1734 Marine Dr, West Vancouver
Tel: (604) 281-4411
Advice: Reservations suggested.
At this elegant abode, Kamal Mroke (owner) greets customers many of which he knows by name; opening over 1-1/2 years ago, many have made repeat visits from the neighborhood and across the city. At Swad they specialize with dishes from all regions of India, there are Ismali dishes as well as Punjab, Kashmir and more. Kamal knows a thing or two about running Indian restaurants as he has owned many over the past 35+ years in Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary and beyond.
My friend Zahra Alani, co-host of my Food Glorious Food podcast joined me for a divine meal, I started off with the popular Mango Lassi. As Zahra is Ismali she was able to guide me through dishes of her culture, we shared the Mogo, commonly called cassava, crisp and seasoned; as well as the Jalpari– Fish seasoned with ginger & garlic then fried, Swaad’s mint sauce.
I loved the Bharvan Aloo – vegetarian dish stuffed with dry fruit and paneer mixed with spices; as well as the Moogdum Kebab done in their Tandoor oven with Bone-in chicken thigh marinated in a yogurt & cashew nut sauce.
The Chicken Kuku Paka is one of Zahra’s favourites from growing up, we enjoyed this Ismaili speciality of boneless chicken breast simmered in coconut milk, coriander, ginger, garlic and green chillies. We both loved the perfectly cooked, Kashmiri Rogan Josh, a lamb dish, aromatic spice blend, mace & Kashmiri chilies.
Another delicious dish was the Bengali Curry with Pan-seared seasoned fish, mustard & coconut cream; this went well with the Bombay Style Rice Pulao with braised basmati, paneer, spices, onions, tomatoes & vegetables cooked pao bhaji-style. The Chicken Biryani is done in a different way here than Zahra was used too, it has basmati, braised chicken & Swad Indian spices.
I loved both of the stuffed Naan breads we had including the Keema Naan, stuffed with spiced minced lamb, served with masala sauce; along with the sweeter Peshwari Naan stuffed with dried fruits & served with mango chutney. One of Zahra’s favourite side dishes, was one I hadn’t had previously, the Achaar is a mix of spicy pickles, lemons, mangoes & green chilies; another side is the Pineapple Raita which was done slightly different than the usual with the addition of pineapple pieces into the yogurt.
For dessert, we enjoyed a couple of their specialities including the Swad’s Meethi Roti, a flaky roti, brown sugar, sweet spices, butter & cream; along with the Mango & Pistachio Ice Cream, their version of a Kulfi with a duo of tropical and Mediterranean flavours.
The menu is vast with many dishes to choose, many are great for sharing too. Aside from the delicious dishes, I loved the fact that they celebrate the many regions that make up India, showcasing the dishes and flavours. This is a gem worth visiting from near and far and I can’t wait to return to try more.
Review by: Richard Wolak