805 Boyd Street
New Westminster, BC
As might be the case with many people raised in North America, one of my first forays as a child with Indian cuisine was through one of my school friends who came from a family with heritage from that part of the world. I remember to this day on his eight birthday, being invited over to his home and being exposed to an array of brightly colored and incredibly spicy food that I’d never seen nor tasted before in my young life. I think the few of us who were invited over all experienced the same shock at it all, that is until his mother remedied that by bringing out something from the kitchen that was milder tasting and had an ingredient that all kids love – chicken.
And so butter chicken will be and probably will remain a lasting dish when it comes to Indian food. And despite its rather stereotypical image as a “safe” choice among the amazing variety you get in dining out in Indian restaurants, I see it chosen all too often. And I’m guilt at times. But more so when its at a lower end establishment, cause I know they can’t seriously mess this up. Case in point, this little place I came across in Queensborough, called Naanbites. Based on the name alone, I thought it might be some kind of place just making some creative/fusion bite sized snacks featuring naan bread. Alas, I was wrong.
A handful of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, and some choices dubbed “snack bites” and even some wraps are on the menu here. The butter chicken was surprisingly well done considering the quick kitchen setup. I had to wait a little while so it wasn’t just a slop-out-of-a-pot-and-serve-up kind of system. The expected creaminess was there, as was that delicate balance between sweet and tartness that is what I think of most when it comes to this dish. Nice boneless chunks of chicken meat were enveloped inside the brightly colored sauce, with its spices coming out boldly and made for swapping up with the warm naan a pleasing dinner meal.
All in all, a welcome takeaway meal that will have me coming back to try the other offerings here, if I’m back in the area. I get the feeling that the proprietor has dreams of franchising this model, but with the likes of Rasoee already out there in multiple locations, they might be in for a battle for the quick and easy Indian cuisine market in greater Vancouver.