Variety. That's something my son didn't have in his vocabulary even a few years ago as he subsisted on mac n' cheese, grilled cheese and cheeseburgers. Now, if this was a cheese-eating contest, I guess he'd do okay. However, a piece of me died inside every time he'd choose one of the aforementioned items over tastier options. He's expanded his eating repertoire and we felt it was time to go eat some Indian food at Mezbaan Fine Indian Fusion (thanks to another Groupon) before he forgot he had tried it in the past.
We tried the kiddies out with both the Paneer Pakora and Fish Pakora. We all found the fish pakora to be superior partly due to the benefit of an actual protein. The fish was soft and flaky while retaining its shape and integrity. The batter was super light and nicely spiced by caraway and cumin. It was further enhanced by the spicy cilantro chutney. From there, we moved onto the Tandoori Chicken served on a sizzling cast iron plate. By virtue of using only the leg, the meat was fairly tender and succulent. It was marinated enough to have some penetration of flavours, but in the end, it was rather mild tasting.
Due to their low spice tolerance, we got the Butter Chicken in its mildest form. Hence, the dominant flavour was the tangy tomato paste accented by only a slight amount of creaminess. As mentioned, there was little to no spiciness as requested. But that didn't mean there was no flavour at all. The small chunks of chicken ranged from tender to dry. For myself, I had the Lamb Rogen Josh in a spicy version. I found the pieces of lamb to be succulent and moist. However, the sauce was lacking in depth and richness. It wasn't even that spicy. There seemed to be a lack of toasted spices in the mix.
As a side, we got a couple orders of the Garlic Naan which was more crispy than bread like. It was well charred which afforded a smoky flavour. However, we didn't notice much garlic. My son devoured it along with the butter chicken. In that sense, mission accomplished as there wasn't any grilled cheese to be found anywhere. In terms of overall food quality, it was decent and definitely serviceable. Obviously, I've had better (especially since I have access to the great Indian food in Surrey on a daily basis), but Mezbaan is alright for the neighbourhood.
- Decent for the area
- The service we got was alright for a family run operation
- Flavours could be bolder (and I'm not talking about the spice level)
- Place is a bit run down