A clay oven, fresh ground spices, and a commitment to authenticity creates taste bud appeal in Venky's culinary creations. The lunch (entrées range from $5.99 to $8.99) menu is on active duty weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and offers a wide variety of combo meal options and more than ten vegetarian entrées. With the strike of the dinner hour gong, the menu extends its hydraulic arms to include more than 20 appetizers, a selection of house-made Indian breads, and desserts such as the pista kulfi ($2.99), pistachio-flavored Indian ice cream. Commemorate birthdays, bat mitzvahs, and hard-won pickle bowling victories with the chicken dum biryani ($11.99), the traditional Hyderabadi celebration meal and one of Venky's signature dishes. Lamb and seafood also play starring roles, and the rose-flavored milk ($2.99) gives a meal a certain je ne sais naan. Venky's red and orange interiors, soft lighting, and intimate dining room are ideal for evening dates, friendly dinners, and wooing unsuspecting acquaintances in order to pilfer their medical benefits.
Indian Palace ignites exotically flavored belly fires with its piquant menu of homemade northern Indian cuisine. Crumple to the floor in awe at the godlike power of the mighty tandoor, a clay oven that fires up savory dishes like tandoori chicken tikka (boneless chicken marinated and char-grilled, $11.50) and fills metaphorical breadbaskets with the literal bread of fresh baked palak naan (stuffed with spinach, ginger, and herbs, $2.99).
Chefs at Taj Palace spice up curry sauces, bake marinated chicken in fiery ovens, and coat pastries with cardamom and honey syrup to fill their menu with recipes from Northern and Southern India. Red chili peppers add a blazing touch to the spicy vindaloo curry, and the kitchen's clay tandoor oven blows smoky kisses across the dining room in the form of marinated barbecued-chicken kebabs. The daily lunch, Monday-night dinner, and Tuesday-night vegetarian buffets brim with a cornucopia of more than 25 different items, including soups, curried meats, and soft naan.
While Columbus's Indian culinary scene often emphasizes South Indian vegetarian dishes, according to the Columbus Dispatch, Amul India has turned its gaze toward the fragrant meats of North Indian traditions. The eatery's menu pairs traditional vegetable entrees with curry-slathered meats and savory tandoori dishes forged in the sweltering heat of a clay oven. Amul's crisp, white tablecloths swim in the buttery light of chandeliers amid blush pink walls equipped with a wormhole to New Delhi as guests complement their eclectic spices with a bottle from the wine list, which Jon Christensen of the Columbus Dispatch calls "unusually elaborate."
The talented chefs at Dakshin Indian Bistro dish out tantalizing plates of authentic Indian fare. The appetizer menu promises delightful starters in the rich tradition of Indian street fare, such as the prawn mirchiwala, a piquant sauté of shrimp, chilies, onions, and curry, or the crispy samosa, a portable pastry stuffed with potato and green peas. Like locker combinations or launch codes, the delicious entrees beg to be shared, with poultry- or veggie-based treats including the lentil and tomato dahl tadka or the saucy Hyderabadi chicken curry.
Bollywood Bistro's exciting cinema-themed menu keeps taste buds on the edge of their chin-seat from trailer to grand finale. Start your palate's passage to India with an order of delicately spiced and fried white-meat chicken pakores ($5 for five pieces) or vegetable samosas, which stuff seasoned potatoes and peas into crispy pastry ($2). Bollywood Bistro offers nine types of Indian breads including classic naan ($2), as well as stuffed varieties such as aloo naan, which comes stuffed with potatoes, ginger spices, and herbs ($2.50)––any of which dutifully accompanies an entrée until they both meet their fate in the jaws of a hungry patron.
Inside New India Restaurant, chandeliers illuminate plates of enticing Indian fare dusted with spices and herbs, lighting up taste buds with anticipation. Around the dining room, guests dig in to cuts of chicken roasted in a tandoori oven, chick peas tempered with ginger, and thali, a traditional Indian meal of lamb curry and chicken pakora served on a silver platter.