Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kitchen of India

Most Indian restaurants in the area serve extremely rich, cream-laden food that we find ourselves craving only once or twice a year. After a disappointing meal with abysmal service at India Palace in Cockeysville, and a worse one at Café Spice when it was still in Towson, we pretty much swore off dining in Indian restaurants altogether. For a few years, we got our Indian fix via delivery from the little joint just south of Northern Parkway that started out as Yeti, morphed into B'More and is now Mikie's. But this week we ventured out to try Kitchen of India, at my brother's suggestion.

Located on Joppa Road near Perring Parkway, Kitchen of India is in the space once occupied by the Nepali/Indian Mount Everest. The new restaurant features pretty much all of the typical dishes, but also has a few Bangladeshi offerings. And goat, which I can't say I've seen on any menus here in Baltimore before. It seemed like a good choice for a rainy Wednesday night dinner.

After perusing the menu, we decided we wanted to sample their tandoori dishes, and rather than ordering the "mixed tandoori platter" appetizer, I requested the "tandoori mixed grill" entrée which offered chicken tikka, shrimp, fish, seekh kabab, & tandoori chicken. I even made sure to order it by number in case the waitress didn't understand. Unfortunately, I also said, "we'd like it served first, as an appetizer." Apparently all she heard was "tandoori appetizer" and that's what we got - a meagre selection of dry chicken pieces, a few chunks of nicely spiced seekh kabab, and a few dry shrimp among a plethora of lightly cooked green bell pepper and onion. Feh.

My brother went for his usual chicken tikka masala, his gauge for restaurant quality much like Mr Minx's usual kung pao chicken order in a Chinese restaurant. In other words - if they like this particular dish, they're likely to enjoy others, should they venture to try something completely different.

That's a pretty good way to describe Kitchen of India's tikka masala - completely different. Used to a rich tomato-tinged cream sauce, we were all pleasantly surprised to receive a dish of chicken chunks sauced in what tasted, to me, suspiciously of pumpkin. Regardless of what comprised the sauce, the flavors were quite nice, with a bit of heat.

Mr Minx tried the goat curry and received a dish of tender chunks of goat meat bathed in a sauce redolent of cloves.

I'm a big okra fan so couldn't pass up the bhindi masala, a dry fry of okra with browned onions. It had a rich, buttery flavor and was smashing with basmati rice.

With our meal we had cups of tea - what must have been the world's strongest chai. It was practically espresso. The black tea flavor was much more prominent than were the spices, and while rich with cream, the drink needed several sugars to cut the tannin. When we were finished eating, the waitress removed Mr Minx's half-full cup by mistake, leaving my brother's empty one behind. I suggested he ask for a fresh cup, but he demurred. I secretly think he was relieved he didn't have to finish the first one.

So...Kitchen of India is a mixed bag. The goat, okra, and chicken entrées were all quite good, as was the accompanying basmati rice and the naan we ordered. The service was a little shaky though. Not only did the order get mixed up and the tea removed early, but also the check was placed on the table while my brother was still eating. But...what we ate was interesting enough that we'd go back for more.

Kitchen of India
1842 E Joppa Rd
Parkville, MD 21234
www.kitchenofindiaus.com
(410) 663-6880

Kitchen of India on Urbanspoon

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.
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