At Sizzling Bombay, the vibrant orange walls and glimmering chandeliers are nearly as bold as the spices that infuse each of the dishes leaving the kitchen and leave their stamp on diners? tongues. Kebabs skewer pieces of chicken, shrimp, and lamb as curry clings to bite-sized morsels with the grip of a great-aunt?s cheek pinch. An Indo-Chinese menu section parades around with pad thai selections, and desserts end meals on sugary notes, filling plates with rice pudding or milk balls soaked in rose-flavored sugar syrup?instead of a heap of sugar cubes begging to be turned into a fort.
Every morning at Bombay Nights, chef Neel Kamal and his staff grind and prepare fresh spices flown in on microscopic planes from India. These ingredients add a flavorful accent to the restaurant's North Indian cuisine, and can be adjusted to your preferred heat level. The menu pulls off the classics with aplomb, including garlic-topped naan baked in-house and creamy chicken tikka masala. But adventurous visitors can also dive into lesser-known creations such as the fish goani, a dish loaded with cubes of salmon in a coconut-flavored sauce.
There is more to chef Mohammad Rahman’s menu than the staples that diners have come to expect from an Indian restaurant, although crowd favorites do have reserved places. Rahman and his wife, Salma Khanam—who is the restaurant’s maitre d’—incorporate flavors from their homeland of Bangladesh, including fish fry combos and shak bhaji (made with custom-spiced spinach). Halal meats such as fish, lamb, goat, and chicken star in rich curry dishes, nicely accompanied by warm naan fresh from the tandoor oven. The eatery's lunch buffet pits stomachs against a bounty of dishes, piled high with delectables to reward diners who wore their nicest stilettos. Kitchen of India’s environment is warm and romantic, with white tablecloths serving as elegant yet neutral complements to colorful paintings and carved sculptures.
The chefs at India Palace embrace traditional Indian recipes and cooking techniques, customizing the spice of each entree to meet diners’ preferences. In the kitchen, an imported tandoor uses smoldering mesquite charcoal to raise temperatures within its clay walls up to 550 degrees, roasting marinated servings of chicken, lamb, or shrimp as thoroughly as a deep-fryer full of magma. For their vegetarian options, the chefs can toss vegetables with house-made cottage cheese or aromatic basmati rice.
According to Patch, India Palace also features a small market next door to the restaurant, which emphasizes fresh produce, assorted varieties of rice, and traditional spices from India and South Asia.
Tandoori Grill's eclectic menu of halal and kosher delicacies guides diners on a journey through authentic Indian flavors. Vegetable samosas ($2.50) and potato-stuffed aloo naan ($2.50) kick off a palatable dinnertime parade of biryanis confettied with spices ($7–$9) and tandoori-grilled kebabs ($7.95–$9.95). Vegetarians can join in games of tabletop basketball previously reserved for meatball-eaters with the malai kofta, savory spheroids of fried vegetables in a rich curry sauce ($8.95). Weekday lunch specials focus on simple, easily scarfed classics, including a chicken kebab in a naan wrap ($4) and mutton curry with rice ($8). Any heated arguments over the last piece of naan can be cooled by a creamy mango lassi ($3).
In Nepal, the sprawling summits and snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas backdrop Lumbini, one of four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites. In Baltimore, simmering curries and spice-laden sauces permeate the atmosphere at Lumbini Restaurant. This bouquet of savory scents dances over crisp white tabletops and drifts to the edges of an elegant dining room, which deepens with the broad landscape mural that guides glances along an outer wall.
Creamy or spicy sauces daub charcoal-roasted chicken, tandoor-barbecued lamb, or stir-fried jumbo shrimp. Veggie entrees blend the same rich sauces over pumpkin, baked eggplant, chickpeas, or house-made cheese. With each meal, diners dig in with classic copper utensils and cover laps with maroon napkins. For parties and events, a private floor accommodates groups celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or the successful forging of a college degree.