The servers at Indian Chillies helpfully walk first-timers through the extensive menu. Their suggestions cover a range of timeless and modern dishes, from the tandoori chicken—praised by the Sun Sentinel for its "scrumptious charred exterior"—to Indo-Chinese chow mein. Though the kitchen staff labors over several zesty entrees, they specialize in smaller plates, such as samosas, halal chicken wings, and various flatbreads.
Vegan, vegetarian, and meaty plates satisfy diners of all persuasions, whether they're perusing the menu or loading the buffet onto the back of their truck. As their ears bask in Bollywood tunes, guests can finish up by sipping a mango lassi or savoring gulab jamun, a lightly syruped dessert of milk-and-cottage-cheese balls.
The "Desi" in Ellie's Desi Kitchen refers to the diaspora of people from South Asia settled in all parts of the world—a fact reflected in the diverse range of dishes in the restaurant's menu. Guests chow down on an eclectic spread of steaks, chicken po' boys, veggie stir-frys, fluffy naan bread, and spicy curries. The decor also reflects the cosmopolitan flavor of the bill of fare. Wall scrolls of flowers and birds hang over tables laden with American ketchup and mustard bottles, while a photomontage places Machu Picchu, the Roman Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal side by side—just like they are in real life.
The seasoned slicers at Bombay Sizzler plate up fresh, made-to-order Indian dishes alongside Pakistani specialties and Bombay-style Chinese cuisine. Housing a trove of nutrition-packed ingredients, the globetrotting menu transports tasters to exotic shores with a cavalcade of starters, including vegetable samosas ($3) and sultry thai soup ($6.99). Sure-handed chefs outfit the Arman steak sandwich ($6.99) with succulent cuts of seasoned beef and a cloak of melted cheese, and the Mongolian ($9.99+) keeps belly-balloons from floating away with anchors made of choice meat, onions, scallions, and a tangy pepper sauce. Awaken sleepy sniffers with the piquant wafts that emanate from the Karahi ($9.99), a spicy tomato curry fused with mutton, or nibble on the tender tenants of a chicken seekh kebab ($8.99) before using bare skewers to point out flaws in a friend's eating form.
Aromas of ginger, saffron, cardamom, coriander, and cilantro linger in the air at Palace Indian Cuisine, wafting from the kitchens' clay tandoor oven. There, skewers of ground lamb and cubed chicken roast into tender, smoky morsels for northern Indian curries. Yet the intense flavors don't stop with the meat alone. Chefs demonstrate a similar commitment to their vegetarian dishes by whipping high-quality ingredients such as house-made cottage cheese into entrees of kahdi paneer or paneer makhani, which Misha Grosvenor from New Times Broward–Palm Beach placed on her list of 100 Favorite Dishes in 2011.
Palace Indian Cuisine’s décor echoes the warmth of its home-style menu. The sunset-orange walls carry everything from framed Indian artwork to gleaming swords and spearheads. Against one wall, yellow posts separate three covered booths, while the rest of the tables lie scattered across the dining room’s tiles, their tablecloths topped with glass to keep dinners refined and narcissists entranced with their reflection.
Accomplished chefs trained in India and London whip up Indian dishes in Mint Leaf’s Coral Gables and Miami kitchens. The restaurant imports specialty ingredients straight from India, as well as equipment such as granite stone grinders from Mysore, which help make batter for dosas, uthappams (similar to pizza), and other dishes. House-made cottage cheese mixes with a spinach puree in the saag paneer, and curry leaves and mustard seeds mingle with fish filets in the macchili curry. Nine varieties of flatbreads, from plain naan to kulcha stuffed with onions and coriander, scoop up bites of chicken tikka masala and lamb korma. Bollywood music videos play in the background as customers dine amid Mint Leaf’s Indian art and sculptures, including carved stone statues of the god of bobbleheads.