I’ve been holding back on you, and for that I’m sorry. I wanted to save one of the best places in Kelowna for last. And…looking at the calendar, I think I saved it a little too long for last (darn work – don’t they know I have stories to tell?!).
The Hillcrest Farm Market not only offers an extensive selection of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, they have an absolutely charming cafe that is a MUST visit when in Kelowna. And with the recent expansion – they are now offering great bed and breakfast suites right above all the hustle and bustle. Known for their delicious cherries which ships worldwide – they are working on expanding the area next to the cafe to accommodate the volume they go through.
The real reason you must visit the Hillcrest Farm Market? The Indian cuisine. Barbara Bal serves up the best Indian food I have ever experienced. You know when they say the best food is home made food – this is what she does but thankfully – she has decided to share it with the world.
Her daughters and sons help run the business (asides from oh you know, being doctors, dentists and teachers). That day, we got to meet Dilraj. We chatted with her to learn that her family arrived in BC and her grandfather walked from Vancouver ALL THE WAY to Kelowna. If you were wondering (which I was after that incredible story) how far a walk that was – according to Google Maps, that’s 459 kilometres which is equivalent to almost 100 hours of walking.
But I digress – the food. We started off with Vegetable Pakoras, Samosas and the Hillcrest Samosa & Sholay Partay. What I love about these as a whole, is that they are so fresh and made with dedication. Often times, you go to an Indian restaurant and the food feels rushed, corners were cut and things are just forgotten. But not at Hillcrest. Samosas and pakoras are notorious for being unhealthy because they are fried – but here, it’s not drenched in oil but beautifully plated with so much left of the vegetable taste, you feel less guilty about eating more than 5…not that was the case for me…no sir.
Another popular item at the cafe is the Butter chicken pizza which is baked on naan and topped with, you guessed it, butter chicken. Today it’s topped with banana peppers which gave it a nice sweet heat to it.
Butter Chicken and Mattar Paneer is our main dishes. Served with basmati rice and also naan and fresh homemade chutney .
The Butter Chicken is the biggest hit there and there is little reason to ask why. You just have to taste it to believe it but it is a nicer, thicker consistency. It’s creamy but not too indulgent with yogurt and tomato puree as it’s base. The chicken is tender and boneless, for a very enjoyable meal.
The Mattar Paneer is homemade Indian cheese, mixed with peas in a curry cream sauce. Again, the sauce is thicker than most Indian restaurants I’ve had it in and had a beautiful smell of different spices. If you asked me to choose which one I preferred over the other, I simply couldn’t. Both dishes were fantastic.
Besides from the fantastic Indian fare, they also have a in-house pastry chef that creates wonderful desserts. The cheesecake is beautiful and fluffy, very different than what I’m used to – but in a good way!
If you’re up in Kelowna, make sure to visit Barbara and her family for some “WHAT…why do we not have this in Vancouver?!” Indian food.
For more information on Hillcrest Farm, visit their website here.