Some friends and I tried this restaurant last night, after first discussing it about two weeks ago. My friends had said they'd tried it because Indian Desire is not far from where they live, and they were curious -- especially as the place had opened during the COVID lockdown, and now that things are a little looser, the restaurant, like a lot of places in these difficult times, doesn't appear to have many customers. On the menu are a number of dishes I did not recognize that had caught our attention.
So when we ordered last night, I had a great conversation with one of the staff, who took the time to tell us about each of the dishes we had shortlisted from the takeout menu. He was knowledgeable and very willing to share recommendations. The dishes on offer come from various parts of India, and some are novel creations by the chef. One dish we had asked about, our expert told us, with a burst of enthusiasm "Oh, that one is just yummy!" With a recommendation like that, we ordered it.
We ended up with Laal Maas, a Rajastani lamb dish cooked in a delightfully complex curry sauce with a seductive smoky flavour; Kadai Chicken Lazzatdar, tender chicken in a corriander chilli sauce -- the chilli peppers are removed after cooking, so the dish is a more playful use of spicing, and not scorching at all; we had Bhoona Lasson Ka Baigan Bhartha, a mash of eggplant, garlic and green pea that teased the senses, and Mewa Mawa Kofta -- pillowy chunks of paneer in a light curry sauce -- this is paneer like I have never experienced it, and I make my own paneer. With rice and naan, it was a feast!
The meal was fabulous -- which is why I am writing this. My friends and I are all stalwart fans of Indian food, but this was a culinary adventure where familiar flavours took subtle new turns that had us thinking and talking about the food we were eating, which is, I think you'll admit, a pretty rare phenomenon.
I cannot recommend Indian Desire enough. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to try some of their dishes, and I sincerely wish them well in their business venture. I want everybody to go try this place. We desperately need a new favourite restaurant in this neighbourhood, and for me, this is it.
And, for the record, the Kadai Chicken Lazzatdar was indeed yummy. There is simply no other word for it.