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Return of the ghost kitchen

urban tadka

Specializing in richly aromatic Indo-Persian Awadhi cuisine, Tushar Tondvalkar’s terrific ghost kitchen Urban Tadka opened in early 2020 and seriously upped Vancouver’s takeout game with offerings like slow-roasted chicken thighs smothered in almond paste and marrow-heavy goat shank. Tondvalkar also had an upscale catering company, The Indian Pantry, which showcased his exquisite plating skills, honed during lengthy stints at Bangkok’s Gaa and Gaggan. When Covid killed the private-party business, Tondvalkar shifted to frozen meals and pre-made sauces, and hit the jackpot with small-batch stone-ground spice blends, now distributed nationally. New chutneys, pickles and a single-origin coffee are in the works. His retail side is so busy he had to close Tadka. But Tondvalkar hopes to get the ghost kitchen back up and running by summer — and we have our fingers crossed.
—Alexandra GillPhoto Credit: Anika Makim Talwalkar