The two year drama of this place opening got to me. So when it finally did open, I had to go.
Get the tandoori dishes ... I didn’t ... and I looked on in despair as the next table was served the tandoori salmon sizzling on a hot platter ... the smell of the spice wafting over to my table ... the menu describes the wild salmon as marinated in garlic paste, ginger paste, red onion paste, roasted cumin powder, paprika, lemon juice, malt vinegar, rock salt, home-made yogurt and the house-blend of garam masala with over 18 spices. Gee it looked good.
I ordered a combo plate that had –
- Attierchi Theeyal – leg of Napa Valley lamb cubes in South Indian style spicy gravy (Keralea, South India)
- Dahiwala Murga – free-range chicken in yogurt garlic, ginger, cumin and correander curry
- Baby dill garlic naan
- Sweet lassi – housemade yogurt, sugar, milk & natural screwpine flower essence
- Hot chai – choti elaichi, cardamom and other spices
Plates come with turmeric rice, some lightly dressed organic lettuce and daal.
I can appreciate the quality of the ingredients, but the curries I ordered, while tasty, didn’t wow me.
The five cubes of lamb were on the lean side and not fall apart tender. The spice was medium-low heat and good, if one dimensional.
The three pieces of chicken were ok and I liked the sauce.
There are menu suggestions for which bread to order and the dill garlic naan was suggested for these curries. It was the right pairing. The naan brought out additional flavors in the curries.
The rice is organic basmati and was a lovely yellow color but was on the dry side and didn’t taste like much. The lettuce was ... lettuce with a nice light dressing. The daal was mediocre, at best. It was luke-warm, very thin and didn’t have much flavor to me.
This is really excellent naan. It was platter sized, soft pillowy a little chewy with char marks. On the top was finely chopped garlic and fresh baby dill. So good ... the best naan I’ve had to date.
Ditto on the sweet lassi, an elegant light drink. The chai was fine, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.
There are four permanent entrees:
- Coorgi roast pork ($11.95)
- Chicken tiki masala ($10.95)
- Tandoori prawns
- Tandoori salmon ($13.95)
There are also five curries that change daily. A combo of two curries can be ordered for an additional charge. Today there were three meat curries and two veggie curries.
Breads change daily and there is an extra charge for them.
There are two desserts
- Hyderabadi Phirni pudding
- Gulab Jamin
Other curries today were:
- Jaipuri muragh tikka tandoori – chicken in saffron, nuts, herbs and pomegranate mix (Jaipur, India) $11.95
- Mushroom Makhani – butter & saffron flavored curry sauce (Arbee, Paratha) $6.95
- Keriki Sabzi – several veggies cooked with red onions, garlic, tomatoes and raw mangoes ($6.95)
They also have-
- Yogurt raita – grated cukes spiced lightly with roasted cumin pasted $2.
- Samosas – 2 for $3.95
Breads today included:
- Arbee paratha – whole wheat griddle cooked bread stuffed with mashed & spiced taro root
- Kaju herb kulcha – tandoori bread garnished with cashews and oriental basil
- Multani – with cilantro & cumin seeds
They also have the standard plain Indian breads
- Mango or guava juice ($2.50)
- Mango lassi – using looza mango juice $3
- Golden Eagle or Kingfisher beer $4
- Woodbridge wines - $4
- Navarro Gewürztraminer or chardonnay - $24.95 bottle $13.95 half bottle
Located right on the corner of Clay and 10th in the block with Swan Marketplace in Old Oakland.
The restaurant is modern, light and airy with Indian touches. The high unfinished ceiling has beams painted gold and a gold balcony around the room keeps the focus on the restaurant. There are a few rugs and pieces of artwork here and there. The heavy wooden chairs are red and beige brocade. The tables are plain wood. With the large windows, it has a clean spacious look.
Service is serviceable. A sign in the window says for now only cash and checks are accepted for payment.
I’d go back if I was in the area. I want to try that salmon and some of the other breads. I might skip the curries. Here’s an East Bay Express article about the Walnut Creek location. Sounds almost identical to me.
Breads of India doesn't pack the flavor hit or complexity of Curry Corner in Hayward or Indus Village in Berkely when it is on target. However, I didn't feel robbed or totally disappointed like in a upscale place like Gaylord.
Descriptions are almost in the category of short stories. It took about two years for this restaurant to open. It almost takes that long to read the menu for the half dozen dishes. However, I'd agree with with the EBE review that said "the romance of the menu description dimmed quickly".
I’m just glad they finally opened. First sighting ...
Breads of India
968 Clay Street
Oakland, Ca 94807
Lunch: 11:30 – 2:30
Dinner: 5:30 – 9:30
The sign on the door didn’t mention the days
*** Note: Edited on August 02 at 10:30 am to include the phone number. Found their business card.