Update as of April 4, 2016: This restaurant is now closed permanently.
I come from India; east India in the Punjab region to be exact. I love our food and am always proud to showcase it. I have never had a chance to go to India though so I am not familiar with all the different cuisines. I come from butter chicken, curries, lentils, and deep fried pastry snacks (samosas), among many other things. I was very excited to go to an Indian restaurant that was making food that I haven’t tried before. Café Adda by Naz (Langley) is a husband & wife owned restaurant making Indian street food. I had a really great time eating foods that had flavours I am used to but in new dishes.
Starting the meal off right with a glass of chai. They have a few different types here. I went with the elachi (cardomom) chai. It was served with biscuits.
A kathi roll is like an Indian wrap that uses a parantha (a type of Indian flatbread; can be stuffed with vegetables or just dough) as the wrapper. I chose the malai chicken. The parantha had a crunchy exterior but still doughy on the inside. It was just like how my mom makes paranthas so this dish was basically perfect to me. The roll came with a side salad that had a delightfully bright dressing. It also came with a mint mayo that I used for dipping. I am definitely asking for extra of it next time. It was a great condiment and wasn’t overly minty.
One of the owners graciously served us our beef biryani. I am used to seeing this dish being presented to you completely mixed with sauce coating every grain of rice. At Cafe Adda they take time to layer the dish in a beautiful way. Their version is so flavourful and the rice was delicious. I believe they use an aged basmati rice here, which probably added to it’s deliciousness. I love fresh herbs and this biryani had plenty. I look forward to trying others such as the prawn or subz paneer.
I love condiments!! The more, the better (you should see me when I eat fries.) The biryani was accompanied with raita (yogurt with cucumber) and a salun, which is a tomato based gravy. I liked being able to add the sauce when I wanted to. Sometimes I wanted to taste more of the rice and sometimes I wanted a bite that had more sauce. It made for the best of both worlds.
Once I found out that Naz is a pastry chef, I knew I had to get dessert. I went with the mango cheesecake. I loved its presentation on the triangle plate. Naz said she added fennel to the mango component. It wasn’t overpowering at all and gave this dish a subtle Indian flare. The cheesecake wasn’t too dense and I liked it’s texture. I also really want to try the gulab jamun kheer tart. I have never heard of such a creation and its basically a mix of some of my favourite Indian desserts. Gulab jamun are deep fried balls of dough soaked in sugar syrup and kheer is rice pudding. All inside a tart? I can’t wait!
Naz also gave us a little taste of their cinnamon chocolate mousse. It’s a very well made dessert and cinnamon was the perfect spice. The dark chocolate gives this dessert a sophisticated touch and it’s not too sweet.
I am so proud of this place. It showed me so many things and educated me on a different part of my culture that I haven’t experienced yet. It’s very unique and brings a part of India that hasn’t been showcased in the Lower Mainland as of yet. I also felt extremely comfortable here as myself & my dinner date unknowingly stayed here an hour past closing. The owners very sweetly never said anything. Check out Café Adda in downtown Langley for amazing Indian street fare.