The culinary traditions of Pakistan and India blend together on Agha Restaurant’s menu, whose dishes are made with Zabiha Halal meat and Abu Adnan chicken cut by the chef’s own hand. Samosas hiding seasoned veggies kick off meals of butter chicken and goat paya, a Pakistani breakfast soup flavored with curry-based spices. The eatery’s signature dish, the hunter beef sandwich, is comprised of beef brisket sautéed with green chilies and topped with chutney. Diners can finish meals with specialty desserts including fruity shakes, creamy kulfi, and faloodas—milky concoctions filled with nuts, dessert noodles, ice cream, and fruits.
Fashioned after Jaipur, a gem of Rajasthan, Jaipur Royal Indian Cuisine excites the senses with aromatic spice mixes prepared separately each day for each dish. Among an interior of authentic figurines in elaborate dress and strung beads baring images of vibrantly colored birds, they serve a menu of traditional dishes rooted in North Indian cuisines. That includes rich grilled lamb, chicken, and seafood, as well as complex curries and plenty of fresh vegetarian dishes. They welcome guests to pair such variety of tastes with flavorful beverages such as aam ki lassi, a whipped mango and yogurt drink.
Udipi Cafe's traditional Indian ingredients and recipes form the basis of its expansive menu of flavorful vegetarian delights. Serenade taste sensors with appetizers such as a delectable potato-cauliflower duet of aloo gobi ($8.50) or the broad tasting board of the assorted sampler platter ($7.95). Dry and spicy chickpeas swim in a pond of piquant curry sauce in the chana masala curry ($8.50), which pairs pleasantly with a side of paratha bread ($1.95). Indo-Chinese specialties transport diners to the northern climes of the subcontinent with flavor combinations such as vegetable hakka noodles ($7.95), and dinner specials fill traditional platters with offerings such as the royal madras special thali and royal south indian thali ($13.50 each).
The Palace's staff unfolds an extensive menu bustling with Northern Indian fare as well as a variety of Indo-Chinese dishes. Appetizers tantalize taste buds with platters such as the seekh kebab masala ($14) and the Veggie Manchurian, consisting of dumplings dressed with a chili-garlic sauce and Polaroids of Frank Sinatra ($7). Custom entrees such as chicken ($13), goat ($14), and paneer ($12) are served with a choice of rice or naan and are concocted with one of a dozen flavors, including curry and jhalfrezi, which swirls with veggies, spices, and The Palace's special sauce. Noontime munchers can mix and match lunch-buffet dishes into a multi-course feast or use a selection of sauces to paint Ganesh's profile on their napkins ($9.99).
Himalayas Indian Restaurant showcases the rich, diverse flavors of regional Indian cooking. Roasted meats, simmered vegetables, and fragrant curries all benefit from the wealth of spices and herbs found throughout South Asia. The chefs begin every day by grinding and preparing fresh spices for their dishes, lending vibrant flavors to the menu that Zagat scored as "very good to excellent."
Herbs and Spices on the Menu
The eclectic character of the Indian subcontinent comes out in more than just the menu's herbs and spices. In the dining room, meals unfurl to a soundtrack of Indian flutes and drums; in the kitchen, the chefs embrace traditional cooking techniques by roasting everything from skewered meats to breads inside their charcoal-fired, clay tandoor oven. Even the recipes have deep ties to Indian tradition, having been passed down through generations of Indian families.
The Cloves Restaurant's menu showcases the cooking techniques and ingredients that have come to define the cuisine from both the country's northern and southern states. A clay tandoor oven bakes marinated meats, skewered vegetables, and soft naan, and liberal doses of saffron, fenugreek, and ginger paste add their distinctive south asian piquancy to entrees. These flavor combinations inundate multiple taste buds, oftentimes in the same bite, as in the case of the tomato-based vindaloo sauces laced with fiery chilies and tangy vinegar.
Immense floor-to-ceiling windows flood the dining area with natural light, helping the curvaceous track lighting and dangling pendant lamps illuminate the dangling uvulas of laughing diners. Taupe-hued walls stand in stark contrast to the dark tables and flooring, and they remain relatively unadorned except for a smattering of Indian-influenced paintings.