Friday, October 01, 2010

Tuesday, Sep 21st - All India Sweets and Restaurant - Lukewarm Vegetarian Buffet

Bad Phone Pic: All India Sweets Vegetarian Buffet
We had some errands to run in South Vancouver today after work so we decided we should just grab something on the road so we were more productive.  I suggested a place a friend had taken a few of us to a few years ago.  Considering it is her cultural cuisine, I assumed it would be good.  I don't recall what I thought of it then except that I was pleased at the idea of an all Vegetarian Buffet.  Plus, that night out, it was just a bunch friends after a game needing sustenance. 

I will more clearly remember our visit this time.  It was very disappointing to the Vegetarian Buffet.  All India Sweets is quite well known in Vancouver its Indian Sweets.  It has a vast front glass counter area in the front full of delectable sweets and savour snacks that might fool you into thinking you are in some far away market.  There are dozens and dozens of cakes, squares and sugary balls made from a variety of flours, milk and nuts.  I won a contest last year during the South Asian festival and the prize had included a box of sweets from All India Sweets.

It is a shame that they do not seem to pay as much attention to their hot food restaurant area.  They do have an a la cart menu but everyone seemed to be there for the buffet.  Their Vegetarian Buffet is 10$ all day, any day.  There is salad bar as well as selection of about 5 hot Vegetarian Curries.  The Salad bar was a sad display of roughly cut Tomatoes, Iceberg Lettuce, Onions and some pickles and other bits.  At least it was kept cool on ice.

The hot buffet was not hot at all.  It ranged from lukewarm to down right cool.  Perhaps, it may have been in the cycle of replenishment we hit the buffet but that isn't the point is it.  Buffets using chaffing bars are meant to keep the food temperature at certain levels both from a Health and Safety level as well as taste of food.  As a result, dishes like the Cauliflower and Potato was gloopy, oily and mushy.  There were Green Peas in almost everything.  They used Kidney Beans in a dish I have normally seen with Chickpeas or Lentils.  The Lentil Curry was very very watery.  Nothing had any real punchy flavour.  It was sort of beige in colour and taste.  The Paneer was alright and their Naan which was replaced regularly, was nice and chewy.  Their Basmati was extremely oily and clumpy.

They had a very sorry dessert section which they should have left off entirely.  There was a Sweet Rice, which sat untouched or replaced, the whole time we were there.  A very runny Yogurt dish and some pretty old Gulab Jamun, sugary milk balls served in syrup.  I think since their famous sweets are so good those Gulab Jamun did them a disservice.

Speaking of disservice, that is precisely what we got.  We were sat almost immediately after walking through the front door.  Then we never saw anyone again.  I had to walk up to the bar to ask for glasses of water.  A bus boy did comeby once to take away our plates once since you're not meant to reuse the plates when you return for more food.  It was a complete absence of service though there were 3 servers wandering around. 

Cost: $$
Ambiance: Cafeteria
Service: Non existent

All India Sweets and Restaurant (Main)
Sunset/Punjabi Market
6507 Main St
Vancouver, BC V5X
(604) 327-0891
All India Sweets & Restaurant (Main) on Urbanspoon


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