The site in Ardmore's main strip on Lancaster Ave., most recently Bombay Grill, has been remodeled and opened under new management last week as Jewel of India. The decor isn't yet complete -- the space is immaculate and freshly painted with nice wood floors and lighting, but the walls are still bare -- but the proprietor said they just wanted to get off and running with the food.
For only its second week, there were quite a few diners, though not nearly enough to fill their large space (2 storefronts). Everyone seemed to be enjoying it, though -- including my date and me. We started with simple samosas (3, good sized, for about $4), stuffed with a very delicately spiced, fragrant potato and pea filling that came on late with a nice heat. The pastry shells samosa were very carefully wrapped to look like little "moneybags" -- not simply folded into a geometric shape like at many restaurants. The texture was perfect, grease-free, and not all gummed together inside. Garnish was very high-class.
For our main course we tried the chicken biryani ($13) and a vegetarian dish of okra, onion, and peppers with rice ($10). Both were ample portions for hungry diners, and they did not disappoint. The okra was fresh and cooked perfectly, with the right amount of crunch to complement the slippery (but not in a bad way -- don't know how else to describe it -- that's okra for you) texture inside. The other vegetables were also not overcooked, and the sauce was rich. The rice it came with was slightly flavored with some whole spices (cinnamon, clove) and raisins. My date requested her biryani mild, though it still had some bite. Tasty parathas too. They may just give Khajuraho a bit of competition in the flavor department.