First Look: Varsha Sips & Nosh House

Located on the corner of Pandora and Government Street is Varsha Sips & Nosh. Family owned and operated, Varsha blends traditional Indian cuisine with western elements. The fusion of classic poutine and butter chicken has met its match here with masala fries topped with cheese curds and butter chicken sauce. To the less experimental diner you can still get your burger and fries, a quesadilla, or hot wings. However, you’ll also find a few new twists like wings with Varsha’s butter chicken sauce, or lamb burgers with mint chutney and pickled onions. There’s a spin on dips and spreads too like the herbed yogurt (raita), sirracha mayo (who doesn’t love sirracha?), lime and cilantro dip and spicy ketchup. If you already fancy Indian cuisine, you’ll find traditional plates like tandoori chicken and house made naan, or aloo gobi (vegetarian), and the house specialty, Mom’s chicken curry.

Varsha and her sons (left, Karn right, Arun)

Varsha and her sons (left, Karn right, Arun)

The main faces behind Varsha are Varsha herself (head chef) and her son Arun Dodd, general manager. Arun’s brother Karn has helped with the design elements and getting the restaurant off the ground. Both Dodd and his mother have backgrounds in hotel and restaurant management (they owned Nando’s prior to Varsha being opened), and currently run the Langford Nando’s location. Varsha is from New Dehli originally and spent many years in the kitchen with her mother (a vegetarian) cooking authentic Indian cuisine. After running Nando’s for several years the family decided to make a shift back to their roots.“It was time for a change” say’s Dodd. “We decided this corner [Varsha’s location] needed a lift. Because Indian is our background it seemed only natural to let mom do what she does best, but with a twist. We wanted to do something that appeal’s to a broader demographic. There is something for everyone here, for the whole family” says Dodd.

All of the recipes are Varsha’s and her mother’s. Dodd grew up watching his mom and grandma cooking classic Indian food. Thanks to grandma you’ll find a great selection of vegetarian dishes on the menu too.

The upgrades to the space can be seen in the color scheme (it’s a lot calmer and classier looking), to the refurbished hay bar top, to the big screen TVs and the comfortable velvet lounge. All of the beers are local with the exception of a few imports like Kingfisher (an Indian style beer). During the World Cup Finals Dodd says the bar was packed with soccer fans, pints of beer and order’s of Varsha’s poutine.

Ship chandelier

Varsha lounge

It’s a really great space to come and enjoy a light snack, a late lunch or a family dinner. There’s talk of a late-night menu and cocktails too, which will likely receive a positive response.

You can be assured the food at Varsha’s is informed, accessible, and authentic. This mother-son team is expressing cooking skills from trusted family recipes with a keen sense of what Victorian’s are ready to try.

Did I mention the sweet Gulan Jumun? – Round warm doughnuts dipped in sweet red rose syrup. Try that with a chai tea and call it a night.

Vegie pakoras and samosa with mint chutney
Pakora fish taco





Monday -Wednesday 11:00 – 9:00pm
Thursday – Saturday 11:00 – 10:00pm
Sunday 11:00 – 9:00pm
1600 Government Street
(250) 590-6252

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

Comments are closed.