Filling barking bellies with authentic Indian and Bangladeshi dishes, Jewel of India’s flavor wranglers present guests with a vast menu of tasty fare. Nibblers can cut the ribbon on a feast with a choice of assorted mini meals, including singara pakoras ($2.99) and papadams ($1.99). Historically used for toasting s’mores and destroying old bank statements, the tandoori clay oven is utilized for firing such specialties as the boti kabob that boasts marinated and seasoned leg of lamb and comes in a choice of spice levels ($10.99). Succulent boneless chicken and a rich curry sauce snuggle in a cozy pastry cave to form the edible duo of morag dumpakht ($12.99), and a bevy of savory vegetarian dishes, such as the cheesy paneer tikka masala ($9.99) pleases the palate and satisfies cravings for blown minds. Bold hues of red and gold throughout the eatery, paired with dark wood accents, are highlighted by the sweetness of a gulab jamun dessert of fried milk spheres delicately swathed in honey sauce ($2.99).
With more than 20 years of cooking northern Indian cuisine under its belt, Zaika’s culinary team is well versed in simmering curries and slow baking marinated meats, along with fixing a smattering of southern Indian dishes to boot. They cook skewered lamb over charcoal, douse boneless chicken with cashew-nut sauces, cook shrimp in the traditional tandoor oven, and mix goat into that spicy gravy made famous by the holiday classic Mama’s Spicy Thanksgiving. The kitchen’s vegetarian options include spice-coated spinach with homemade indian cheese, along with crepes and pancakes in the southern Indian style. Dinners and lunch buffets unfold in Zaika’s spacious dining room, while an outdoor deck accommodates diners in May through September.
The chefs at Saffron Place take spices seriously. Drawing on shelves of cumin, curry, fresh ginger, and garlic, they craft each dish individually to account for each person's preferred level of spiciness, be it mild to smoking hot. The individual preparation of each order ensures that their traditional north Indian and Bengali dishes arrive at tables still steaming from the stove or easily startled dragons. Servers carry goat curry, chicken tikka masala, and vegetarian platters to tables or customers waiting for takeout orders.
Glowing sconces line the crimson and cream walls inside Namaste India, where traditional Indian dishes adorn linen-topped tables and fill the air with spiced aromas. Marinated lamb, chicken, and seafood slumber inside a clay tandoor oven until they're mildly smoky and tender throughout, while other proteins and vegetables steep in rich curry sauces, aptly scooped up with fresh-baked naan bread or ladled over delicate basmati rice. Patrons can wash down meals with sweet, salted, or mango-flavored lassi drinks, or snatch a classic dessert such as gulab jamun—deep-fried milk dumplings that are soaked in syrup and delivered to tables via an air gun.