that are serving up fresh, sweet, and savory meals until wee hours of the night.

Luckily, I’ve done the hard work of finding them for you and selecting the best ones that I know will satisfy your taste buds!

1. Elvis Pizza

Since its inception over 4 decades ago, Elvis Pizza has been filling up tummy’s across the city! Located near Guildford mall, they serve gourmet pizzas featuring premium toppings and mouth watering homemade sauces.

Aside from pizza, Elvis also serves wings, pasta, and subs. Using only 100% real cheese, this pizza joint prides itself on both immaculate quality and freshness.

Elvis Pizza is open everyday until 3am, with the exception of Friday and Saturday where they stay open until 4am. You definitely have not tried pizza until you’ve had Elvis!

2. Desi Dosa Madras

Located on Scott Road, Desi Dosa Madras is a staple for authentic South Indian cuisine.

They serve a variety of Indian dishes, with their well respected chef, Chef Shijo, originally from Kerala. He shares his mastery of indian flavours by serving up fresh and uniquely crafted dishes to patrons across the city.

An absolute must try from their menu is the spinach and feta dosa! The cauliflower manchurian is also a crowd favourite.

Luckily, Desi Dosa Madras is open everyday until 4am, to satisfy all of your South Indian culinary desires!

3. Sahota’s Live Grill

Have you ever ordered a dish at a restaurant, but it wasn’t cooked to perfection? If so, that definitely won’t be the case at Sahota’s Live Grill!

Open until 3am everyday, they are not just any Indian restaurant, but one that embodies a unique concept that brings the cooking experience straight to your table. Their live grill gives you the power to cook your food exactly how you like it.

Along with a wide range of Indian fusion dishes, Sahota’s Live Grill also whips up decadent desserts and shakes. Whenever I visit, I absolutely have to taste their Kitty Katty shake! It is beyond delicious.

4. Donair Dude

Donair Dude opened its first location during the Winter Olympics in February 2010, and has been unstoppable ever since! They blend North American food culture with authentic Mediterranean dishes, to bring authentic Turkish donairs straight to your hungry mouths!

Donair Dude has plenty of vegan and vegetarian friendly options as well, including tabouli salad, dolmades, and falafel. Not to mention, they also serve fries and poutine.

Located in Cedar Hills, Donair Dude is open until 4am on Friday, 3am on Saturday, and midnight every other day of the week!

5. Non Stop Pizza

Non Stop Pizza truly has it all! They serve amazing comfort food in the form of Indian style pizzas and pastas, along with staple Indian dishes like butter chicken and samosas!

They are committed to serving the Surrey community, and have been for decades. Open everyday until 2:30am, Non Stop Pizza simply doesn’t stop bringing perfectly crafted dishes straight to your door!

And just like that, there you have it, Surrey’s best late night takeout spots!

Whether you are craving a juicy Turkish donair with a side of crispy fries, or a flavour rich pizza doused in homemade sauce, now you know Surrey has the perfect restaurant for you… And thankfully, they are open late!

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Food & Drink

Say Hello to The First Ever La Pizza Week!

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You asked, We delivered! Introducing Le Burger Week
& La Poutine Week’s Latest festival- La Pizza Week!

The ever-so-popular “Le Burger Week” and “La Poutine Week” extend their reigns as Canada’s largest restaurant festivals with a new addition to the family – La Pizza Week presented by Saputo and delivered by SkipTheDishes!

From May 1st until May 7th, treat yourself to some fresh & cheesy goodness from hundreds of restaurants across Canada! La Pizza Week has partnered with SkipTheDishes and Saputo TM to increase its accessibility to restaurants and pizza-lovers across the country.

Get ready to partake in this interactive national community event that supports your favourite local restaurants and their mouthwatering pizza creations. This isn’t your average pizza party – this a national pizza party!

From May 1st until 7th, hundreds of restaurants across Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan will fire up the oven and get the dough rolling for a saucy celebration of La Pizza Week.

Each restaurant will be encouraged to create a unique pizza creation at a special price. Pizza-lovers across the nation will engage with the festival by visiting or ordering from participating restaurants and devour as many irresistible pizzas that their stomachs desire.

They will also be able to vote for their favourite pizza on www.lapizzaweek.com. This will allow restaurants to meet new customers and increase their awareness through their participation.

La Pizza Week’s overall mission is to support local restaurants by increasing their sales and awareness by participating. The festival is designed to encourage people to visit restaurants and to order for take-out or delivery!

As co-founder Na’eem Adam explains, “Coming after our biggest festival ever with La Poutine Week, we’re excited about the timing. The feedback we got from restaurants and fans was overwhelmingly positive and we wanted to contribute to our mission even more; help local restaurant communities.”

This inaugural festival wouldn’t be possible without the support of their partners. This includes La Pizza Week’s official cheese partner, Saputo TM, providing restaurants all over Canada with a variety of delicious cheeses, from classic Mozzarella, to fresh goat cheese, to their new, vegan-certified Dairy-Free Mozzarella Flavoured Shreds coming this spring, and more! Because what’s a pizza without Saputo TM cheese?

Additionally, La Pizza Week will be teaming up with SkipTheDishes, Canada’s largest and most trusted food delivery network, where any participating restaurant on SkipTheDishes will have their pizza available for pick-up or delivery through the Skip app or website.

Also joining La Pizza Week’s roster of partners is Anorexia and Bulimia Québec (ANEB), who has been collaborating with “Le Burger Week” and “La Poutine Week” for over 2 years.

The organization aims to fight and destigmatize eating disorders. Through La Pizza Week, part of the proceeds of every pizza sold at a participating restaurant will go to the organization; guaranteeing free, immediate, and specialized help to people with an eating disorder and their loved ones.

For the first time ever, you can attend the biggest pizza festival in Canada. Come get a “pizz-a” the action – this is a pizza party you do not want to miss out on!

To join the La Pizza Week community, please go to: www.lapizzaweek.com/registration/restaurant

To learn more about La Pizza Week, please go to: www.lapizzaweek.com

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Business

Joseph Richard Group Announces The Launch of A Virtual Food Court – Canteen

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The Joseph Richard Group (JRG) made headlines with the announcement that the company would launch 100 ghost restaurants in a single day. Ranging in the style of cuisine, these restaurants included everything from Obey Poke to Sweet Tooth Desserts.

After a successful few years, JRG has decided to revitalize the brands for customer convenience with the launch of a single virtual location for all their cravings – Canteen.

Hungry customers can now order from all of their favourite virtual restaurants as a single order through the new virtual food court style restaurant, Canteen. Much like a mall food court, Canteen offers the ability to select multiple styles of cuisines and flavours, without having to visit various locations.

All items are purchased in a single order and delivered by one driver. The virtual food court will feature eight of the current JRG brands, including Master Chicken, STAK’D Sandwich Co., Obey Poke, and Sweet Tooth Desserts.

The new Canteen will also feature a new selection of JRG exclusive offerings, including the WTF Burger + Fries, a indulgent, cheesy pilot project from JRG Public Houses. The Canteen menu will vary based on the geographic location of each virtual kitchen and their unique capacity and resources to execute the dishes.

“As popular as our virtual restaurants have been, we realized that sometimes people, or an immediate family wants to order more than one type of cuisine. Rather than have our customers pay multiple delivery fees for food coming from various locations, we are bringing it all together with a food court inspired concept.” – Ryan Moreno, CEO and Co-Founder of JRG.

Canteen will be available across the Lower Mainland, serving customers in Surrey, Cloverdale, Langley, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Port Moody. Orders can be placed through Canteen on SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, or UberEats.

About The Joseph Richard Group

Joseph Richard Group (JRG) is a Canadian based collection of unique hospitality ventures owned by André “Joseph” Bourque and Ryan “Richard” Moreno.

The JRG team operates 25 establishments, constantly fine-tuning and elevating the dining experience for their guests. With top-quality offerings, an exceptional culinary team, and a genuinely kind-hearted service team, you can always expect the best!

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Food & Drink

Miller Lite Created A Line of Candles That Smell Like Iconic Bar Aromas

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All profits for the limited edition “Bar Smells” candles will go to supporting the hospitality industry

While the world is finally starting to open back up, many are still missing the sights, sounds and smells of their favorite draught beer and watering hole. That’s why Miller Lite is releasing a limited line of candles called “Bar Smells” that capture the familiar aromas of the bars we miss. All profits for the line will go to supporting the service industry.

The limited-edition candles use the power of scent to guide the sniffer on a journey back to their favorite local bar. Every sip, cap twist, spill and sing-a-long banger will come rushing back with just one sniff.

“We know Canadians are feeling nostalgic for their favorite bars right now so we wanted to create an experience that instantly transported them back” said Joy Ghosh, Senior Brand Director, Molson Coors.

“We owe so many amazing memories to our local bars and this initiative is our way of saying thank you, and we can’t wait to be back.”

The candles come in three magnificently curated scents

  • Dive Bar : Must, Tobacco, Pine, Yeast
  • Game Day Bar : Salted Peanut, Jalapeno, Cracked Leather
  • Beer Garden : Green Moss, Warm Pretzel, Cracked Wood, Sunburn

Now you can bring a little bit of the bar home with you, all while supporting the industry you love and miss. The candles can be pre-ordered now at shop.MillerLite.com and orders will be shipped at the end of April.

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Food & Drink

Are you ready to Park Sesh again? Stanley Park Brewing Releases Park Sesh Craft Lager

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Stanley Park Brewing Releases Park Sesh Craft Lager in time for 2021 season

As BC slowly opens up again, we’re all looking forward to getting back outside and enjoying longer days in the park. Whether it’s picnics, bike rides, strolling the seawall or playing fetch in your neighbourhood park, it’s time to get back outside.

In anticipation of these long-awaited park sessions, Stanley Park Brewing has been fine-tuning their latest release, aptly named Park Sesh Lager. Clean, crisp and sessionable, this easy-drinking craft lager is perfect for lazy days with your favourite 2- or 4-legged friends.

The brew itself is made with a unique blend of Sterling and Saphir hops and Superior Pilsner and Munish malts, giving it a biscuity flavour and very low bitterness at 5% ABV and 12 IBU.

Park Sesh is a great everyday beer that pairs perfectly with your SPF 30, your favourite backyard lawn chair, and your bubble – so we suggest cracking one open with friends (while maintaining social distance of course).

This easy drinking brew also goes great with food, so bring on the picnic bites – some sushi, a little charcuterie, or perhaps spicy sausage on your hibachi grill.

As Brewmaster Thom Riley shared, “I love making lagers and over the past few years we’ve experimented outside the box with our DayTrip West Coast Lager and our Electro Lager, so now we wanted to take the opportunity to come back and make straight up traditional lager. This highly drinkable beer is designed for kicking back and relaxing on those chill sunny days.”

He went on to share that Park Sesh Lager also came from a need at their recently opened Vancouver Brewpub. “We knew we wanted a solid lager on tap at the Brewpub and Park Sesh was born of that need. We’re really excited about this one and can’t wait to cheers with you”

Are you ready to #ParkSesh? Look out for Park Sesh Lager in 6pk cans at your local retail liquor store, order it online at https://orders.stanleyparkbrewstore.com/products/park-sesh-lager-355ml-6-pack, or find it on tap at select bars and restaurants across British Columbia and Alberta.

To keep up with the latest from Stanley Park Brewing visit, www.stanleyparkbrewing.com and join our newsletter at http://stanleyparkbrewing.com/signup to be the first to know about all our new brews.

Find us on social media and follow us on Instagram @stanleyparkbrew, Facebook www.facebook.com/stanleyparkbrew, and Twitter @stanleyparkbrew.

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