Lifestyle(Archives)

Aug
22
2013
Volume
-

Fort McMurray Food Fight

JON TUPPER
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Battle Curry

Many hundreds of years ago, Europeans discovered the exotic spices of the middle east and they fell in love. Soon they were building caravans to bring the spices home to fix their chronically bland food. Demand soared and soon Europe felt that caravans were not fast enough, so they built boats to try to find a shortcut to speed things up. They didn’t find a shortcut but they did discover North America and that brings us here to this important Fort McMurray Food Fight. Who has the best take-out curry? In one corner we have The Curry Pot, and in the other corner we have the new Nim’s Tandoor.

{slider=Round 1: Chicken Samosas}

The Curry Pot served a flavourful samosa with a nice peppery heat to it accompanied by a green chutney that was so piquant it could bring a man to tears. The dish was good, but I’d recommend forgoing the chutney.

Nim’s Tandoor served a baseball size samosa stuffed with chicken, vegetables, fresh spices, and a mild heat that was absolutely delicious and truly memorable. The samosa would easily make a nice light lunch or mid-day snack.

Result: Nim’s takes Round 1 based on portion size and freshness.

{/slider} {slider=Round 2: Vegetable dishes}

At The Curry Pot, my wife and I had the Green Bean Curry. This dish was a solid failure. The spices were flat and the green beans tasted like the canned string beans that were popularly force-fed to children in the culinary dark ages known as the 1960s. Visually grey on brown this dish would certainly be a candidate for the Gallery of Regrettable Food.

At Nim’s we ordered Aloo Gobi which is fresh cauliflower with tomato and onion in a complex and fragrant sauce. This dish was alive with aroma and flavours with a moderate amount of heat. We had no hesitation having a second helping of this dish.

Result: Nim’s Aloo Gobi easily beats The Curry Pot’s regrettable beans.

{/slider} {slider=Round 3: Meat dishes}

We chose The Curry Pot’s Chicken Curry. The dish contained a very good amount of chicken that was tender and moist, but the curry sauce itself was watery and flat as though it was made with the powdered curry you get in an “off the shelf” spice rack that came as a wedding present.

At Nim’s we also chose the Chicken Curry, and it was amazing. Layers of flavour and spice that worked together like a culinary symphony composed by a master. Not only was this dish the best curry I’ve had in Fort McMurray, it was the best curry I’ve had in my life!

Result: Nim’s takes another round and shows true mastery of the cuisine.

{/slider} {slider=Round 4: Rice}

Rice is key to good Indian food and it provides more than just a handy substrate for the curry. It is integral to the flavour and texture of the cuisine. At The Curry Pot we ordered the saffron rice and I am sad to say it was more than a disappointment. I won’t mince words here - it was very bad. It has a flavour of brackish water and the aroma of an old kitchen sponge. After a few bites I decided to feed it to the garburator and then went for some mouth-wash.

Nim’s also has saffron rice and theirs was properly cooked with the mild background of saffron that one would expect from Indian take-out.

Result: Nim’s just pummels The Curry Pot in this round, but this writer is the one who took the real beating from The Curry Pot’s rice.

{/slider} {slider=The Final Conclusion:}

Nim’s Tandoor House is the undefeated winner of this edition of the Fort McMurray Food Fight. The Curry Pot was the first Indian restaurant in town, but I feel that they are a curry restaurant in name only and really did not stack up against Nim’s Tandoor House. Nim’s, however, was outstanding in food quality, flavours, freshness, and authenticity. I confidently predict that Nim’s will not only be a staple of Fort McMurray, but will grow into a point of pride in the growing mosaic of our culinary scene.

{/slider} {slider=Pro Tip: }

Order from Nim’s sooner rather than later as they are certain to become a very busy place. They also make fresh Naan bread and Roti in-house. Try them, you’ll thank me!

{/slider}
JON TUPPER

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