(Lamb rogan josh)

Ever tried Indo-Chinese cuisine? How about traditional Indian street food?

Next month, a team of passionate entrepreneurs and foodies are bringing a piece of the Indian subcontinent to Victoria in the form of a new Fort Street restaurant, Taj: Taste of India.

The new eatery will be located at 852 Fort Street and operated by two local Royal Roads University students, Rohil Chandna and Ishita Trehan.

Besides the usual fan favourites in Indian cuisine – butter chicken vs. biryani anyone? – Taj promises to bring some flavours that Victoria has likely never tasted before.

A whole section of the menu features Indo-Chinese food – a popular genre that makes up an entire cuisine by itself in India.

This style of cooking combines Chinese dishes with Indian spices to create meals with a kick, like ‘chilli chicken’ and ‘vegetable manchurian’.

The restaurant’s extensive menu also features a section for street food that will be served everyday between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Classic snack-time fare found on the streets of northern India will be brought to life in this Victoria kitchen, including favourites like gol gappe and pav bhaji – and if you don’t know what these are, the best way to find out is to try it!

For those who can’t decide what to pick, there will be an afternoon buffet everyday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. featuring a selection of chef’s specials.

Facilitating an authentic experience

All these dishes and more will be created by head chef Jaiveer Payal and his experienced culinary team. Payal has worked at five star hotel restaurants in India like Taj Mansingh in Agra and Sheraton in Jaipur, and now brings his expertise to Vancouver Island.

As part of the authentic experience, all dishes will be served with traditional copper utensils. Meals can also be customized to suit dietary preferences.

One of the many unique features about Taj promises to be the ambience. According to operator Rohil Chandna, the restaurant will be adopting a Bollywood theme, complete with music and posters boasting artists from the Indian film industry.

The restaurant will also feature a private basement dining room available to book for parties and other private occasions. All in all, the entire venue can accommodate a total of 130 guests.

As an added bonus, for the first month of operation, Taj is offering 10% discounts for patrons who order pickup, and for university students who present their IDs.

Those who would rather enjoy their meals at home while watching a Bollywood movie can do so by ordering Taj dishes on SkiptheDishes, Uber Eats, and eventually Doordash.

While an exact opening date has not yet been announced, you’ll want to keep an eye on this restaurant for a delicious and original experience!

Taj: Taste of India

  • Hours: TBD
  • Location: 852 Fort Street

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