When so many Indian restaurants are dominated by all-you-can-eat buffets and tired decor, Guru is a breath of fresh air – a modern take on Indian food, with nary a chafing dish in sight.
After finishing second in the 2013 Best Indian category, Guru took over top spot in 2014 and held on this year. Its menu isn’t as big as some other Indian places in Edmonton, but what the chefs there do, they do extremely well.
One of Guru’s best-known dishes is its butter chicken samosas, twisting two classic dishes into one and offering a great gateway into the world of Indian cuisine.
Once in that world, you’ll find crowd-pleasers from all over India, like the Rajasthani lamb curry and the Goan shrimp curry, alongside favourites like tandoori chicken and palak paneer.
If you need a break from the heat, though, the aloo chaat is a wonderfully cooling mixture of potatoes and chickpeas tossed in yogurt. And to sop up all that tasty sauce, there are five varieties of naan bread on Guru’s menu – seven if you count the dessert varieties, including one stuffed with chocolate and coconut. But quantity doesn’t detract from quality in this case. –Glenn Cook
The year was 1998; it was a time when Indian cuisine wasn’t so easy to find in Edmonton. I interviewed a Canadian indie band called Damn the Diva at what was then this very new Indian restaurant over some fantastic food and drink. I introduced my parents to Indian food by taking them to Khazana soon afterwards. Seventeen years later, Khazana’s tapestries and brass still makes you feel like you’re in a spot that honours the feel of a maharaja’s palace. The curries are still fantastic, and the tandoori salmon is still a must-have. The staying power is recommendation enough. –Steven Sandor
On Haweli’s dinner menu, the restaurant explains its name: A Haweli is a palace or private mansion. That’s exactly how you’ll feel when you step into the restaurant and find yourself surrounded by ornate decor and white drapery.
There are a variety of appetizers, samosas and pakoras with every filling imaginable, but entres are where Haweli really shines. The chicken tikka, prepared in the traditional tandoor oven, is a delicious mixture of creamy and spicy. You’ll find the always popular butter chicken, but also more adventurous dishes, such as the goat bhuna. Whether you pair your meal with basmati rice or soft naan, you won’t be disappointed. –Adrianna Szenthe