Restaurateur Asad Sheikh wants to have a mini-empire of restaurants just like Ashok Bajoj (Rasika, etc). To that extent he has created a second Curry Mantra in Falls Church that looks like a sophisticated spot in a strip mall.
The first thing that will hit you over the head like a ton of bricks is a wall of reviews plus extra signs proclaiming how much Tom Sietsema loves the place. It is practically a Tom Sietsema shrine.
The menu is filled with more superlatives. Dishes are highlighted in bold as TOM SIETSEMA SAYS "MUST ORDER!" Repeatedly.
I have never seen such overkill.
The restaurant is a bit Jekyll and Hyde. We ordered one of the MUST ORDER dishes, and it was a couple of chunks of dry boneless, skinless chicken breast swimming in a completely bland gravy with zero flavor. I think it was the dish with cashew gravy, but honestly I couldn't tell by tasting it. This dish could qualify as defamation of character for unsuspecting Tom.
We also ordered goat with okra from a page entilted Home Cooking. It was not a dish, but a list of ingredients (meat and vegetable) you could choose from. In theory, it is made just like the proprietor's mom would have done in his hometown. We made sure to ask for it spicy.
This was an excellent dish. The meat-on-the-bone was savory and the okra had been beautifully caramalised.
The prices are not as gentle as other places nearby, so some care in ordering is important.
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