I admit it. I'm a sucker for Indian food.
And two of the best such meals I've enjoyed in Vancouver recently came at the new Delhi-6 Indian Bistro in the former Thai House space at 1766 West 7th Avenue.
It's in the midst of a soft launch and I'm sure you'll hear more about it in the coming weeks.
The butter chicken was absolutely extraordinary in its succulently spiced bright orange sauce. It was so delicious that I ordered it again on my second visit.
The cauliflower in my first meal was slightly overcooked—but not terribly so. That wasn't a problem with the biryani served along with the butter chicken on the second trip.
There aren't many purely Delhi-style restaurants north of the Fraser River, and you can tell the difference by the curries. In Delhi food they're heavier and taste more homemade than those prepared in other parts of India.
Here's something else to keep in mind with Delhi food: the naan is sometimes topped with a greasy sheen. If that's not your thing, ask in advance at Delhi-6 Indian Bistro and they'll serve it without this coating. Unlike in almost every other local Indian restaurant, it comes in individual baskets for each person at the table.
Another unique touch? Food is served in shallow bowls rather than on plates. And the service is exceptional.
One of Vancouver's Delhi-food standouts is Siddhartha's Kitchen (2066 Commercial Drive). Now, it's going to have to brace for authentic Delhi-style competition on the posh side of town.
Speaking of posh, it looks like some thought has gone into refurbishing Delhi-6's interior. While the layout is very similar to the old Thai House—with the floor-to-ceiling windows, booths on the outside, and tables in the middle—the new dark brown seats and artful hanging lanterns make for a far comfier vibe.
There's also a welcoming and colourful new seating area near the door. But this elegant décor comes at a price: the meals here are more expensive than at less snazzy Indian joints around town.
The restaurant's name will remind Bollywood fans of the 2009 movie, Delhi-6, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor.
The number 6 in the film title—and the bistro—reflects the postal district of Old Delhi, known as Delhi 6. It's home to a famous huge bazaar from where some of the restaurant's furnishings were sourced. The square in this neighbourhood, Chandni Chowk, was designed by the daughter of the Mugal emperor Shah Jahan, who created the Taj Mahal.
And, of course, the number 6 also matches the final number of the restaurant's street address in Vancouver. How quaint is that?