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Today was shopping and celebration day, since we officially got a new place, got paid, and have life generally going our way now after a long period of financial uncertainty. We went to lunch at the Tibetan Kitchen, after we decided today was too nice of a day to eat at the mall food court again. We were just passing by and figured that that chicken curry sounded nice.

The first thing we noticed was how lovely the place was decorated. The walls are covered with decorations from Tibet, Nepal, and India, reflecting the heritage of the chef and owner, who was raised in the North of India on the border between Nepal and Tibet. There was music which consisted of sutras playing softly in the back, lovely photographs of Tibet on the wall, and a portrait of the Dalai Lama in the centre. The food is also a reflection of the chef’s upbringing and cultural background, there were familiar Indian dishes like curries and samosas on the menu, with a few new items we’d never heard of.

I had Masala Chai for a drink, which was too hot to drink at first, but reminded me of Colombian coffee, hot, sweet, and spicy, once it cooled down enough to drink. Jaime had lychee lemonade, which I kept stealing sips of throughout the meal because I am a shameless lychee addict, since I grew up eating them. It came with real lychees in it, so I was allowed to spoon them out and eat them once she drank all of the tasty lemonade.

We had a plate of samosas and the chicken curry as our main dishes. The samosas came with onion rings, which was curious but tasty. The chicken curry was requested to be “medium” heat, and it delivered just the right amount of spice. It came with purple rice, a dish of some sort of topping, and two puff pastries, which we gobbled up. We were curious about what constituted a Tibetan dessert, so we ordered gulab jamun and a chocolate brownie (in case we didn’t like the gulab jamun) and both were amazing. The gulab jamun reminded me of a malasada, a type of pastry in rose water which was fluffy, hot, and sweet. The brownie was a bit surprise though, it was easily the best brownie I had ever tasted, delicious, gooey, warm, and chocolatey enough to satisfy even my snobbish chocoholism. I wasn’t expecting to find the best brownie ever at a Tibetan restaurant, but life surprises you in the most interesting ways.

The meal was delicious in every way, but one thing I would be criminal for failing to mention in my review would be the service. Our waitress was friendly, knowledgeable about the food, and very attentive even though the restaurant was rather crowded when we arrived. She was always checking to make sure we enjoyed the food, told funny stories, and was serviceable without being disruptive.

It’s a family owned place, and they use as many local products as possible in their cuisine, with the promise that when they don’t use items from Victoria, the owner personally travels to the farms to check the conditions for workers and animals alike before agreeing to be supplied by them. There’s a great deal of love, creativity, and passion in the food, atmosphere, and service, which is going to make me a repeat customer at the Tibetan Kitchen, especially since my new place is very close to a bus which takes you directly downtown and they have a takeout menu. Don’t miss out on it when travelling to Victoria and looking for a place to grab lunch!