Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


Eating In in RC: Masala Meats

Masala Meats
Meat Market and Convenience Store
4409 Boundary Road (Boundary and 29th Avenue)

Open: Monday to Sunday, 11 am – 8 pm


Coincidentally, after 20 years of my Eating Out in RC column here, RCC News editor Julie Cheng suggested that I do an Eating In column to highlight her new local find: Masala Meats: Meat Market and Convenience Store.

That was in early February, before our old pal COVID-19 was even on the radar. Now of course, you can’t really be eating out anywhere. So here, for the time being, welcome to Eating IN in RC, featuring Masala Meats.

This is what Julie created with the help of Masala Meats: Ginger masala boneless chicken breast with homemade curry chickpeas. Photo by Julie Cheng

It was in February when I was able to take Julie up on her recommendation, visiting Masala Meats, located over on Boundary at 29th Avenue, at the north end of Joyce Street.

Here I met proprietor, Daman Sharma. I found out that Masala Meats is his first meat shop, and that he has been open here in Renfrew-Collingwood since January.

He is doing his best to offer a wide selection of quality chicken, beef and lamb products, both non-marinated and marinated in a variety of gourmet sauces. Chicken wings, breasts and kababs; barbecue beef steaks, beef ribs and beef kababs; barbecue lamb chops and lamb kababs in your favourite sauces: Jaipuri teekha masala, butter chicken, tandoori masala, ginger masala, tandoori … is your mouth watering yet?

For my meat selection, I settled on 2 pounds of chicken wings: lemon ginger and ginger masala (both medium spiciness). I will be back to try the Jaipuri teekha masala wings (hot).

I also checked out the wide variety of goods that Daman has in his convenience store section. Here one can find a range of Indian grocery and daily use items.

In the frozen section, I found a package of cassava fries; these should go nice with my wings, I thought.

Taking it home, I cooked the chicken wings (350 degrees C for 30 minutes), flipping them halfway through. The cassava fries went in the oven as well for 15 minutes. Voila – a gourmet feast of wings and fries that was both affordable and easy.

The wings were, of course, fresh, not frozen, and yet I would say more affordable than the frozen. The sauces that Masala Meats marinates them in are really gourmet.

You must taste for yourself. The cassava fries were an excellent addition as well.

So why RC would we not all head over to Masala Meats this instant to try all of this goodness that they have to offer? I recently spoke with Daman. He would like to let the community know that his store is open and that bonus meat kababs are being added to every purchase. So run, don’t walk, to see Daman over at Masala Meats and convenience store.

Still, let’s not forget our favourite local restaurants that have been hit so hard by all of this coronavirus pandemic. Many, although closed, are still offering delivery and take out.

Copyright 2020 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Ananda Bhavan Dosa Villa

Ananda Bhavan
Dosa Villa
2269 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2Z9


I am pleased to announce another fine edition to our community’s already diverse line-up of stellar culinary establishments. Just west of Nanaimo Street, on the north side of Kingsway, complete with parking both in front and underground, you will find Ananda Bhavan Dosa Villa. Just recently acquired by chef “Vicky” (you can call him Venkatesan Kaliyamoo), Ananda Bhavan now specializes in dosas – that amazing treat from India’s southern region.

Vicky has the restaurant nicely decorated: comfortable, simple, clean. Vicky suggested the Chicken 65 ($7.50) as my appetizer and the Southern Spicy Ravala Masala Dosa ($10.25) also caught my eye. Vicky took some time to make sure he understood just how spicy I could handle. Though I do love it spicy, I know from experience that Indian cuisine does need some respect in this department. You probably don’t want to say “as spicy as you can.”

Chicken 65We settled on medium spicy and that turned out to be perfect for me. The Chicken 65 was amazing. Bite-sized pieces of the most delectable chicken with two delicious accompanying sauces: one more spicy, and one to cool it down. I believe I detected some coconut in there.

My Spicy Ravala Masala Dosa was also excellent and came with more of those sauces that Vicky prepares fresh each morning; also, a nice lentil soup. I was in spicy heaven. Thank goodness for the cool mango milkshakes ($3.95) to help wash it all down. Can you say – “I’ll be back?”

Vicky is from Tamil Nadu. This is the region at the very southern tip of India. Inspired by the cooking of his parents, Vicky attended culinary school in India and has been a chef now for over 16 years. Dosa Villa is his first restaurant as owner.

“I come in a few hours before we open each day and create everything fresh,” he says. “Fresh ingredients and everything prepared each morning.” Having just put in a new stove and grill to cook the giant dosas, Vicky is ready to cook his way into our hearts.

Also on the menu you will find, in addition to Chicken 65, a nice assortment of appetizers: vadai, pakoda, spicy chicken wings, samosas. There is a long list of the house specialty, dosas, that I cannot wait to be back to try. Perhaps the Prawn Masala Dosa or Lamb Vindaloo Dosa.

Idli, another southern India specialty, is a savoury cake made from rice and black lentils that is apparently easy to digest and good for the stomach. There is a long list of vegetarian dishes, as well as tandoori, chicken, seafood and biryani dishes.

In addition to this wide selection of appetizers and entrees, you will find hot teas and coffees; cold beverages such as a kulfi float, lassis, milkshakes and soft drinks; and for dessert, sweets such as gulab jamun and kesari.

Open from 11 am to 11 pm on Mondays to Thursdays, and from 11 am to 3 am (that’s late!) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, you can have an excellent lunch or dinner at Dosa Villa any day of the week. Bon appetit!

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Fine Indian Fusion
3499 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC


Greetings, food fans. A show of hands―how many of you have discovered the goodness which is Mezbaan? And how many of you are regulars? I am guessing about the same. Let’s go back over the reasons for such an assumption.

Let’s start with the heart of Mezbaan’s popularity―the buffet.

First, we have all of that delicious food. With about 12 main dishes, along with the dessert section, the buffet offers us a generous assortment of gourmet offerings. Usually, it is the Indian classics that we will find here, while on Wednesdays, it is the fusion side of Mezbaan that gets a chance to shine. Indian-style Chinese food; Indian-style Mexican food and lasagna are popular on Wednesdays. In fact, with the exception of the butter chicken and rice, the entire buffet switches into fusion mode. “Total Fusion” is what it has been dubbed.

Secondly, we have the buffet’s all-you-can-eat factor. I don’t know about you, but there is something comforting in knowing that one can eat until their heart is content. Yes, folks, feel free to pig out. As long as you do not waste food, no foul in heading back for more.

And finally, folks, and what sets Mezbaan apart, and scoring high, high, HIGH, on the Gourment/Gourmand’s Scale of Goodness*, is the price for such excellent food. Hold onto your hats, but if you didn’t know already, the fine buffet at Mezbaan’s can be experienced for the amazing pittance of just $7.99!. Did he say $7.99? I did.

But wait, there’s more. That’s for lunch OR DINNER! Yes, on Mondays and Wednesdays, the buffet is available ALL DAY for just $7.99. Wednesdays, remember, feature the fusion goods, so that, my friends, is the place to be Wednesday nights. The buffet, now available every night at Mezbaan, is always an excellent deal, even at its regular dinner price of just $10.95.

In concluson: All you can eat, gourmet food by five-star chefs, here in Collingwood, for less than you would likely spend at McDonalds. Case rested.

Apart from the buffet, Mezbaan offers a full array of Indian and fusion-style dishes. Recommendations include the Mango Chicken and the Prawn Coconut Curry. Actually, all of the coconut dishes are superb. “We do not buy packaged spices,” says Chef T.J., “We buy them whole and then ground them up.”

Chef T.J., co-owner and head chef of Mezbaan, is a former chef at five-star restaurants in New Delhi, who was hand picked to work in such restaurants as Handi and Saffron. Now he is joined by two other five-star chefs: Chef Harry and Chef Mandeep, also from New Delhi.

New at Mezbaan: The chefs at Mezbaan are always introducing new fusion items to the menu. We can also be on the lookout for Indian sweets―coming soon to Mezbaan. Chef T.J. asks that we keep our eyes out for the Mezbaan flyer―which contains their menu for all of your take-out needs, discount coupons, and the entry form for the Mezbaan prize draw. The first draw will be held on Christmas―prizes include dinner for Mezbaan―up to $100 value.

So if you haven’t been to Mezbaan, or it’s been awhile, go taste the deliciousness for yourself and let’s put a permanent line-up outside a door that deserves it. Bon appetit.

© Copyright (c) 2012 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News