I find myself at Sula more often than not, as they are still my favourite Indian restaurant to date. Out of the two locations, this is definitely the more dressier of the two. Regal elements in a warming space. Sophisticated with paisley decals on the wall, hanging vines, and orbs of light. The bar is certainly the focal point with its mixed media backsplash.
Both Sula locations are well known for their extensive drink menu, so naturally we began our meal with a couple. Given the warmer weather, sangrias felt appropriate.
The Tropical Rose is a mix of Rosé, drunken cherries, fresh fruits, and Spanish brandy. It drank like a berry punch, but denser with the inclusion of wine.
The Peach and Grapefruit Wine is a lighter option. Gewurztraminer, fresh grapefruit, peach brandy, and lemon. A sugary punch that reminded me of a sweeter gingerale.
As for food, the menus do vary slightly between both locations. But at the newer Main Street one now, I have not seen this many seafood dishes from any Indian restaurant, so decided to focus on them here, in this post.
However, could not pass up some Dahi Puri first. Crispy wheat papdi, peas, potato, roasted cumin & sweetened yogurt. They are essentially hollowed out shells that are filled with juices that you pop quickly into your mouth before they melt. Like a ball of liquid salsa in a crispy shell. They start sweet, then transition to salty, finishing with a refreshing tone and an onion flavour that lingers. This was definitely fun interactive start to the meal.
To accompany all our stews and curries we ordered a side of coconut rice and garlic naan to help sop up all the tasty sauces.
The Salmon Masala is Steelhead Salmon in a tomato and onion, cumin, coriander and ginger paste. The sauce is the highlight, you don’t expect this kind of fulsome tangy and spicy flavour to pair with typically light fish. This works and had me going back for mouthfuls trying to figure it out.
Marvai Gassi is Salt Spring Island mussels with caramelized onions, lime, lemon, tamarind, and coconut. Perfectly prepared mussels in a creamy broth that had me reminiscing of curry and reaching for steamed rice.
Now the Prawn Goan Curry was exactly what I wanted from above, but with shelled prawns in its rich, creamy coconut curry. A light and zesty broth I clean the dish of. My only critique is that I would have liked the prawns ready to eat, instead of having to remove them from shell.
The Haryali Salmon is Steelhead Salmon grilled with hung curd, spinach, mint, cilantro, and fenugreek leaves. This was a fragrant and refined dish, more familiar of the delicate salmon. Fragrant with herbs and not what I would classify as Indian cuisine, outside the pings of mint and tamarind chutney.
Not seafood, but worth trying is one of my favourite vegetarian dishes in general (not just from Sula). A couple of local Tandoori Portobello Mushrooms seasoned with yoghurt, turmeric, and masala; then grilled in the tandoor. This was so different; you don’t miss meat with this one. The smokiness and the heat in the seasonings really lends itself to the meaty, earthy mushroom.
And you can’t leave Sula without having some of their dessert to help cleanse your palate with. The Chai & Pistachio Cake is House Chai Sponge, Pistachio, Rose Petals, and Cardamom and the Chocolate & Passionfruit Cake is prepared with Moist Dark Chocolate Sponge, Passion fruit & White Chocolate Layers. Both eat much lighter than they read. And if you weren’t full before, you will be after these.
In conclusion I have yet to leave a meal at Sula unsatisfied. And with such a diverse menu you can come back day after day and still have so much to try. I cannot recommend them more as my favourite place for Indian cuisine, either locations. But the Main Street one is my favourite aesthetically.
SULA Indian Restaurant, Main Street
4172 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P7