January 2006 Delhi Club

The northern-Indian cooking is assertive, though the heat often unfurls so slowly that you scarcely realize your lips are burning until it's too late.

THE SCENE. In a Clarendon suddenly booming with choices, it's easy to miss this tiny restaurant tucked amid the stores, shops, and big-box emporiums, and you get the sense that the young, stylish couples who make up the clientele are happy about that–eager to keep a place with reasonably priced, mouth-tingling food to themselves.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The northern-Indian cooking is assertive, though the heat often unfurls so slowly that you scarcely realize your lips are burning until it's too late. Distinguishing touches pop up regularly: ground pistachios in a chicken curry, fresh ginger and chilies in the crab cakes, house-made cottage cheese in one of the stuffed breads.

WHAT YOU WON'T. The space is cold and drafty, and though the bold spicing will make you sweat, it's not enough to make you want to linger. And occasionally you'll find yourself pushing aside dry hunks of meat and soaking up the various gravies with the wonderful black-cardamom-scented rice instead.

BEST DISHES. Terrific crispy and puffy tandoor-baked breads; spinach-and-potato fritters; juicy tandoor-fired chicken wings; five-spice Bengali shrimp; bhuna bhartha, a murky curry full of smoked eggplants and tomatoes.

TAGGED IN:

More from News & Politics