Maurya Express (UBC)

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Rice with Paneer Butter Masala

On yet another trip out to UBC on Sunday afternoon, I decided to check out the University Village (which is now branded as University MarketPlace) and see if there was anything non-pizza, non-McDonald’s/A&W that was under six bucks. After walking around that block a couple of times, I finally stepped into Maurya Express.

Those who dine out regularly in Vancouver are probably familiar with the name, because Maurya Express is actually the take-out and delivery service version of Maurya Indian Cuisine, located at 1643 West Broadway. Apparently, all the food is cooked at their main West Broadway restaurant and served at this UBC Village location, so customers get to enjoy the authentic taste of Maurya Indian Cuisine, which had won various awards from Tourism Vancouver, Dine Out Vancouver, and Best Bite Awards in years past.

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What brought me inside Maurya Express wasn’t the name or the awards – which I knew nothing about until Googling the name after I had finished eating 😉 – but rather the sign on the window that advertised their Lunch Box Special for only C$5.25. It was two scoops of rice that came with one scoop of any one type of curry. I wasn’t THAT hungry – and I wanted something under six bucks – so I figured the lunch box special would be worth trying. Plus, for an extra 70 cents, you could get a 591 ml bottle of pop, so it was a fairly good deal.

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Inside, it was a very tiny store with only one table available for seating – more of a take-out than a dine-in place. The guy behind the counter was preparing another customer’s food, so I had to wait a few minutes for him to finish before I could order. I chose the lunch box special with the Paneer Butter Masala curry, and I got my food immediately, since all the guy had to do was scoop the rice and the curry, and put them into a small Styrofoam box. That’s all there is to it.

And since the customer in front of me had already sat down at the only table, I sat outside to enjoy the sunshine – and the food, of course.

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I know of people who cringe at the thought of eating Indian food, but I really don’t understand why. For me, it tastes just fine. I would eat it, no problem. Basically, paneer butter masala is one of the most popular vegetarian curries in Indian cuisine, and is a very rich dish made with paneer (a type of fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine). For just over five dollars, this was a good snack on the go. I mean, my goal was to spend around six bucks for something that tasted okay, and I got what I wanted.

Given the variety of choices here, would I come back if I’m at UBC again? Probably. Well, it’s true that there are other places to check out, but my quick and easy cheap food requirements were met at Maurya Express. If I don’t want pizza or a burger, then it’s a possibility. There are different curries available, if I choose not to go with the paneer butter masala. I know I wrote in the last paragraph that it was a “good” on-the-go food, but I should clarify that there was nothing exciting or exceptional about the rice, nothing good or bad. Nothing that was outstanding or deserving of any awards. 🙂 It is what it is, inexpensive curry rice for under six dollars – less than what you would pay for at any food court. I walked in knowing exactly what I would be getting, and I got what I wanted. A quick bite. That’s all. 🙂

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Date: Sunday, August 17, 2014
Item:
Rice with Paneer Butter Masala
Purchased at: Maurya Express Indian Cuisine, 2138 Western Parkway, Vancouver, BC
Price: C$5.25 plus tax (an extra 70 cents gets you a 591 ml bottle of pop)
Final Thoughts: An inexpensive choice if you want some food on the go. Probably better than most other options on campus. Yes, the portion size was small, but since I’m not a big eater, it was just fine for me. However, if you’re expecting larger portions or the “award-winning” dishes that their main restaurant offers, well, you might be in for a disappointment.

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