Last week we hosted our first South Asian Bloggers Meetup, in Vancouver at Simba’s Grill on Denman. The company was excellent (Gurpreet, Tazim, Kim, Manpreet, Salma, Raj, and Tazeem), and the food was amazing! We started the evening by meeting the owner and head chef of Simba’s Grill; Kurshid Khan. Kurshid’s passion for cooking and his business is evident in the fact that he still does all the prep work, by himself, every single day. He told us that when he doesn’t come to work, the restaurant doesn’t open.
Kurshid moved to Canada from Kenya in the early 90’s and made the switch from working as an engineer to pursue his passion; cooking. At Simba’s Grill he serves African fusion cuisine that blends traditional African dishes with flavours from Pakistan and India. We had the opportunity to sample his Muhogo (deep fried casava root), lamb kebabs, prawn biryani, pigeon peas, okra, machicha (spinach cooked in a house curry sauce), and several other dishes – everything was amazing! The surprise packet though was Chef Kurshid’s version of butter chicken. It was nothing like the creamy sweet butter chicken served at banquet halls and desi restaurants, it was smooth and creamy, but not sweet. It’s a flavour we wont’ forget soon!
Over dinner we got got to know each other better. Each of the bloggers at the table shared a little about our blogs, our vision for starting them, and some of us talked about what we are working on for the future. It was so inspiring to spend time with such an amazing group of women and learn more about each other. (By the way, men are welcome to join the network and participate in events, it just seems like the ladies are ruling the desi blogging game right now!) Of course, the conversation also veered away from blogging to discuss other important issues like; boyfriends, babies, and the correct (or maybe incorrect) amount of contouring for every day makeup. But that’s what good food (and good blogs) have in common right – they get you talking and having fun. There is something special about breaking bread, or in our case naan together that creates an instant connection.
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, and the evening was starting to wind down, Chef Kurshid brought us some more treats; paan & mango flavoured ice creams, ras malai, and the most amazing chai. You know desert is good when a table full of gabbing girls all quiet down. It really was an amazing evening, and the food was exceptional. We can hardly wait for our next meetup.
A huge thank you to the team at Simba’s Restaurant for their hospitality, and for hosting our first South Asian Bloggers Network meetup.