Zaika Indian Bistro Bar
I arrived at Zaika right at 12 pm, and not even five minutes after sitting at my table large corporate groups started pouring in from the surrounding establishments. Zaika Indian Bistro Bar is nestled in the Ellerslie area, 2303 Ellwood Drive, Ellerslie Crossroads to be specific, and has many other competing restaurants in the near by areas of Summerside and South Common. Still this restaurant holds its own as a lunch time hotspot. The reason? Likely the $12 lunch buffet.
In the photo above, from left to right: Kadai Paneer, Aloo Tikki (Spiced Potato Patties), Korma Vegetables, Tandoori Vegetables,Chana Masala, and of course Naan.
I always get excited to come here because of the Kadai Paneer, one of my favorite Indian dishes. Paneer is a soft Indian cheese, the Kadai part is a somewhat spicy (I have quite a high tolerance for spice) tomato based sauce, sometimes referred to as a tomato gravy. This dish is not only my favorite, but the friend who joined me chose it as her favorite amongst the butter chicken, tandoori chicken, chana masala, tandoori vegetables, and others. I’m going to assume that is a testament to its greatness.
A typical Indian favorite–Butter Chicken–Zaika’s version is a good beginner dish. Because it is not as spicy as most butter chicken dishes it is a great first step for those who are afraid of spice. My friend, who can handle spice similar to me, rated it a 7.5/10, because for those who enjoy the spiciness of Indian food, when the Butter Chicken is missing spice it seems almost bland.
Another favorite of most Indian cuisine enthusiasts, Zaika’s naan has improved since they started. I find that if you go at the busier times (right around 12pm M-F, around 6 for dinner), you get better naan. This is probably due to the high volume of food they go through during these times but trust me, the better the naan, the better your overall meal.
To be honest, it was at this very restaurant that I was first introduced to delicious Indian cuisine. The restaurant offers, as mentioned before, a lunch buffet, dinner buffet, as well as a full menu. I personally have not ventured beyond the buffet because my favorites are almost always present at the circle of buffet delicacies. This is mostly due in part to the range often offered during buffet hours as it caters to everyone. From Aloo Tikki (spiced potato patties) to butter chicken to a fully endowed salad bar including fresh fruit, ceaser salad, Indian style cold dishes, and desrts, this is the place to be introduced to Indian cuisine or continue to develop your relationship.