Our second stop on our culturally unique and interesting food tour was Green Lettuce, another highly recommended Chinese Indian Fusion restaurant. Also family-owned, we were again excited to try some foodie recommendations as well as some vegetarian dishes that sounded delicious. Note that we went to the Surrey location, but there is also a Vancouver location if that’s closer for you.
I feel like this restaurant can be summed up by saying: Delicious flavours, large portions, great quality, fairly priced. I found it a tad on the greasy side – so if that’s something you’re sensitive to then you might want to use judgement.
The recommended (from our contributors): Pili Pili Chicken, Chicken Dumplings, Chicken Hot and Sour Soup
Our recommendations: Paneer dish, Masala Bendi (okra), Roti, Deep-fried pineapple
The atmosphere was comfortable and cozy – the booths are great and give you lots of space to enjoy. It looks like it can cater to large groups as well.
Masala chai is the go to drink. It came unsweetened which is great. The chai had a nice amount of spice to flavour it, but not so much that you would call it spicy.
#6 Hot Chili Chicken Dumplings in Garlic
These spicy dumplings were not too spicy, had a good flavour (more on the Chinese side of the spectrum) to them and were stuffed with ground chicken. There’s a lot of onion going on which does give a nice flavour, but you’ll probably need some gum for after. The dumplings were a bit greasy for my liking as well – I’m more of a fan of pan-fried gyoza or steamed dumplings. That being said, the flavour of the filling was solid.
#119 Chilli Garlic Tofu with Broccoli & Baby Corn
This dish was a spectacular Chinese stir fry dish. Baby corn is a personal favourite. This whole dish was very well balanced with a good variety of other healthy veggies like broccoli, carrots, and onions. The tofu was really flavourful. (If you know someone who keeps saying that tofu is just bland, take them here and get them to try this.) Perhaps the best part of this whole dish was the thickened sauce. That helped bring the tofu to life and tie the flavours of this whole dish together.
#G7 Green Lettuce Spicy Masala Bendi (Okra) (Dry) seasonal item
This is one of the dishes we asked for a recommendation on. We couldn’t decide between this “masala” version or #G8 that looks the same on the menu, but without the masala. The waiter confidently recommended this one over the other one. I’m glad that he did because this was one of the highlights, but I’m still a bit curious what the other one tastes like?
If you like okra this is a great dish. This okra was really good. It was not overcooked, had the right amount of crunch and softness and a lot of flavour. Also on the Chinese side of the flavour spectrum with the spices and very tasty. It wasn’t too spicy, but the spice does grow in your mouth a little over time, though it never became overpowering. Would definitely have again.
#17 Chicken Hot & Sour Soup
I love the egg drop in Chinese soups and this had a generous amount of egg which I liked. The hot and sour soup wasn’t very spicy, hit the spot and was quite flavourful with the chicken and egg. There was a good amount of chicken in the soup as well. I could go for this on a cold rainy day.
#H2 Green Lettuce Spicy Masala Fish
This one’s also a bit greasy and it is breaded. I loved the flavours in this dish and the fish was done well. I’m not a huge fan of battered fish personally and combined with the grease I probably wouldn’t order it again, but if you do like battered fish the level of batter wasn’t too thick, there was lots of fish, and the masala flavour was on point. The serving itself was also reasonably large – I took most of it as leftovers and it kept pretty well. I just pan-fried it to reheat and it retained its flavour. I didn’t think I’d eat it due to the grease but I’ll admit the flavour won over and I finished it off.
#G0 Butter Paneer
We wanted a vegetarian paneer dish. This is similar in style to any standard butter paneer that you might expect from an Indian restaurant, but in this case the flavour was spectacular and the helping of paneer was very generous. There was a tonne of paneer, the sauce was rich, but not overwhelming, and it was really great as leftovers too. We cooked up some rice and tossed this on top for lunch the next day. If you like paneer, this dish is one of the best we’ve ever had. This will probably be the new go-to place for paneer. The dish had some spice, but like their other dishes, it was well-balanced so it wasn’t overpowering.
Roti & Naan
We wanted some bread to go with the paneer. Since we hadn’t tried either here before, we opted for one of each. The roti: we could eat their roti for days. They make them from scratch in-house (unlike the naan) and it was fresh, soft and tasty. I wouldn’t recommend the naan.
A little bit of each veggie option
This is by no means an accurate reflection of my portion size. I just wanted to showcase the variety of appetizing vegetarian food from what we ordered. Their menu had many vegetarian options and we’re excited to go back and try some new ones, in addition to re-ordering the ones we got. We’d have to make many visits to properly sample their whole menu, but hopefully this shows nice cross-section of the deliciousness.
#160 Fried Banana & Pineapple Combo with Ice Cream
We’ve had lots of fried banana at various places. Fried pineapple on the other hand is far less common, so of course we had to try some. We opted for the combo that has a bit of both. While the banana was indeed very good, next time we’ll likely go for #159 that is just pineapple, ice cream, and honey. The reason is that when we were done eating this, as full as we were, we still craved more pineapple! The warm pineapple combined with the cold soft ice cream was so very good. Even for days when we don’t need a meal place, it’s worth stopping in for dessert (though the food is so good, it would be hard not to order take-out too).
A couple times we asked for recommendations between a couple dishes we were contemplating and each time the server gave an informed and confident response which got us excited about the dishes. The restaurant gave off this vibe in general. Everyone seemed confident in their abilities and the quality of their food which is a refreshing change.
Overall, we’d come back for sure. I’ll try some new dishes because the flavours are solid and maybe see if I can find some less greasy options!