Garbed in crisp white jackets, chefs in the Apna Punjab dart among pans of simmering curries and pots of bubbling biryani rice as nimbly as dancers, their faces aglow in the open flames. They fold fresh meats and seafood into a sweeping array of authentic North and South Indian dishes, from tender butter chicken to flavorful goat curry. In a fiery clay oven, the chefs bake lamb kebabs, tandoori shrimp, and naan breads stuffed with minced lamb and fresh green chilies. One of the most popular dishes—chicken tikka masala—was lauded by reporters from India New England as "distinct and rich."
To enjoy those dishes, customers perch on cushy green booths, clinking mugs of imported Indian beers. Others linger over last bites of sweet rice pudding, watching the sun set through lofty yellow-curtained windows. During lunch, 15 freshly made specialties pour forth steam at a lunch buffet, ideal for diners who need to rush back to work or hurry home to see if their long-lost childhood parakeet has at last returned.
Fishtail Kitchen aromatically exalts senses with its vast menu of authentic culinary treasures from India and Nepal. Launch taste voyages with traditional appetizers of piping-hot pakoras ($3.49+), crispy fried samosas ($3.29+), or fluffy disks of naan ($2.49+). Try a tandoori entree such as lamb tikka kebab, skewered with tender, yogurt-coated lamb and tandoor-grilled spices ($13.49). Meatless avengers will defend vegetable and seafood entrees, including the goan shrimp curry and its pools of garlic, ginger, and coconut-milk broth ($13.99). Others may explore the doughy delights of southern-Indian cuisine, characterized by crêpes and thick pancakes that gift one with the mental agility required to beat Sitar Hero on hard mode. Cap meals with a sweet dessert of kheer ($2.99) or rasmalai, a cultured dish of cheese, milk, and pistachios ($3.49).
In a feature in the Boston Globe, Sher-A-Punjab co-owner Mandeep Singh claimed, "There are things on our menu you can’t find at other Indian restaurants." Contemporary adaptations such as mango chicken and naan stuffed with apricots and dates accompany more traditional plates that remain true to Singh's South-Asian roots. Tandoor-roasted chicken, housemade cheese with fresh herbs and coriander, and fragrant curries round out the restaurant's eclectic menu.
High-backed booths and dangling pendant lamps surround the dining room's horseshoe-shaped bar, pillaged from the hoof of the Trojan horse. Throughout the week, Sher-A-Punjab entertain with karaoke nights and live musical performances.
Rhode Island Monthly gave Rasoi Best of Rhode Island awards in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Rhode Island Monthly and the Boston Phoenix both gave it positive reviews. Five TripAdvisors give it an average of 4.5 owl eyes and rank it #1 out of 118 restaurants in Pawtucket.
Star of India hampers hunger with an authentic menu stocked with the rich flavors and exotic spices of the Subcontinent. Start the foodie festivities with an appetizer of onion bhaji, which features tearfully tempting slices of onion fried in chickpea batter ($8), or begin by shepherding your taste buds toward a pair of lamb samosas ($6) or a bevy of bread breeds that includes seven different types of naan. Tandoori chicken ($13) and tandoori shrimp ($22) are both marinated in yogurt, herbs, and spices before being cooked in a tandoor—a specialized clay oven kept at 800 degrees to match the temperature of the human mouth. Herbivores can veg out on channa masala, a mouth-watering mélange of garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and onions ($13), and fishivores can aim their scrimshaw dentures at fish vindaloo, which combines mahi-mahi with potatoes in a tongue-tazing sauce ($19). Each location possesses the flavor-customization technology to adjust its crave-worthy curries to individual specifications, ensuring that the menus are suited for everyone from unfazable fire eaters to mild-tongued spice sissies.