The Surrey Spice Trail, A Takeout Mecca!

Written by Jim Bamboulis

The Surrey Spice Trail is the ever-expanding home to one of the most flavourful corners in Canada. Located just east of Vancouver, BC, dozens of dynamic restaurants, ranging from Afghan and West African Arabic to Caribbean and Indian traverse Surrey’s six neighbourhoods, introducing you to, and satisfying your international food cravings. We caught up with chefs along the trail to talk takeout past, present, and future.

Kerala Kitchen - Chef Sujith Rajasekharan

Focused on authenticity via quality, Sujith Rajasekharan, Chef/Owner at Kerala Kitchen, a local favourite specializing in Kerala coastal cuisine from southwestern India, uses ingredients that give diners a chance to eat something different than what they’re used to. Traditionally more of a dine-in restaurant, the pandemic turned Kerala Kitchen into a takeout joint, forcing Sujith and his team to transition, and eventually thrive. 

“Takeout 100% saved my business,” says Sujith, who is grateful customers continued to support, even ordering items such as dosas, knowing they wouldn’t have the same texture had they ordered them in the restaurant.


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A post shared by Kerala Kitchen (@keralakitchensurrey)

My Shanti - Chef Vikram Vij

Meanwhile, Vikram Vij, renowned Chef and owner of his award-winning My Shanti, offers diners a culinary journey from different parts of India with a personal connection.

“I want people to say, ‘Chef Vikram Vij has prepared this food, I went to his house, and that’s the food that I’ve tasted.’”

Pre-pandemic, takeout accounted for 15% of business for Vikram, “but, one of the things that the pandemic has taught us is that you must adapt to whatever comes your way”.

That said, takeout played an integral role in keeping My Shanti open, and despite both locals and tourists returning to dine-in, takeout still accounts for nearly 40% of his business and is here to stay at least for the foreseeable future.


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A post shared by My Shanti by Vikram Vij (@my.shanti)

Clove - Executive Chef Robin D’Souza

The same goes for Clove restaurant, where Executive Chef Robin D’Souza believes that, “folks want to enjoy food with their families in their own setting”.

An upscale, elegant, and modern Indian restaurant, Clove prides itself on its extensive wines that compliment eccentric dishes, cocktails with backstories, and unbeatable ambiance. Having opened during the pandemic, Clove began offering limited dine-in to build momentum and ensure a delicious experience.

Soon after, takeout was added, and D’Souza believes that, “never has there been a more important time to show innovation in the takeout market,” adding that “the ultimate goal is to deliver a gourmet experience even at home!”