Friday, April 2, 2010

An Unexpected Surprise

Hola Bloggies:
Back to the Kelowna (a.k.a. K-town) recap . . .
After my work commitments were over the Fiancé and I decided to take the long way home. The particular path we chose was designed to take us through the wineries of the Okanagan Valley. But given how ridiculously early it was in the season we weren’t sure our idyllic dreams would come to fruition.
Penticton Tourist Centre
IMG_0796
Look at all that wine!!!
Our first stop was to the incredibly well stocked Wine Country Centre located in beautiful Penticton. There we chose some presents for the family that was kind enough to look after Daisy while we were gone (the wine and the Riedel wine glasses were a HUGE hit!). We also talked to the friendly people at the tourism information centre to see if we could find a place to have lunch in the vineyard. They let us down gently but told us we were a couple of weeks too early. Still, the lady raved about a tiny little Indian restaurant in the town of Oliver. Since it was on our way we decided to stop there for lunch.
Best of India in Oliver
Look at all those colours!
The menu - small but tasty sounding
The tiny little town of Oliver is the last place in Earth you’d expect to find an honest to goodness Indian restaurant. In fact, I have to confess I was doubtful enough that on our drive there I checked my iPhone and it turned out this little restaurant was a town institution that had been written up in big city publications! All with rave reviews! In fact there were even people who claimed to drive hours (from the United States!) just to eat their yummy Indian food. I was sold.
We arrived early for lunch but no worries – we had eaten a very light breakfast and were starved by this point. My initial inclination was to eat the butter chicken, until the elderly couple at the table nearby (obviously regulars) chimed in and suggested that we try the lamb. They said it was their favourite and totally worth having. On their advice the Fiancé and I both chose the lamb accompanied with a serving of naan bread.
Hester Creek, eh!?
The Hester Creek Choices
The restaurant served exclusively the wines of Hester Creek – a nearby vineyard. Since we were in wine country we decided to have wine with lunch – a rare treat! I ended up choosing the Trebbiano, an Italian grape that is frequently used in blends but seldom by itself. In the end I was thrilled with my choice! It was light, not overly dry, and went perfectly with the mildly spicy meal!!
My beautiful glass of white
Yummers close-up
yum - a little further away
IMG_0810
Look a seed!
The recommendations of the elderly couple were spot on! The lamb dish was in a veggie like sauce. A little bit of spice but not too much. And really not too heavy. Paired with a beautiful plate of basmati, and the naan and it was delicious. If anything I would say the portions were too big for little old me. Don’t worry though – the Fiancé polished off both our plates! lol
For dessert the lovely couple that ran the place presented a small dish full of candies. When I bit into one I was surprised to discover a small fennel seed (at least I think it was fennel) inside. The candies were really cleansing to the palette. Lovely after our delicious meal!
This little restaurant was a gem – definitely an unexpected surprise! In speaking to the very kind owners they mentioned they had been in the area for some 15 years and had owned the restaurant for nearly just as long. They also told me that there were hundreds of Indian families in the area and in fact they owned some 80% of the orchards in the region. Who knew!?!?!
Question of the Day: What was your last unexpected surprise restaurant-wise? Have you randomly discovered some gems in the most unexpected of places?

4 comments:

Jessica said...

this is good to know!! Especially since Oliver doesn't have much else to offer!! hhehe :)

Those little candies are fantastic hey?? They are fennel... love them!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I LOVE Penticton!! Me and my family used to spend 2 weeks there every summer. We're off to Oliver next weekend so I will definitely try out that Indian restaurant!

Marathon Maritza said...

Your blog always makes me hungry and makes me want to booze it up. You are one lucky girl!

Glad you went and sought out the winery and enjoyed it! I love winetasting!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Jessica,

I think it's the jewel of Oliver's restaurants! :o)

Amber,

The Fiance's brother used to attend the hockey school too! So he was all excited to be back in the Okanagan!

Maritza,

One of these days I'll have to hit up California again (I think I've been there like 8 or 10 times) and we can meet up for some adult bevies! :o)