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We track down the best samosas in town.
Whether they come from an acclaimed Indian restaurant or a beloved hole in the wall, one thing’s for sure: samosas are damn good. In an effort to find the city’s best, we asked two Vancouver chefs and one avid VanMag reader to sample the offerings from these six local purveyors.
“Talent has gone into this,” said Dhalwala, who was impressed by the finesse and technicality of All India’s samosa. The thinness of the dough and the mild flavour, which acts as the perfect vehicle for chutney, was further appreciated by our other taste testers: “It’s jam-packed full of potato and has the best pastry.” 6560 Main St., Vancouver, allindiasweetsrestaurant.com
Though some might find it overpowering, this spicy samosa, with its crisp exterior and pronounced flavour profile, managed to secure the number-two position. 109–12837 88 Ave., Surrey, thesamosahouse.com
One taste tester thought this samosa showed promise (“It looked really nice and crunchy on the outside”), but the thicker-than-average pastry resulted in an exterior that was oversaturated with oil after frying. The flavours were also “too simplistic” to make an impact on our judges. 12811 96 Ave., Surrey, 604-585-8686
This chickpea, rice and vegetable samosa failed to really impress our judges, who all agreed that it had a well-intentioned but confusing filling. But it did receive praise for its homemade quality: “I feel like someone really nice made this,” said Danelesko. 1105 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, sweetcherubim.com
This baked samosa, thrown in as a control, was made by our general manager’s mother, Barjinder Johal. Filled with potato, onion, ground coriander and cumin, it teetered on the edge of being too spicy, but, according to Chan, was far better seasoned than the others.
This “weird” samosa was our judges’ least favourite: stuffed with chicken and chickpeas, its lack of moisture had everyone reaching for a glass of water. 5740 Fraser St., Vancouver, newbhaiasweet.com
Meeru Dhalwala is co-owner of Vij’s and Rangoli. Her steady hand and inventive palate in the kitchen have brought worldwide acclaim to both enterprises, where she serves more than 100 samosas every day.Clement Chan is owner of Torafuku and Le Tigre. With extensive training in baking and pastry arts from the Art Institute of Vancouver and Vancouver Community College, this chef has little time for soggy samosas.Tessa Danelesko is our Twitter contest winner. When she’s not busy taste-testing samosas, you can find her working as project coordinator for the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network.