The lure of the Groupon brought Shanna and I to Spice Jammer on Tuesday night, on a quest for delicious discounted Indian food. For all the three years I’ve lived in Victoria so far, I have never eaten Indian food in this city, and felt it my duty to finally check out how the food compares to my previous Indian experiences. And I must admit, my standards are pretty lofty. I lived just outside of London, England until I was nine, and spent subsequent years living in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, both of which have a large number of Indian immigrants and subsequently a large amount of DELICIOUS (and cheap) Indian food. Seeing the price tag of some Victoria restaurants definitely threw me off to start, but luckily the food at Spice Jammer didn’t disappoint.
Spice Jammer is quite dark, but the hanging lamps above the tables provide enough light to see. The decor is okay, if not a little tacky; and the tables a little awkwardly placed between the large plastic plants. Also, I was caught a little off guard by how far back you have to go in the restaurant to get past the waiting area to the actual restaurant. Overall, I wasn’t bowled over, but it was pleasant and intimate and that was good enough.
Service was friendly and prompt, although there was some confusion as to who was actually serving us; for a while it seemed we had two servers. They seemed well-versed in Groupon protocol and asked for it towards the beginning of the meal – obviously having served lots of Groupon-holders! The servers did what they needed to do with a smile, which always improves the dining experience.
Spice Jammer was yummy. (Apologies for crappy phone pictures – I forgot my camera.)
I got the mixed vegetable curry. Boring? Perhaps, but for me, it reveals whether or not the kitchen is capable of making basic vegetarian food. And they definitely are! It had LOTS of vegetables, without relying too heavily on potatoes and peas as filler. The consistency was perfect for mixing with rice – not too thick, not too runny. My only complaint – it could have been spicier. I got medium, which is what I usually order, but I think Spice Jammer tones down their spices for the Western palette.
Shanna ordered the Palak Chicken with the bone in, and she too was impressed with the quality of the food! There wasquite a bit of meat (definitely enough for leftovers), and the spinach seemed to be well-cooked. However, Shanna got her dish mild, and she also felt that it could have been a little spicier.
Rice and naan were both great. Rice is hard to mess up, but naan can be hit-or-miss, so I was impressed that they managed to do such a delicious job on both. I would almost come back just for the naan.
Nineteen bucks for a curry? Really?! The prices on the website are inaccurate, so don’t be fooled – Spice Jammer is pricy! However, they have a great deal on Tuesdays and Wednsdays that would be worth coming for – twenty bucks gets you two curries, an appy, and a dessert. I would go for that deal, but paying full price is definitely not an option for me. The food was good, but compared to the more authentic stuff I’ve had that was at least half the price, I wasn’t convinced.
Spice Jammer has good food, good service, and a decent atmosphere; but probably isn’t worth it unless you go on a deal day, have a coupon, or have no money constraints.