The most geographically and culturally authentic bites at CurriBox are lemon and mango pickles imported straight from India. But the restaurant's cooks masterfully conjure traditional Indian flavors just fine with more local fixings, which they assemble into nearly 75 dishes. A clay tandoor oven bakes all roits and naans, as well as boneless chicken, which the culinary team stirs into mildly spiced butter cream. Other entrees incorporate CurriBox's housemade ingredients, from hand-crafted cheese cooked in spiced gravy with peas to marinated lamb doused with nuts and fresh cream sauce. Besides dine-in feasts, CurriBox's cooks prepare food for takeout and even cater feasts for weddings, birthdays, or birthdays for each taste bud.
When Marianna Ristorante opened, the restaurant’s trademark was a dish perfect by the owner’s mom. The Renton Reporter wrote that the farfalle alle Marianna— bowtie pasta tossed with yellow peppers, prosciutto, and cream—came from co-owner Salvatore Lembo’s mother, for whom the restaurant is named. These days, Salvatore lets Executive Chef Jackson Cavanaugh put his own stamp on a seasonal selection of Northern Italian specialties. Those range from homemade gnocchi to fettuccini tossed with salmon and boneless chicken breast smothered in gorgonzola cream sauce. Dinner is served inside Marianna Ristorante’s candlelit dining room, which evokes the atmosphere of an Old World eatery with earthy tones .
Spice Route melds traditional Indian cuisine and modern takes on Subcontinent sustenance to give diners a menu with a myriad of options. Starters include 12 vegetarian options such as paneer tikka, comprised of marinated cheese grilled in a clay oven ($12.95), as well as non-veggies such as the tandoori chicken, cooked in the traditional Indian oven and browned over a volcano out back ($11.95). Visit south India without piling into the family jumbo jet by sampling regional items––try the masala dosa, a thin rice crepe piñata-packed with a spicy potato filling ($7.95), or the adai avial, a spiced-up lentil pancake served with a mixed-vegetable stew ($8.95). Chicken lovers can voice their vote with an order of chicken curry ($10.95) or chicken tikka masala ($11.95), whereas herbivoyeurs can spy on the veg chettinad, a Spice Route specialty dish featuring veggies cooked in a spicy south-Indian masala blend ($9.95). Finish feasting with fried dumplings in sugar syrup ($2.95), or discuss your favorite letter of the alphabet over a cup of chai tea ($1.75).
Rich red hues accent India King Restaurant’s spacious dining room, from the cherry-toned tables to the decorative fabric that drapes from the all-you-can-eat buffet tables. The restaurant’s lengthy menu abounds with flavorful curries, tandoori-baked meats, and more than 10 types of naan stuffed with spiced potatoes, spinach, and excess predictions donated from a nearby fortune cookie factory. During the lunch buffet, diners can pile plates high with more than 30 savory items including saffron-infused basmati rice, breads fresh from the tandoori oven, and spiced vegetables. Guests in need of a beverage can turn to the eatery’s selection of lassis, Indian beers, and wines.
In 1997, Chef Muhammad Uddin took over a failing Indian eatery with dreams of turning it into something more. After closing to remodel the dining room and overhaul the menu, he threw open the doors of the new restaurant, which he renamed Bengal Tiger Cuisine of India. By 2009, it had grown such a large following that Chef Uddin moved to a bigger location with ample seating, a full bar, and space for servers to practice their plate-spinning acts on breaks.
Though the warm-colored decor and friendly service are a draw, the real key to Bengal Tiger's appeal is the food. Chef Uddin and his team rely on fresh spices and lean-cut meats to flavor recipes from across India—from the madras curry inspired by the city of Chennai to the vindaloo dish that originated in Goa. Though Bengal Tiger's menu is à la carte, servers spread out a smorgasbord of entrees during the Chef’s Special dinner buffet, which, like games in the world's least active football league, occurs on the last Sunday of every month.
Gleaming copper bowls parade out from Mirch Masala's kitchen, bearing the colorful meats, seafood, and vegetables of both traditional and modern Indian dishes. More than a dozen different types of naan bread rise in tandoori ovens before sopping up sauces from curry, paneer, vindaloo, and masala dishes. Come lunchtime, a buffet line snakes across the dining room, beneath glimmering chandeliers and paintings of Indian songstresses and Bollywood stars doing laundry.