Where do I begin, the food is just incredible!
Without sounding overly crazy, *this* was the best indian food my husband and i have ever had. Period.
The place has a very Seattle feel to it, it's at once Indian and not very Indian.
The service, ambience, menu, music all look and feel very unique and nothing like any Indian place I had ever been to. It's not posh and upscale, but has a rather warm neighborhood feel. Clean environment, clean bathrooms, simple and warm.
Our waitress was extremely friendly and polite, and gave a rundown of the menu, which was a bit confusing to start with. I realized it was because it did not have any familiar dishes i knew! But that is the good thing about this place. I'm told that the food is actually very traditional for the most part, more of the 'Punjabi' style which focuses on breads and not rice. The menu and choices are a bit of a surprise and shock for a first timer, and I can see how it can be either a great positive or a disappointing negative depending on one's expectations.
As for the food itself - every item we tasted was pefection.
The hot spiced wine was just the right drink for the weather, and it tingled with clove and a bunch of other spices, complete with the goodness of rich red wine, that paired well with the food.
The chai was made to order, piping hot and sweetened just right, and served in cute clay pots.
They also had a small but great selection of local wine.
The Tandoor Chicken Tikka 'Small Plate' was tender and had layers of flavors, with a bit of a char to it.
And the Bacon Bleu Cheese Naan jsut hit the right spot. Sweetness of dates and honey, with the pungency of bleu cheese and saltiness of bacon all wrapped up in a warm fresh baked naan bread!
I did order the bacon butter chicken since our waitress said it was a classic must have dish there, and most reviews mention it. And I can see why - it was just perfect, creamy and sweet, intense flavors of spices with just the right amount of bacon that did not overpower the dish. It did not taste anything like butter chicken i have had at other places. I asked for rice but they only had Naan to go with it, and I can see why. The bread really complements the curry.
My husband ordered the Dozen Spices Chicken Biryani. It was the only rice dish on the menu, and has a large portion of chicken. The rice was wonderfully spiced with saffron and fresh mint, fluffy and moist, sort of soaked in sauce. The chicken was tender and falling off the bones.
For dessert we had the 'Black Cardamom Kulfi' and the 'Malpua'. The kulfi is a sort of dense homemade icecream and it was refreshing and filling at the same time. The Malpua was very rich and sort of melted in the mouth, and paired well with the vanilla icecream.
I am very surprised this place is not reviewed much more or that a lot of people in Seattle still do not know about it. It's almost like a hidden gem. Although, I think they are doing quite well already, the place was packed by the time we were leaving!
The service is very friendly and down to earth, and everything is made to order - you can really taste the difference. The fusion dishes are not gimmicky or fancy either. They really are fusion, with an elegance that says there was a lot of thought and consideration put in to them.
I sensed a lot of genuineness in this place, from the service, to the chalkboard, the clipboard menus, and when it comes to what really matters - the taste of the food.
We will definitely be back here a lot. Try it if you want Indian food that is not your standard buffet with curries that all taste very similar!
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