Can we all agree that one of the best things about travelling is the food? With some of the fastest-growing immigrant communities in the entire country, Surrey’s food scene is a delicious demonstration of Canada’s cultural mosaic. In fact, Surrey’s restaurant scene is so diverse, it’s possible to dine around the world without ever having to pack your passport! And while some like to dive head into the unique dishes and flavours of other cultures, others might be a little intimidated by the thought of trying something new, which is why we’ve rounded up some of our favourite “weird and wonderful” dishes that can be found in restaurants across Surrey. Who knows, you just might discover your new favourite dish!
Jal Jeera – In Hindi, “jal” means water and “jeera” means cumin! While cumin water might not top your list of favourite beverages, Jal Jeera is a popular summer drink in northern India and is at once tangy, sour, aromatic and spicy! It’s super refreshing and great for digestion, and the little fried balls of dough (boondi) floating in the drink add unexpected texture. Find Jal Jeera on the menu at Spice of Nepal Restaurant.
Rasmalai – Rasmalai, is flattened balls of chhena (cheese curd or cottage cheese) soaked in cardamom flavoured sweetened milk. Served as a dessert, the discs of cheese are soft and spongy and bursting with flavour. Some have compared it to a sweet, rich cheesecake, without the crust. Find Rasmalai on the menu at Tandoori Town Indian Kitchen.
Golgappa or Pani Puri – Crispy pooris (hollow spheres of fried bread) are filled with potatoes and chickpeas and served with chutney and tangy flavoured water. They’re meant to be eaten by adding the chutney, pouring in some flavoured water and then popping it into your mouth for a serious flavour bomb! You can find them on the menu at many Indian restaurants including Chachas Tandoor & Grill and Showshaa Modern Taproom.
Momo’s – Dumplings are common in many cultures around the world, including Tibet and Nepal where they are called “momo”. These simple steamed buns are stuffed with a wide variety of fillings including vegetables, paneer, shrimp, chicken and lamb and can be served in a spiced sauce. Find momo’s on the menu at the Kathmandu Bar & Grill.
Curry Fish Balls – Fish ground with flour and spices and formed into a ball is served with a unique curry sauce made with onions, shallots, garlic, ginger and secret spices. The texture of the balls is somewhat “bouncy”, but somehow works with the curry sauce and spices to create a dish that kids and adults keep coming back for more. Find the curry fish balls on the menu at YL’s Curry Bowl.
Chaat Papri – A popular Indian street snack, papris are crispy chips made from basic wheat dough. They’re served similar to nachos, with tasty toppings of complementary and contrasting textures and flavours, and dusted with chaat masala, a flavourful spice blend. Find this snack sensation at Metro 1 Tandoori & Takeaway.
Salchipapa – Meaning sausage and potatoes, salchipapa is a popular Latin American fast food dish made up of thinly sliced pan-fried beef sausages, crispy french fries and a savoury coleslaw. Truly addictive, the dish is so loved that every third Sunday of November is celebrated as Salchipapa Day in Peru! Find salchipapa on the menu at Union Latino’s Food.
Potato Pudding – Cake made from potatoes? This homemade cake is made with hand-grated sweet potatoes, raisins and blueberries and is a much loved Jamaican dessert. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg provide a warm, fall feel to this tasty treat! Find potato pudding, and all sorts of Jamaican dishes, on the menu at Di Reggae Cafe.
Halo Halo – This delightfully colourful dessert is a medley of all things sweet! Leche (creme caramel) flan, coconut and pineapple gel, ube halaya (purple yam jam), jackfruit, sweet beans, corn macapuno, rice crisps, shaved ice, condensed milk and ube ice cream all come together for a taste sensation in this gorgeous, delicious and wildly popular Filipino dessert. Find Halo Halo on the menu at the Grandt Kitchen Filipino Cuisine and the Dominion Bar + Kitchen.
Falooda – A unique Indian dessert made with vermicelli noodles, rose syrup, basil seeds, kulfi ice cream (denser and creamier than traditional ice cream) and condensed milk, Falooda is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted! Find Falooda on the menu at the Apna Chaat House and Shalimar Paan & Ice Cream Bar.
Poutachos – Definitely one for the “weird” column, poutachos are the best of Canadian favourite dishes poutine and nachos with a decidedly Asian twist to them. Enjoy your fully-loaded poutachos with mouth-watering flavours like Tokyo Beef and Butter Chicken. Find them on the menu at Wok Box.