As one of the world's most populous countries, India is home to nearly as many culinary traditions as it is people. Fortunately, the chef behind Zyka Indian Cuisine knows his way around a map. In the kitchen of this brand-new restaurant, he conjures flavors from around the subcontinent, from the clay-fired tandoori dishes of the north to the spicy vindaloos of the nation's western coast. After working at Indian restaurants across the United States, he's also developed a fondness for dishes such as the chicken tikka masala, which pairs the fire-kissed tastes of the tandoor with a creamy tomato sauce.
Bombay Chaat Corner stands as a culinary crossroads that connects the myriad roads of India. Here, chefs prepare dishes called chaat that are typically found at street-side stands and eaten as snacks. The menu is an amalgam of chaat from different regions, often garnished with an array of chutneys. Some items may be familiar to westerners, such as the ubiquitous samosa, stuffed with spiced potatoes and veggies. Then again, there's also the samosa chat, which is served in pieces, and the ragda samosa, which is accompanied by a hearty lentil soup. Sample the rice cakes in the idli sambhar's fiery stew for a taste of Southern India, or try a Mumbai staple, sev puri—crispy wafers topped with diced potatoes, onions, and crunchy noodles. If inspired to create their own chaat at home, guests can browse the shelves of the surrounding Indian supermarket for spices, produce, and guidebooks on how to hatch chickpeas.
Flavors Indian Cuisine's menu paints palates with the vibrant colors, rich aromas, and tantalizing tastes of dishes from across the subcontinent. Vegetarian treats, such as the chickpea and tomato channa masala, rest peacefully alongside meaty tandoori treats such as the boneless chicken tikka or rice-filled biryani dishes. In addition to piling plates with savory meals, Flavors Indian Cuisine often dishes out dulcet treats, such as honeyed spheres of gulab jamoon, to keep sweet teeth and sugar-craving taste buds from seceding from the mouth.
Flavors Indian Cuisine's charming décor peppers eyeballs with sparkling chandeliers, vine-covered wood screens, and vibrant colors. Amid displays of Indian statues and artwork, rich robes of mauve tastefully clothe tabletops, and saffron-hued walls coordinate their outfits with spiced rice plates.
What do you get when you cross a mechanical engineer from Chicago and a businessman from Jackson, Mississippi? An Indopak restaurant steeped in the aroma of piquant spices. The Grill gathers its recipes from every region inside the Indian and Pakistani borders, filling out a menu of curries, tandoori, and rice dishes. More than 18 vegetarian items offer a meat-free alternative to chicken cooked in butter sauce or tandoori dishes, including rashmi kebab—white meat flavored with cardamom and cinnamon. A lunch buffet on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays stuffs guests with as much as their stomach and papier-mâché dates can hold.
Curry powder, a blend of spices such as turmeric, coriander, and fenugreek seeds, is lauded for its curative properties; many Ayurvedic practitioners believe that it aids in digestion and detoxifies the body. At Shagor Indian Cuisine, chefs use the traditional spice blend to flavor a menu of recipes from across the Indian subcontinent. Options range from East Indian bhuna, an entree chock-full of garlic, ginger, veggies, and meat to tandoori chicken tenderized with yogurt and lemon juice. Diners may supply their own adult libations at this BYOB eatery or sip glasses of mango lassi, a yogurt-based beverage.
Inside the eatery, white tablecloths drape over tables, and yellow walls stand out brightly from white walls and a black ceiling like a bumblebee’s contrasting stripes—if the bumblebee just rolled in red paint, Shagor’s fourth major hue. Green plants and framed artwork fleck the flanks of the dining hall, where white pillars furnish both structural and aesthetic goodness.
Ginger, cumin, and garlic seeping into sauces, yogurt marinating meats, clay ovens wafting up smoky aromas—these are the sights and smells of time-tested Indian-cooking techniques, and the culinary team at Bombay Palace are fluent in their language. The dishes these tableaus produce range from the northwest-Indian delicacy of lamb korma to the charcoal-baked shrimp tandoori to the saffron-marinated chicken biryani. A wealth of dal and paneer dishes waits in the wings to sate vegetarians, whereas diners of all tastes rip into fluffy naan. These come flavored with garlic and chili or stuffed with coconut, raisins, and cashews to scoop up sauces so that diners can leave their garden trowels at home.