1 Comment October 14, 2009 | By Jonathan

Jolly's Indian Bistro | Kitsilano, Vancouver_1259817116954
As previously stated, I am desiring curry. And so I found myself at the newly-relocated Kitsilano haunt, Jolly’s Indian Bistro. I had been to their old location, a block away, a few times over the years, always having the butter chicken plate. I remembered it as quite delicious and affordable, served in a quaint space by an attractive waitstaff. So on a cold Sunday night, I was keyed up to get my fix of butter chicken goodness.

Now, this is where the needle scratches off the record. The new space is brighter, more open and seemingly a lot cleaner. But there is something a bit too industrial (or unfinished) about the room to me, it felt like an over-sized luxury bathroom rather than a restaurant, but maybe I am just being ridiculous.

Certainly it is busy and I heard some people singing its praises on the street outside. But my butter chicken plate was small and worse, the butter chicken was watery and not very intense. I was left hungry and unsatisfied. The naan bread was lovely, although toasted crisp on one side, which as far as I know is not the objective.

Like many places I seem to be reviewing, the biggest problem was the service. Two very similar looking waitstaff were serving us, without communicating with each other at all. When my friend ordered a vegetarian plate and was delivered 3 meat curries instead, there was no apology (and there really should have been, given that she ate some of the curry before realizing). Whats more, the other waiter was not informed of this, so the mistake persisted throughout the courses, and on the bill.

When ordering drinks, our waiter was unsure what kind of beer and wine they had, and said there was only one kind of each and she didn’t know what it was. My beer tasted rather odd and I moved onto passable mystery wine. When we went for another glass of wine, the other waiter asked what kind we wanted. Apparently there was a choice after all, and she had no idea what we had been served to start with. When I got the bill, we were charged for 2 dealcoholized beers and no wine. The dealco factor would explain the odd taste of my beer, but certainly the entire operation was a painful game of broken telephone, and very distracting from the meal. Any kind of restaurant that makes it this difficult to consume beverages is not focused on the bottom line.

I am sure that you can have delicious and affordable curries at Jolly’s. However, my butter chicken plate was not up to their standards (entirely unsatisfying) and the service was such a distraction that I am not motivated to go back, even given the close proximity to my home. Of note, their website boasts of plans to market ready-made curry, like Vij’s does. This seems well overreaching to me if they cannot handle a tiny room with 15 diners without screwing up every detail of the meal.

2928 W 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC V6K
(604) 730-6929

Jolly's Bistro on Urbanspoon


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