This week my eating club went to India Kitchen, at Olive and Woods Mill. This restaurant is way far out in the county, but that means good parking and they welcome children. The decorating was very sparse and tasteful, with mauve and lavender overtones. Art was hung curiously high on the wall.
The non-beer alcohol selections at India Kitchen leave much to be desired. An ordered glass of red wine was a particularly bad incarnation of the white zinfandel out of the box - served warm. Yech! Other diners were happy with the beer selection.
Appetizers were skimpily ordered. Spinach was fried in a thick garbanzo batter for one - the batter was very Aunt Jemima. The result was not wholly unpleasant, and was enhanced by the two sauces served alongside - a smooth chutney and a mint sauce. Other diners got a murky-looking bowl of soup, whose paternity was questionable.
Dinner started really falling apart with the entrees. Shrimp tikka Masala had about 8 medium shrimp, which were probably the frozen, deveined variety. They were cooked to the point of concrete. The Masala was very tomatoey, slightly spicy and otherwise bland. Chicken Tikka Masala was an improvement, with tender chunks of chicken and a wise diner who ordered the dish "spicy". The chicken Manchurian was unremarkable. The Southern Nonvegetable Thaila came with separate dishes of roast chicken, curried cabbage, lamb in a hot sauce, curried carrots and peppers and a coconut gravy. The Northern Indian Nonvegetable Thaila was separate dishes of chickpeas in tomato sauce, chicken tandoori, chicken chunks in an oily sauce and spinach. Both Thailas and the masalas were served with white rice that was too dry. Lamb Biryani, chunks of lamb, peas and brown sauce mixed with the sad white rice, was also a disappointment, with overcooked lamb and dull taste. Naan, both plain and garlic, was nothing special.
Raita (a cucumber/yogurt sauce) was served in little dishes with each dish. Portions overall at India Kitchen were very small. Service, strangely enough, was stellar. No one had the heart to tell the lovely waiter that the food was mediocre to bad. Prices were high - $26 each for not much food and less than 2 drinks a person. I would strongly recommend India Palace (by the airport) or India Rasoi (CWE or Clayton) way over India Kitchen.