After sampling some drinks at a new Canmore brewery and a well-regarded distillery, my friend and I decided sight-unseen that Mad Dog curry was the order for the evening. There was only one problem… it was five minutes to close when we got there.
I knew how we were going to have our curry without being those customers who come in a minute before the staff locks the door. The answer was frozen heat-and-serve curries made right in the Mad Dog kitchen.
Mad Dog really does a swell job of providing an authentic Indian experience in comfort of your own home. Along with meat and vegetarian curries, they also offer their own Mad Dog Quality spice kits to make your own.
As we walked into their new store in the Shops of Canmore, the first thing you get is a nice nose-full of delicious Indian spices. It was heavenly, and much like a Pavlovian dog I was drooling when I walked in the door.
The café is divided into the aforementioned market section at the front while the counter and tables take up the rest of the space. It’s an intimate store, perfect for an afternoon lunch or a grab-and-go meal, which suited our needs to a tee.
Scanning the freezer, I saw all kinds of curries. Classic butter chicken, chana masala, mutter paneer and tandoori chicken to name a few. There were also bags of frozen samosas to take home as well. For our evening, we opted for butter chicken and my personal favourite, aloo ghobi. The woman working the counter was incredibly friendly, and bill came to be about $40. Not too shabby a price to feed two guys.
So, the moment of truth: How rave worthy are these curries? I’m very happy to say that the hype is absolutely deserved!
It’s the homegrown authenticity that really makes these curries shine. The recipes really do have a just-the-way-grandma-used-to-make quality to them. This is literally the truth for owner and curry master, Russel Donald, since he learned from watching his grandmother cook.
The butter chicken was spicier than I expected, but in a good way. The chicken was tender and to my surprise there were potatoes in it too which were cooked perfectly. The sauce wasn’t a heavy, sweet, creamy sauce like you would expect. It was light with a touch of sweetness, tanginess and packed a wallop of fresh tomato flavour and Indian spices.
The aloo ghobi fared just as well. The cauliflower and potatoes were flavourful and perfectly spiced with an excellent melt-in-your-mouth texture. The flavour of fresh ginger and cardamom absolutely blew me away.
The best part? There were leftovers which made for a perfect work lunch so I could experience it all over again. It truly was the most honest, down to earth curry I’ve ever had.
These curries defiantly live up to their reputation and I plan on coming back to try their daily specials, samosas and of course, their fresh daily curry.