Lamb Vindaloo at the Haveli Restaurant in Ottawa
The Haveli Indian Restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market was somewhere I ate quite regularly for a number of years. It has, however, been replaced by another very excellent Indian restaurant now, so I probably don’t miss it as much as I otherwise would have.
Normally, when dining in Asian restaurants, I prefer to order a series of appetizers so as to sample as many dishes as possible, but on the occasion in question, I opted for their Lamb Vindaloo and found it a bit of a challenge in the chili heat department, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
I ordered Paratha to go along with my Vinadloo in lieu of rice or any other starch side dish and, while it was reasonably tasty, I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed. The bread was definitely nice and flaky, but it was just a bit overcooked and really quite oily. Some varieties of Paratha are prepared with, and cooked in, quite a bit of fat, but with the rich, fatty gravy of the Vindaloo, something prepared using my own Simple Paratha Recipe would have been preferable. This Paratha wasn’t bad, all in all, but I only gave it a Rating of 3 out of 5.
As for the main dish, Haveli offers a number of Vindaloo preparations from which the customer can choose their selection to be ‘hot’, ‘very hot, or ‘extra hot’. I chose the medium-heat variety and, although I am not sure, I may have been treated to the ‘extra hot’ sort as it turned out to be a very ‘brow-mopping – eye-watering’ sort of curry indeed.
Still, I was favorably impressed with the dish as the lamb was juicily tender and not cooked to death, as is often the case in some Indian restaurants. The sauce was quite oily, but, while this may not be to the taste of some westerners, it was still a good traditional Vindaloo other than being not quite as vinegar-tangy as such dishes usually are.
I was not able to taste a great deal of garlic (and this really should be the case) but, in truth, the spicy heat of the dish may have numbed me a little. In all, though, while not the absolute best Vindaloo I have ever eaten, this dish was very good I gave it a respectable Rating of 4 out of 5.