A typical snowy evening in Calgary, with the snow glimmering in the downtown lights, seemed to be the perfect setting as we walked into Mirchi 2. Though not full on a Saturday night, the restaurant had quite the ethnically diverse clientele. This was refreshing to see yet almost ominous. Would the food be too westernized?
There were quite a few empty tables, yet it took an age to be seated (even with reservations!). We were given what seemed to be a cozy spot only to find that on a wintry night, the air conditioning was blowing a cold draft right onto the table. We requested a move but it still remained cold. The decor was simple, colours calming and the lighting created an almost textured ceiling.
The menu was expansive with some dishes priced in the realm of fine dining. Again the poor service came to fore as our drink order was not taken and neither was a glass of water offered for a while.
Our order included beef samosa, shish kabob, butter chicken, karahi chicken, goat chops, naan and roti. We also ordered some sweet lassi which didn’t turn out to be particularly good. It wasn’t as refreshing, crisp nor cold as one would expect and did leave a bit of an aftertaste.
The appetizers (kabob and samosa) arrived after an extensive bout of forced small talk as they tested our patience. On a Saturday night one would expect to be expected!
The shish kabob was quite good thankfully. Spicy, tender and flavourful with a hint of tandoor livening up the taste buds. The samosa conversely was dry and crumbly. The ground beef filling was very simple and borderline tasteless.
The butter chicken was brought with the naan (we stopped expecting the obvious). The naan was freshly baked, glazed lightly with ghee, soft and fluffy yet crispy. The butter chicken was not good. It was too salty by butter chicken standards and was missing that sweet creamy sensation. It was also inundated with black pepper.
The Karahi chicken was very good and had quite a kick to it. The chicken was moist, tender and tasty. The well made tandoor roti proved worthy accompaniment and the ginger slivers made for pretty garnish and an exceptional addition to this dish.
The last of the main course was the poorly presented goat chop dish. Like the appearance, the chops themselves were overwhelmed by spices and the taste of meat was indiscernible. We could’ve done without this overpriced dish.
To make it interesting, we ordered some saffron ice cream to end the night. Mistake! Frozen, hard and tasteless.
Mirchi 2 is located in a prime area but it doesn’t deliver. For the number of decent dishes they have and some slightly westernized ones spice-wise, there are very few memorable ones that would bring a return client. The poor service further exacerbates the sometimes mediocre food. Don’t bother yet.