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As an apology to the vegetarians in the audience who were bummed that Kintaro has no vegetarian options, here's some pictures of a place where I went veggie temporarily.

Punjabi Market is also known as Vancouver's Little India, and although it's had some hard times in recent years with the South Asian migration to Surrey, it's still a lovely place to look at saris, jewelry, and sample Indian foods.

On my various trips to Vancouver I've hit several of the restaurants in here. Today let's look at one of the larger ones, the All India Sweets & Restaurant.

Like many restaurants in the area, All India sells a wide variety of Indian desserts at one side of the building, near where one pays the bill, but TBPH I've never actually liked Indian desserts that much; I've tried a few different things and everything I've tried has been SO sweet that I could never eat more than maybe one piece and only if I were in a really sweet tooth mood to begin with. So I'm afraid I can't tell you much about the Sweets half.

The Restaurant half I can do. :)

On this particular occasion, we both had the buffet. The buffet here is all vegetarian and only $11 all day. Since we were both really hungry we really got our money's worth. I took a picture of the buffet itself but sadly it didn't turn out, but here's one round of my plate. Some naan, some rice, some raita, some palak paneer, and some daal. Mmmm.

The buffet has a salad bar component with raw vegetables, and the hot food component with about 6 different dishes plus naan and rice, and two desserts. I actually did have about one half of one piece of gulab jumun, which fulfilled my dessert quota. The other dessert that day was a rice pudding.

Buffets can be tricky. Everyone knows about the kind of buffet that leaves food out forever or doesn't refill the more expensive dishes frequently enough. All India changed the food quite frequently; in fact at one point I was just about to get myself a helping of rice (the serving dish looked fine to me, about 1/4 full) and it was whisked away and replaced with a full, piping hot dish of rice. You don't have to go hunting in the palak paneer to find one or two lonely pieces of cheese floating in a sea of watery green liquid; I've had the palak paneer at this place before off the menu and it tasted exactly the same, with a good quantity of cheese.

Since it's the largest restaurant in Punjabi Market, this would be a good place to take a large group and sit and one of their long tables. Oh, and don't neglect to order the chai. It's only $2 with free refills.

Over all, this certainly isn't fine dining, but it is very tasty and a good value.

Name: All India Sweets & Restaurant
Location: 6507 Main St Vancouver, BC (604) 327-0891
Prices: $10-15 if ordering off the menu; $11 for the buffet (vegetarian); there is also an $18 set menu. Licensed for beer, wine and spirits; they have several Indian beers.
Service: Not the greatest, but if you get the buffet all you need to do is flag them down for refills on your drink.
Food: Competent Indian food with an extensive menu. A well-looked-after vegetarian buffet is the best way to go.
Recommended?: I quite like this place. No waiting, great buffet at a good price, nice atmosphere, even if the little tvs that show Indian music videos were busted that day. A great casual place. :)

All India Sweets & Restaurant (Main) on Urbanspoon


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