2637 Quadra St
Hours: Weds – Mon : 12pm to 12 am
Phone: (250) 590-9647
ES: Palagio Pizza & Poutine66 used to be a couple in Quadra Village some years ago. Though I’m not in the area often, I’m used to seeing both signs proudly coaxing locals and pizza aficionados in. I’m not entirely sure Poutine66 is gone as they are no longer its own separate space. They still have an operational webpage.
In its place in this little corner of this huge mall is Four Spices, and these meals can get extremely hot! Sizzling in fact… I didn’t burn my mouth just yet as it was Don who made the order, and I was ready with my Peptol just in case…
DK: Yes, the medium spice here is a true medium. Sorry grandma; get your tepid Tikka or Tandoori somewhere else. Seriously though–is the spice level truly gut-busting? I wouldn’t say so, but I did see sweat rolling down Ed’s face.
ES: Okay, I’m not the best at handling heat. I’m the type of bear who will hibernate in the coldest of the days and hottest too, just to avoid the deep freeze or summer blaze. Hm, maybe I should say the type of bear who’d jump into a river on those blistering days of Summer just to stay cool.
DK: What, however, struck me most about this place was how familiar it felt. Not just because each new tenant hasn’t updated the interior much, but because the flavours and fellow diners felt so known. Amongst all this confounding Covid bullshit, it was an oasis of melt off the bone goat biryani and poetry readings (experiences may vary; we can’t all be lucky enough to have a man reliving the glory days of Ontario rave culture recite Poe and Whitman to us as he’s waiting for his curry).
What say you, Ed? Am I romanticizing too much? I felt like Four Spice offered good, simple food in a friendly, simple space.
ES: As long as they continue to offer the flame seared prawns in that mint sauce, I’m sold! It was moist but yet crispy. I can only imagine what this appetizer would be like if smoked up too.
The owner/operators could do with jazzing up the area a little bit. One of those sticky fly coils was hanging nearby and that was a turn off for me. I made a point of not sitting anywhere near that area. If you’re going to dine-in, there’s a limited number of seats. In these Covid panic times, I’d say no more than six people can be allowed indoors.
I can see outdoor dining become available for the summertime and there’s a bit of space for it. To avoid the heat from beating down on me, the mango lassi was perfect! It’s a tough strong but I loved it. The balsamic rice was also just as much of a highlight since they added a bit of pepper to give it that gentle spring that food from India is well known for. The garlic bread–smoke me a kipper and I’ll be back (here) for breakfast. Well, there’s nothing specific to this particular meal of the day, though I’d to see what they can come up!
One thing I must say is that there was a vegetable chow mein on the menu that I’m very curious about. Isn’t that supposed to be a Chinese dish?
DK: I didn’t notice the vege chow mein! Worth a second look for sure.
Ed, did you clock that the prawns were the only dish we didn’t end up with leftovers of? Definitely the hit of our parade. The chicken korma was really the only underwhelming thing we ate (and it wasn’t bad, I’ve just had better). Overall they serve satisfying grub and I’d be back in a lub-dub.
Four Spice is a fine addition to Victoria’s improving Indian food scene. It’s comfort food that is truly comforting.
4 Stars out of 5