East India Company, is an Indian restaurant located in Winnipeg’s Downtown. The restaurant is run by the Mehra family who have been part of the Winnipeg restaurant scene for close to 50 years. In addition to their Winnipeg location, they operate two restaurants in Ottawa. They are also a family actively involved in promoting the well-being of the city as a whole.
Entering East India Company off of York Avenue, you find the service counter immediately to your right. The seating in the restaurant is laid out in a sort of backwards C shape. With a long line of tables down the one wall, and at the top and bottom a group of tables that branches off to the left. The dessert portion of the buffet interrupts the seating down the right hand wall. On the left hand side is the buffet itself. The buffet is large, with around 15 – 20 dishes, along with a good sized salad and dessert bar.
East India Company – Winnipeg349 York Avenue
Winnipeg Manitoba R3C 3S9
|Monday – Friday:||11:00 am – 3:00 pm||4:30 pm – 10:00 pm|
|Saturday:||Closed||4:30 pm – 10:00 pm|
|Sunday:||12:00 pm – 3:00 pm||4:30 pm – 9:00 pm|
East India Company Buffet
After being greeted at the front, I get taken to a seat towards the back of the restaurant. I tell my server that I’m planning to visit the buffet. When it comes to a beverage I decide to get a Mango Lassi. This is one of my favourite Indian beverages. I started off with a little bit of green salad. I also piled on several pappadums, basmati rice, palak paneer, samosa, pakora, tandoori chicken, and lamb roghan gosht. The last is a different spelling of rogan josh, one of my favourite Indian dishes.
I enjoy all the items I tried at East India Company, but three really stand out. Not only are the samosas tasty, but they are small, so they are not over filling. The lamb is good and tender, and there is a good deal of spice in it. Finally, the palak paneer, is creamier and lighter than any I have tried. The picture above doesn’t quite show how many pappadums I added to my plate. I’ve mentioned before that my mom grew up in India, and pappadums were an occasional treat in our house.
After going through the buffet line for the first time, my server brought me the mango lassi. I noticed that it came with a bit of whipped cream on top. This added a nice touch of sweetness and made the beverage just a little smoother.
My second trip through the buffet is a smaller fill. I pick up more pappadums and lamb. Along with that I add some biryani rice and some noodles. These two plates are more than enough for me. I did also pick up a couple of small desserts. I return to the office happy and sated.
A La Carte Supper
Although I realize most people go to East India Company for the buffet, I also like to try ordering off the menu. This time around I headed in for a supper visit. I found myself seated just around the corner from the buffet, at the far end of the restaurant.
I took a look at the menu and decided I would order the railway mutton curry. Mutton is meat from mature sheep, and it require a little more skill in cooking than lamb does. This entree comes with rice and a side salad. Also, not having ordered any naan on my first visit, I added an order of the garlic naan this time. For a beverage I asked my server what he would recommend. He suggested either the house red or the Black Shiraz. I went with the second choice and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The mutton arrived at the table good and hot. In terms of tenderness there isn’t much to choose between this and any of the lamb dishes. Plus there is a good amount of gravy to sop up with your naan. This is a dish that I would order again and again.
While I am eating my dinner, recently re-elected MP Terry Duguid and some staff and family were seated at a larger table just to my left. As one could imagine they were in fairly high spirits, having just been re-elected. After seating them, Sachit Mehra, the owner asked me if the table was too noisy and indicated he would happily reseat me if I desired. I was fine, but I really appreciated that he wanted to make every diner’s experience as good as possible. This is also evident in the level of service provided by all the staff.
I also noticed while writing this post that East India Company sells it’s own hot sauces, and spice mixes. I intend to pick up a couple of the hot sauces. I’m planning a post on locally produced hot sauces and want to add them into the list. For all that I enjoy East India Company, I don’t get down there as often as I should. I need to correct that in the future.