Buffet of Abundance: Narayanni'sApril 30, 2016
When it comes to Indian food I'll admit that I'm definitely not an expert, but I love the layering of flavours and combination of spices used in Indian cooking. I typically associate Indian food with heavy cream-based sauces and rich flavour, so when I heard that there was an Indian restaurant offering vegan dishes in their buffet I was curious to check it out.
Narayanni's - 10131 81 Avenue - Edmonton AB
Selva and Daya Naidoo emigrated to Canada from South Africa in the early 1980s and opened up Block 1912 as one of their ventures together. After selling the business and enjoying a few years of retirement, Narayanni's (named after their granddaughter and the Hindu goddess of abundance) came to be. Now on any given day Chef Selva can be found preparing food in the kitchen, while Daya works on desserts or mans the front of house alongside his daughter Youmashni.
Grilled Masala Chicken
Specializing in South African Indian cuisine, Narayanni's offers a buffet with dishes that are lighter than the traditional Indian buffet. Without the use of dairy the flavours and textures of dishes are more prominent, and the buffet is a great option for those with vegan or dairy-free diets. The restaurant is proud to use free-range chicken and local produce whenever possible, and Chef Selva steers clear of artificial colouring, preservatives, and MSG.
Braised Cauliflower & Peas
Narayanni's has always offered a dinner buffet, which changes nightly. Tuesdays feature a $15 cash only vegan buffet, Wednesdays are $15, Thursdays are $20, and Fridays/Saturdays are $25 (Saturday features a lamb!). The restaurant recently introduced a cash only lunch buffet from Tuesday through Friday from 1130 AM - 100 PM. At $12 per person you have access to soup, salad, rice, 3 vegetarian dishes, 1 meat dish, and dessert. It's incredible value - just make sure to visit the ATM before you visit!
My mom and I stopped by for dinner on a Friday night and we were pleasantly surprised by how busy it was. Despite being located behind a busy street, Narayanni's unique cuisine clearly brings in old and new customers. The circular buffet station featuring a variety of dishes sat in the center of the room, with Youshmani in the centre making drinks for guests.
- Appetizers: Papadum, Bhajia (onion & spinach fritters), hummus, mint chutney, sweet mango chutney, lemon pickle dip
- Salads: Mixed green salad, traditional wedding salad, greek salad
- Soup: Curry vegetable soup
- Vegetable dishes: butternut squash, chana dahl & eggplant, braised kale & cabbage, braised cauliflower & peas, paneer
- Meat dishes: Grilled masala chicken, chicken curry, masala fried sole
*Disclosure: I was invited to try the buffet at Narayanni's Restaurant. Views expressed in this post are solely mine. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.