Sherman's Food Adventures: Cayenne Bistro and Grill

Cayenne Bistro and Grill

New West isn't usually known for its culinary scene but I swear they have so many hidden gems.  I guess it goes hand-in-hand with what I just said about New West because most would be hidden gems right?  I'm not sure if I'm making sense here but stay with me.  One of these hidden gems is Cayenne Bistro & Grill located on 6th Street in Burnaby.  Wait, didn't I just say New West?  Well, anything in that area is essentially New West in my mind...

So we started with the Appy Platter consisting of 2 samosas, 3 kebabs and 3 nylon bhajia.  On the side, we found tamarind and mint chutneys.  Really enjoyed the samosa because the pastry was not too thick and was fried up crispy while not being greasy.  Nice spice on the potato filling too.  Those kebab meatballs were a lot more moist than they appeared.  Sure, they were crispy on the outside, but completely moist on the inside.  Once again, nice spice to them.  The thinly sliced fried potatoes were a touch greasy, but were soft and fluffy with a crispy surface.

Next, we had a dish that I've never heard of or tried before.  The Patra Bhajia were patra leaves tempered with spices, rolled, steamed and then fried crispy.  This was certainly a unique texture that was a bit firm, yet at the same time tender due to the steaming.  They were nicely seasoned with earthy notes with some spice.  As for the leaves themselves, they had a leafy green flavour but with a slight metallic finish.  Certainly unique, but not really up my alley.

Similarly to the appy platter, I got the Choma Platter consisting of Beef ribs, Mishkaki and Pili Pili Chicken.  This was quite the plate of meat as it was a lot more filling than it looked.  The mishkaki sported tender chunks of beef that was a bit earthy with some peppery notes.  The beef ribs underneath were tender in a chewy way (a good thing).  We chose mild and it was as such.  As for the chicken, it was tender and juicy as described with a mild spiciness.

We moved onto 2 curries starting with the Chicken Rafiki.  This featured tender pieces of chicken that were moist.  It sat in a tomato-based coconut curry that was smooth and buttery.  It was aromatic and creamy due to the coconut milk, but then than merely tempered the tomato portion of the curry.  It was definitely there, but the tang was muted while the sweetness was present.  It was mildly spiced, but had nice earthy notes.


For our second curry, we had the Malindi Seafood Medley with prawns and halibut cooked in creamy tomato-based curry.  Sure, this was somewhat similar to the chicken rafiki, but different at the same time.  It took on some of the seafood flavour while the peppers added some vegetable sweetness and bite to the dish.  I found the fish to be rather flaky and tender (meant it was fairly fresh) while the prawns to be meaty with a nice snap.

So we decided to get some rice, but in the form of Bombay Beef Biryani.  Yes, I know plain basmati rice would've been the best compliment to the curries, and we did actually order some.  Besides, we also had some Garlic Naan anyways.  That biryani was quite good with moist, yet al dente basmati rice.  It was nicely spiced and with beef (usually I've had it with chicken, lamb or goat), it took on more body and flavour.  As for the naan, that was probably only thing we were indifferent about.  It was soft and fluffy, but lacked blistering and the buttery aromatics of ones from a tandoor.  Other than that, the food was unique and well-executed.  Unique dishes too as there are both African and Indian influences.  Yes, this is a hidden gem for sure.

The Good:
- Unique food
- Nice flavours
- Wonderful owners

The Bad:
- Tight dining room
- So-so naan  


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