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Clay Pit

elpaninaro | | Mar 31, 2012 06:37 PM

Evening all,

Know the place has been discussed over the years in general Indian food threads, but few recent posts, so hoping it is ok to give Clay Pit its own new thread here.

I know very little of Indian food aside from the occasional inexpensive buffets I have gone to against my will where I have tended to find overcooked meat and more spice than I can handle. I have only been to Clay Pit once before- a few years ago- where I had naked grilled meat out of fear of spicy sauces from my limited other experiences with Indian food.

Big miss on my part. Tonight's dinner was wonderful. Two of us going "family style". Here goes,

Lamb Roganjosh- mild option requested. This was very good. Nicely robust, properly cooked lamb, and mild, but noticeable heat on the seasoning. Suffered a bit alongside the other two dishes which were surprisingly elegant, but only for lack of the common thread those other two shared shared.

Kabuli Chicken- mild option requested. Marvelous. Lovely texture- nuts and fruits well-pureed, and with an unexpected elegance. The chicken was cooked PERFECTLY. Nice small chunks, very light browning and brilliantly tender. I find it very rare in any restaurant to have chicken exactly right when it comes to cooking. That made the dish for me.

Vegetable Ayam- mild option requested. I could eat this every day. A mix of fresh very thinly sliced carrots and larger chunks of zucchini, squash, broccoli and cauliflower- each of them cut in a way that suggests that if they were all cooked together, someone took the time to apply varying shapes and sizes to each vegetable to ensure uniform results. As with the chicken, the saucing here was very elegant- garlic and curry making their presence, but not the least bit overpowering or intrusive.

Basmati rice also very well prepared. The naan was quite nice- substantial but not heavy. Not sure why there was butter on it, but it did not detract from overall performance.

As for the inevitable question of "authenticity", I have absolutely no idea guys. As I said before, my experience with Indian food is very limited- and only the lamb bore a strong resemblance to what little I have tried before. I will leave that argument to those who know the cuisine better, but I found tonight's dinner for it's own sake most enjoyable and a welcome departure from my usual fare.