Monday, December 15, 2008

Rice Boat. Indian Restaurant (Kerala Cuisine)

Anderson Court Newnham Road,

Cambridge CB3 9EZ

Loved the food here. Reasonably priced & delicious. Also, I was so pleased to eat authentic, regional Indian cuisine (almost unheard of in the US of A). This is real Kerala food, people. Great fish, prawns and everything else from "God's own country".

The servive was alright (British style). But they did rig up a large table for a large number of unreserved folks on a weekend. Points for that. The food took FOREVER to arrive but was well worth the wait.

Accessibility: call in advance for help.
The place is clean with a pleasant ambiance.

4 Stars out of 5.

Dojo noodle bar.

2 Millers Yard
Cambridge, CB2
01223 363471

Warning: the seating inside is cramped. You may be seated on 1 table (for 4) with 3 other complete strangers with the waiter passing dishes, forks etc from over your food to whoever is sitting on the inside. No place to take a date.

The food was alright. Large bowls full of watery soups with large pieces of meat with next to no flavor. It was also expensive. I tried 3 different dishes (2 of my own) and some from my husband. NOTHING impressed me.
When I asked for a box to take my food away in, I was handed a tiny plastic box that barely contained my ample left overs. The noodle bowls were too heavy to lift & I ended up splattering myself & my neighbor with soup. I think they were pleased to see me leave & scooted promptly over to where we were seated so they would have to make way for all the dishes to be passed from under their noses.
Accessibility: very narrow entrance. I doubt a wheelchair would make it through. But they have seating outside.

3 STARS out of 5

Sesame restaurant & bar.

17 Hills Road
Cambridge, CB2 1NW
01223 358 899

OK. This one's in the other (smaller, older) Cambridge in England, folks. If you're still reading then you're either in the UK, or in the US & have a lot of time to kill.

The one time I visited this Chinese restaurant, I was blown away by the quality & flavor of every single dish brought to the table. We were lucky to go there for dinner with friends, so could sample about 5 things. I shall now proceed to describe what I remember -
1. There was the white fish curry. Spicy, with tiny red peppers and the most delicious brothy flavor. It had slices of bamboo in it.
2. The lamb in cumin powder was great.
3. The aubergines in the spicy sauce were great.
4. The veggie tofu was brilliant.
I'm drooling just thinking about them.
5. A kind of DIY tortilla wrap with lamb, lettuce & cucumber stuffing & a red sauce. Very nice.

Most non-English food in the UK (be it Chinese or Indian) tends to be better prepared, more flavorful & more expensive than that found in the US. I kid you not. I'd go back to Sesame if my husband foots the tab anytime!
The price of our meals (2) came out to GBP 26 with a small tip (the Pound's still riding high & 20% tips are out of the question on our grad student budget).

Service was prompt and helpful. I haven't seen anyone in the UK work too hard to please their customers (seems like poor service policy - nation wide). Hopefully, we wont be here long enough to complain louder.

Accessibility: It's off the side walk, but call in advance for help.
Neither the kitchen nor the toilets are visible from where we sat. Don't know how accessible the toilets are.

4.5 STARS out of 5

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bombay Club

815 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20006

The good things:

I had the non-vegetarian club thali. It had samplers of rogan josh (meat in gravy), chicken, fish, okra, red lentil soup, rice & dahi wada. It came with naan.
The quality of food was excellent.
We sat in the patio outside & the weather was beautiful.
The waitress was prompt & polite.
This place is definitely worth going to once.

The not so good things:
We didn't know we needed reservations for lunch so a somewhat uptight & pissy host seated us outside. Which was a blessing because the inside was full of a bunch of stuffed shirts & brown sahibs that looked like they'd been picked fresh out of British colonial India. I cannot see myself being cool in a place that glorifies the Raj. If it wasn't for this I'd be going back more often.

Other stats: Bathroom unexplored. Dinner came to about $21/head. There were 2 of us.

Accessibility: Accessible - call in advance for assistance.

4 STARS out of 5

Monday, June 04, 2007

Raaga Restaurant - Falls Church, VA

5872 Leesburg Pike
VA 22041

The good things:

There was a LOT of variety. The "rogan josh" or lamb in gravy was delicious. So was the "bhindi masala" (okra) & the vegetable "kofta" (mashed veggies rolled up in balls & cooked in a sauce). The "kadi pakoda" (fritters in gram dal sauce) weren't that great. The veg "biryani" had a nice home-cooked flavor.
There was a good selections on naans & the food came with accompanying condiments of raw sliced onions & raw green chilles. I've missed the raw chillie-onion combo since I grew up in Maharashtra where it frequently accompanied regular food.
The ambience was low lit but comfortable. The bar is at the entrance & plenty or parking is available in the lot (even on the weeekends). The "gaajar ka halwa" was very well made. Not greasy at all.
Will definitely recommend this place to all!

The not so good things:
I don't know if it was my over eating or the spice (not hot - the actual spice) content in the food that made me feel a little uncomfortable later on. Some of the dishes had onions in them & it may have been those (red oninons do not go down well with me but not so with everyone.)
One of my friends ordered "kulfi" & got a very small portion of a half melted kulfi. She was disappointed.

Other stats: Bathroom unexplored. Dinner came to about $17/head. There were 5 of us.

Accessibility: Accessible - call in advance for assistance.

4 STARS out of 5

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Curry House

4032 Cox RdGlen Allen, VA 23060
(804) 762-4411

The good things:
The Indian lunch buffets here are good. The "mirchi ka saalan" here was my favorite. Screaming hot Indian peppers in a sauce. The 'vegetarian thaali' was good too.
Dinners are good too but don't be surprised if the quality of service is choppy. I was once hung up on. Haven't been back since. The place is packed on Saturday evenings. Ambience is good to average.

The not so good things:
If you're a Desi, don't be surprised if some of the waiters appear to be rude (this happens occassionally). Most of the times service was OK. Waits aren't very long but the host/hostess answering phone calls for reservations tend to be rude or abrupt at peak hours.

Other stats: Bathroom is large & fairly clean - except on weekends.

Accessibility: Accessible - call in advance for assistance.


Sunday, May 27, 2007


1222 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 533-3501

The good things:

I called here on a friday evening to reserve 2 places & was answered by a polite hostess - first good sign! They don't take reservations on the weekends but the waits aren't long at all.
The food was great! Served in copper haandis. We had aloo saag & kadhai paneer. The bhel was good to - fresh & authentic. They have a wide selection of Indian breads & naans and a pretty big selection of tandoori meats.

Service was quick & courteous. No 'anti-desi' attitude here. I really liked that. The management is very polite too.

The restaurant was large, well lit, tastefully decorated & clean. It looked like they could easily accomodate reservations for large parties.

Other stats:
Dinner for 2 is likely to be between $35-40. Well worth it. I think there was a bar at the far end of the restaurant (didn't get a close look).

This place is wheel chair accessible. Call in advance for assistance.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Java Green

1020 19th. Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 775-8899
Fax: (202) 775-1103

Note: This is not an Indian restaurant, but has great 100% vegetarian & vegan food.

The good things:
Great all-vegetarian Indonesian restaurant. My favorites are the spicy Seoul chicken salad & the spicy noodle soup.
From the sandwiches, I really like the Chicken Boolgogi. (All the meat is fake soy & tastes very nice).
The restaurant has a lot of organic menu options to choose from. You can also use the compost-able non-plastic cutlery & drink from the corn non-plastic cups.
The ambience is packed but charming. Most of the patrons are young.
Service is polite & courteous.

Other stats:
If you get here later than 12:05 on a weekeday, they may be out of seating space. This place is VERY polular! Often carry out is not a bad option.
This place is accessible. Call in advance for assistance.


Sunday, April 01, 2007


4078 Jermantown Road Virginia (VA)
Phone: (703) 385 1996

The good things:

We visited here on a Saturday afternoon. The buffet was laden with absolutely first class, authentic Indian food (from various states). AND THERE WAS CHAAT! I hadn't had chaat in such a long time that I really filled up on bhel, pani puri & pav bhaji. The ghobhi manchurian was really good too & the gaajar ka halwa was d e l i c i o u s. The payasam or kheer was A grade.
The were some south Indian dishes on the buffet but I only had the Rasam (which was spicy & fantastic - watery to the right consistency).
The service was courteous - waiters clear your table quickly & are polite. The dining area is large & can accomodate large parties.

Other stats:
Be prepared to be seated next to a family tagging screaming children if you eat here on a weekend.
Bathroom unexplored.

This place is accessible. Call in advance for assistance.