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News / Life / Clark County Life

Chutneys sizzles with Indian flavors

Restaurant, grocery store offer authentic cuisine, exotic goods

By KAREN LIVINGSTON for The Columbian
Published: August 17, 2018, 6:00am
5 Photos
Tandoori chicken, front, is served at Chutneys Indian Restaurant and Grocery Store in east Vancouver.
Tandoori chicken, front, is served at Chutneys Indian Restaurant and Grocery Store in east Vancouver. Amanda Cowan/The Columbian Photo Gallery

Why: Chutneys Indian Restaurant and Grocery Store has enjoyed many years of success serving authentic Indian cuisine seven days a week for the whole family. Located just off of state Highway 14 and Southeast 164th Avenue, do not let the unassuming strip-mall location fool you — this place is one of our food gems in Clark County.

Atmosphere: The strip-mall space occupies two units. One houses a market and the other a restaurant. Live plants in the entry welcome diners. The brunch buffet is set up opposite the dining area. Seating consists of tall booths, which offer a degree of privacy, down the right side of the space, and tables and chairs fill in the open floor. Blue and gold Italian glass pendants provide light above booths. Slate flooring is complemented by tan and blue upholstery, and the walls are painted in a shade of sand. Table tops bring a granite flair, and chairs are contemporary in dark cherry wood.

What I tried: My dining companions and I started our meal with the onion kulcha (onion and butter naan bread) and the green salad. I decided on the tandoori chicken with a side of mango chutney. My dining companions had the lamb vindaloo and the mixed grill sizzler. We finished off our meal with the gulab jamun for dessert.

The green salad is made with iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. The salad is dusted with a delicious, light spice and a touch of lemon. The result is refreshing, and the spice imparts a unique and appetizing element to the otherwise simple mix. We enjoyed the onion kulcha’s fresh bread presence to start our meal.

Dining out guide: Chutneys

Hours: Lunch is served every day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is 5 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where: 3000 S.E. 164th Ave. #100, Vancouver.

Contact: 360-254-7254, ChutneysVancouver.net.

Health score: Chutneys Indian Restaurant and Grocery Store received a score of 10 on May 5. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For more information, call 360-397-8428.

The tandoori chicken and my dining companion’s mixed grill entree were both served sizzling on an iron platter. They were essentially the same, with one having the addition of lamb and shrimp instead of tandoori chicken. The accompanying vegetables mostly consisted of onion, along with tomatoes, bell peppers and cilantro. The tandoori chicken was delicious, moist and tender, and I ate it with the mango chutney, which added a touch of tropical and savory flavor and texture.

My dining companion liked the variety of proteins in the mixed dish. The lamb vindaloo was, much to my dining companion’s joy, just what he expected — tender chunks of lamb with cubed potatoes cooked in a spicy masala.

The gulab jamun was the perfect finish to our authentic meal.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Naan is available in several varieties, such as the cheesy chicken naan, stuffed with boneless tandoori chicken and cheese, and the Kabuli naan, made with cashews and raisins. The chole bhathoorae starter sounded good. This is a spicy mix of garbanzo beans in a curry sauce served with fried bread. Chicken soup and sambhar soup are on the menu. Among the vegetarian options is eggplant curry, bhindi masala and alu gobi. Vindaloo, jalfrezi, masala and saag are available with different proteins, as is biryani, which also has a vegetable option. Housemade mango ice cream and kheer are among the dessert choices.

Other observations: The service was polite and efficient. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed, and the food is authentic at its best. Chutneys has an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, and the market features exotic goodies for your home table.

Cost: Starters cost $4 to $7. Soups are $4 to $5. Breads are $2 to $5. Tandoori and sizzlers cost $13 to $17. Vegetarian options are served with basmati rice or plain naan and cost $12. Chicken, lamb and seafood entrees are also served with basmati rice or plain naan and cost $14 for chicken selections, $15 for lamb and $16 for seafood. Biryani ranges from $12 to $17. Sides cost $2 to $4. Desserts are $3 to $5. Wine costs $7 per glass, and $27 and $45 per bottle. Indian and domestic beers are $4 to $8. Soft drinks, lassi and chai cost $2.50 to $3.

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