Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Trip to New India

On Friday we went to New India on Lakeside for dinner. Our friend really likes Indian food and has raved about this spot in particular. Since we had a decent Indian food experience in London, we decided to continue our culinary journey.

I have to admit that the outside of the place did not look very inviting. In fact as we approached the building we wondered if it was open. The small sign on the door did indicate open. We were a tad early. As we entered, the dining space was completely empty. No wait staff could be seen. We peeked around the corner and from the kitchen the owner waved and warmly invited us to a table. As we waited for our friend, we were presented with papadum along with tamarind chutney and mint chutney. The flatbread was okay – plain and grainy. The tamarind chutney had a sweet spicy flavor which I liked a lot. The mint chutney was hot, which surprised us.

Upon the arrival of our friend we read over the extensive menu. Very tough to decide. Our friend ordered Lamb Vindaloo ((boneless lamb in a hot and tangy sauce with potatoes and a touch of vinegar) and Garlic Naan. I was torn between the Tandoori Chicken and the Chicken Tikka Masala. The owner explained that the tandoori dish was dry and the tikka masala dish had a sauce. I was not quite sure what he meant, but I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala (marinated in spiced yogurt, cooked in mildly spiced tomato, onion gravy, and creamy sauce). I also ordered Garlic Naan. Both my friend and I asked for medium hotness. My husband ordered Tandoori Chicken Tikka (boneless chicken marinated in yogurt sauce with special herbs and spices and grilled in tandoor). And he decided to try the Peshawari Naan (stuffed with sugar, raisins, and coconut).

Our friend devoured the Vindaloo with exclamations of satisfaction interjected throughout the meal. The tandoori arrived on a sizzling platter which reminded us of fajitas. And dry meant no type of sauce at all (which suited my hubby), but this did not mean devoid of flavor. The chicken breasts had been marinated and exuded deliciousness. My spouse was also impressed at how sweet and tasty the near-raw veggies (onion, cabbage, and green peppers) were. The tandoor was piled high with meat and veggies. We took almost half of the chicken home with us. He also enjoyed the naan. It held just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. He could not detect any coconut, however.

My dish presented itself in a cute metal bowl containing boneless chicken and a lot of sauce along with a side dish of basmati rice. What a wonderful blending of tomato/onion, creaminess, and spicy hotness. I appreciated the complexity of flavors. And the Garlic Naan – I could have sat there and eaten this flatbread all night.

I have to admit that we continue to be Indian food novices. We definitely do not have a discerning or sophisticated palate, but we do know if we like a thing or not. We enjoyed New India and plan to return to try other dishes.

New India
5516 Lakeside Ave.
Richmond, VA 23228
Eat In or Take Out

New India the Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you ever venture into Williamsburg, but there is a fantastic Indian restaurant off Monticello Rd called Nawab. They do a great lunch buffet, and it's usually busy-- which means good turn at the buffet with food remaining fresh. It's a great place to cut your teeth on a good handful of traditional dishes. New India looks great, so I'll have to check it out. My husband and I are always on the lookout for great Indian food!

veron said...

I'm an indian food novice myself, but all the dishes you mentioned sound delicious...and just the thought of the garlic naan have me craving that meal right now.

Megan said...

I love New India! I think it's definitely one of the better Indian restaurants in Richmond, and it's easily accessible for those of us who live in the city. I've gone there with my boyfriend several times and he says he hasn't seen some of the dishes, such as the coconut korma (as opposed to regular korma), since he was in London. We love it! I also think the lunch buffet there is pretty good for the price. Lots of vegetarian options!