GJ’s Kitchen and Catering located at the corner plaza of 152nd Street and 96th Avenue in Surrey is an Indian restaurant that is a total surprise for the neighborhood. It happened to be Saturday in the long weekend and I was driving by with couple of my friends on this busy street when we spotted this location which said Authentic Indian Kitchen with the ample parking space. As we entered this restaurant, we were warmly greeted by the chef owner and his wife (the first chef I have seen with a turban). As you are being seated you are surprised with a welcome starter and the server explains it with the smile (carom seed straws with tamarind and jaggery dip). By then the image about this cozy place had already stared to develop and expectation had stared numbering the place in terms of quality. We were ready to order and the chef comes himself not knowing that I would be reviewing his place now. We asked about what is special in the menu and this smiling young chef says everything on the menu is special. With mouth-watering selection of Appetizers, we left it over to the confident chef who expressed his desire to surprise us with his culinary expertise.
First, we were served the Aloo Tikki sampler (the best I had in recent time) as my friend who was accompanying me was a vegetarian, we had an opportunity to try both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The tikkis were followed by Lamb Seekh Kebab (superb so soft and tender cooked to perfection), Tulsi Paneer Tikka – as pure as the name you would taste the royal flavors of and modern Tulsi (Indian Basil). By now our eyes were full with the colorful food and the best presentation with taste and texture, the best part being that nothing was over cooked. The chef recommended us to try the kebab samplers but as were full with our appetite, we appreciated the chef and requested to amuse us with his creation of kebabs next time. But the intention to get the aroma and the craving for the Chef’s special main course dishes got us anxious to know what’s coming next. As we showed our willingness to get the tasting for couple of dishes, the chef got us what we usually do not even get to hear of such non-vegetarian delicacies, we got Tawas Chicken (succulent chicken shreds with mustard marinated peppers and onion in Indian sauce), Rara Meat (tender goat pieces with grounded meat), whereas for vegetarian, we got Achari baingan (pickle marinated baby eggplants with onion tomato masala), Shahi Paneer (not the regular we get around) and the Royal Indian Lentil (Dal Makhani). This includes the sides of Achari Garlic Naan, Laccha parantha and Lassi. The quench for real and not too spicy non-greasy Indian food can be fulfilled here. By the end of our meal I had rated this place 5 Star Plus.
When we approached the server for our bill, we got to hear an unusual reply, Chef is creating a dessert to pamper your taste buds with sweet, what we got was a surprise again!! In this modern time many people must have forgotten about Choori with Rabri. This is young chef Gurjyote Singh Sethi had won our heart by now by taking us back to our good old days when our mom used to feed us with this sweet layered whole wheat bread with mild. Along with his modern touch and with the spectacular presentation, it’s a success. With no more appetite left we called on for the chef and appraised for what he had done to make our evening an experience which will take long time to fade away. While talking to him he introduced himself to be the qualified chef and carrying an experience of over 15 years in the culinary world, worked in world renowned brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Claridges and Taj (New Delhi) India to name a few. His last assignment in India was the Executive Chef for Vivanta by Taj, Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir. After Immigration to Canada, he worked at Fairmont Vancouver and now making his base here in Surrey. I suggest the foodies around are blessed to have such an experienced and every smiling chef to serve this community with a change we had been waiting for a while. On my next visit my appetite to dine in this restaurant has increased with dishes to try on mind the coconut Prawn Curry and Bhindi Anardana (Okra with fresh pomegranate). His special Sunday brunch is a must to try for everyone – Amritsari Kulche Chole served with free Lassi of your choice (sweet, salted or mango Lassi). Dinning here will not only keep your stomachs happy, even your pockets will stay satisfied with guaranteed money to value food for soul. Chef told me he believes in 3 H’s and I asked him what are they, he said Healthy-Hygienic and High on Quality, in my opinion he got all three of H’s plus more.
Located at #111-9547-152nd Street in Surrey, eat in, take out or have it catered, they also do home deliveries for order of $40 or over before tax. Open from Wednesday to Monday from 11am to 9:30pm and Closed on Tuesdays. Give them a call at 604-951-1777 or 778-372-3900 or visit their website at www.gjskitchen.com
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