Stephen Travels

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Khazana, Edmonton, Alberta

Khazana (Edmonton, Alberta)

I tried to escape the unfriendly weather that was plaguing me in Edmonton, Alberta, by ducking into the Muttart Conservatory for an hour or so. Later on, it was still far too cold out to roam around looking for a restaurant for dinner. So when I caught sight of the awning at Khazana, with an image of a cauldron of something steaming over flaming rocks, I terminated my search.

As soon as I stepped inside, I was a bit enchanted. The rustic interior of brick, stone, and wood, the colorful rugs hanging on the walls, the fireplaces and open fire pits, the latticed light fixtures, the metal, glass, and wood artifacts scattered here and there: Perhaps the front door was actually a portal to Delhi or Mumbai? Well, no, but rather the brainchild of local architects and designers who had trekked to India to study traditional architecture and brought back ideas for the restaurant’s décor, creating a truly eastern ambiance, with nostalgic elements blending nicely with contemporary touches.

While my eyes were treated to this visual bounty, the unmistakable aroma of Indian spices and sauces aroused my olfactory senses. I could easily divine the reasons why this restaurant keeps winning awards and accolades. Now it was time to verify them.

Fork and KnifeTry This: Enjoy some warm naan while you sip a cocktail of crème de banana, white rum, mango puree, and lime juice. The menu offers far too many dishes that sound superb, and choosing just one or two borders on the impossible. So, why limit yourself? Partake in the buffet instead and sample a wide variety of Khazana’s sapid delicacies, including mulligatawny soup, lasuni gobhi (cauliflower cooked with sweet and sour garlic sauce), vegetable pakora (fried dumplings of vegetables in chickpea flour butter), chana pindo (chickpeas flavored with ginger, fenugreek, and mango powder), butter chicken in a cream and tomato gravy, mughlai beef, basmati rice, and goan fish curry. If your multiple visits to the buffet bar haven’t completely sated you, finish your meal with the kufli Khazana, a traditional dessert of saffron-flavored ice cream.