Cross-Posted from Calgary is Awesome.
By some strange coincidence, everyone at my work lives on the west side of the city (except for one straggler who lives in Airdrie), with most of us living around the Westhills area (Signal Hill, Coach Hill, Discovery Ridge, Glamorgan, Glenbrook, etc). We were discussing this during lunch one day and one person said, "Well it's so convenient. You can easily get on a main road out to anywhere in the city, except for the NE... but who cares about the NE?"
Well, if you like Indian food, then Clay Oven is a reason to care about the NE.
Clay Oven is a tiny little restaurant tucked away in a strip mall a few blocks from Sunridge Mall. The space is very conservatively decorated and softly lit, making for a cozy, homey environment. Unfortunately for me, however, this environment was not very conducive to taking good photos.
The best way to enjoy Indian food is sharing. Brian and I each chose a main dish - he ordered the Malai Kofta ($11.95) while I went for the Lamb Saag ($13.95) - and then we also got an order of Garlic Naan ($2.50) and rice ($2.95) as sides.
Malai Kofta is/are basically veggie balls made primarily of potato and paneer cheese swimming in a creamy curry sauce. They reminded me a bit of falafel, but in a good way. Brian claims that Glory of India makes the best Malai Kofta in Calgary, but Clay Oven comes in a close second...
Saag is a category of curries that are spinach and mustard leaf-based. We chose a "medium" level of heat (with all the curries at Clay Oven you can choose to get it mild, medium or hot) which provided just the right amount of kick. The lamb itself must have been cooked for hours because it had seemed like almost all the large chunks of meat were separated out into small, tender pieces.
The terrible thing about Indian food that I seem to "forget" every time is that they come in deceptively small but deep metal pots. Although the food was delicious, we filled up quickly and probably had a couple meals worth of food to take home.
Clay Oven appears to be family-run and the staff are knowledgeable and patient. There were a couple instances that I had to flag someone down for water, but I think I'll let that slide ;)
349-3132 26 St NE
Calgary AB T1Y 6Z1
Open Mon-Thu 5-8:30 PM, Fri-Sat 5-9:30 PM. Closed Sundays.