Grain of Salt
18-561 Hespeler Road
In her opinion:
I have heard so many good things about this place...especially from the East Indian community and how it is the best Indian food in our area! That of course only made me want to blog about it even more! Espcially to see what all the fuss is about.
We had had Grain of Salt before...we had take out from their downtown Preston location and I actually found it very expensive. Yes, the food was good but for the price I found it a little steep. So when they opened up a new nicer location on Hespeler Road, I had to try it out. So this Sunday past we went to lunch. The menu is the same as it was in downtown Preston but the restaurant itself is much nicer.
We started off with one of their appetizer. We choose the Sab Ek Saath. This consisted on one vegetable samosa, 2 pieces of chicken pakora, 2 potato pakora, 2 onion bhajia and 2 spinach pakora.
The samosa was unbelievably delicious. The chicken pakora was so well flavoured and delectable. I really enjoyed the onion bhaja as well. The spinach and potato pakora were not my favourite but they were well done.
For my main, I was a little confused about what to pick. But then I found the specials menu. What I liked was that they had a lunch special available to us if we wanted making choosing a much easier task. We both picked the non-vegetarian meat special This consisted of one meat curry, a piece of tandoori chicken, house salad, daal (lentil stew), raita (yogurt and cucumber sauce), rice, naan and dessert in this case kheer (rice pudding). I picked Chicken Tikka Masala as my meat curry. This is basically chicken that has been cooked in a tandoor oven and served with a tomato coriander sauce. It is one of my favourite Indian foods and it is also considered to be "a true British national dish". I kid you not!
This lunch special for $10.99 was a very good value. The food was very well prepared. It was delicious. However, I will say that I prefer Taal Fine Indian Cuisine in Brantford (read our post here). But overall, very fine Indian food and I will definitely return.
In his opinion:
I recall Grain of Salt from the Preston days as being the place that served the best butter chicken I have ever had. A while back, my friend Anisha had tipped me off to this place stating that her family eats there and if East Indian people eat at an East Indian restaurant, that's all the validation I need.
The new location is much nicer (heaven knows the old one was way past its prime). Clean, bright and a nicely decorated room except for the ugly white metal chairs in the middle that don't match the decor at all. They are surely a transplant from the old location or left behind from a previous business. Either way they don't fit and ruin the rest of the nicely decorated room.
I browsed the menu and found a lot of good selections. There are many authentic choices for all different tastes and I must add that many East Indians were indeed eating there, which is always a good sign.
Our appetizer was a sampler plate, from which I must highlight the chicken pakora, the vegetable samosa and the onion bhajia.
For an entree I picked from one of their lunch specials well priced around $9-$11. I had the non-vegetarian plate with 1 meat choice (vindaloo chicken, one of my favourites) plus 1 piece of tandoori chicken, daal and raita. It also comes with naan bread (get the garlic one if possible) and kheer as dessert.
The vindaloo chicken was awesome with just the right amount of "heat" and tasted excellent. Loved almost everything in my "plate", not crazy about raita but that comes from me not loving Indian yogurt dishes.
I said my "plate" because the food was actually served in a metal tray called "a Thali" (Hindi for plate). Before you make any assumptions linking this to prison meals please understand that this is common practice in India, by which most East Indians eat off a Thali or have a Thali meal, and have so for many generations. It's tradition and if you want traditional Indian food in a traditional setting, you should get the whole experience.
The food was very good and the experience was very pleasant. Grain of salt is authentic Indian food in a restaurant that gives you a good Indian experience.
There is also a private room in the front of the restaurant for private or large parties.
The Good: Authentic East Indian food with great flavours and a new bright clean location. The perfect blend of genuine Indian food and experience.
The Bad: Those white chairs need to go, period...there I said it!
The Verdict: For those looking for real East Indian food in Cambridge, this is as good as it gets. Great food and great service!
I give it a 3 out of 5 olives as a rating