I had heard about there being a great hole-in-the-wall place downtown for reasonably priced and delicious butter chicken. For whatever reason, I never had a chance to check this place out even though I’ve been working downtown in some capacity for the past few years. One day, both Jenkins and I found ourselves without lunch plans so we decided to meet up and he offered to take me to this famous butter chicken place that I had been hearing about for so long.
Tucked away in a non-descript cafe on the ground floor of the Law Society of BC, Grounds for Appeal looks like, upon first glance, your typical office building coffee shop. However, once lunch time hits, a long line starts to form as many people who are in on this “secret” location line up for some pretty tasty Indian food for lunch. They have some rotating specials but I was told by the regulars that I should try the butter chicken first.
For $7.95, the portions are pretty large, especially considering that you are downtown. The butter chicken is flavourful and rich without being overly rich…if that’s even possible! Tastewise, I would say that this is one of the better butter chicken dishes that I’ve had although I’ve had better homemade versions. I also had quite a bit of chicken in mine but quality control seems to be a bit of an issue as Jenkins did not have as much chicken in his order.
The butter chicken also comes with rice and naan. Please ignore the dollop of butter chicken in the photo below as I was too eager to start eating and almost forgot to take pictures. The rice was quite well done and flavourful but the naan left quite a bit to be desired. It was on the doughy side and almost tasted like regular flat bread or pita.
To complement my meal, I decided to also have a mango lassi for $2.50. The mango lassi was quite tasty although not the best I’ve ever had. It was thick not overly so and had a really nice mango flavour to it. I liked how there was enough yogurt to give the drink its tanginess but it did not dilute the mango flavour.
Although somewhat hyped up, I still felt that the butter chicken at Grounds for Appeal was quite good and definitely ranked amongst the better Indian places I’ve been to (not counting homemade, of course). In addition, I find that eating out at Indian restaurants can be pretty expensive at times so the prices here are more than reasonable, especially when you take into account the downtown factor. I’m not sure if it’s open on the weekends but if you do come for lunch, I recommend that you arrive a bit before 12pm as the line forms quite quickly and I’ve also been told that they sometimes sell out of their more popular dishes.
845 Cambie Street, Vancouver