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Restaurants & Bars 9

Ajanta - Berkeley report

nicedragonboy | Jan 17, 200801:32 PM

I had not been to Ajanta in ages since a mediocre birthday party dinner there several years ago but while walking around looking for a place to eat during my lunch break I decided to give it a try again. And I'm glad that I did.

At first glance I noticed a few things had changed since the last time I was there. Namely a modest remodel of the main room, the addition of the front hosting counter and new tables and chairs that were pretty comfortable, or at least more comfortable than the last time.

Service was decent. Everyone seemed like they were happy to help, though not exactly excited to be there nor offered any suggestions.

For my lunch, since it'd been awhile since I had been there I ordered a bit more than my normal lunch quantity. I started off with the Tandoori Chicken Chaat, a very meaty chicken salad, with shredded marinated grilled chicken, tossed with oil, lime juice, red onions, cilantro, ginger and spices, served over a very small bed of organic greens. You could really taste the bite from the diced ginger which was very good, the acidic tartness from the lime, but it was light and a good way to start the meal. Very different from most of my other indian experiences.

For my main I had Tandoori Chicken Tikka, which came with a plate of 3 balls of rice surrounding a scoop of what looked like potato spinach curry and an order of Keema Naan (ground curried chicken stuffed naan). I only started to realize how chicken-centric my meal was after I had finished putting it in. Oh well. this Tikka was very good, the sauce not over powering, nicely herbed and spiced and went well with the rice and potatoes. The chicken was not overcooked and still tender. The menu said it was all breast meat, but I swear the slipped in some dark meat in my order, not that I mind dark meat, but fair warning to everyone else.

And while the Keema Naan was good, I think the meal would've been easier with a non-stuffed naan that is easier to grab, soak-up, clean my plate of chicken, sauce and rice with.

Overall a good return experience and looking forward to going back for the lamb (sourced from Niman Ranch as stated on their menus) and more chaat. Total bill after tax and tip was $20.

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