New Indian spot in International City 19 Reviews
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There is something infuriating about really, really long menus. On a recent night in International City, I was faced with pages and pages of curries, dosas, pulaos and Chinese soups (why do so many Indian restaurants have a Chinese section?) that I could hear the cogs in my head squeak to a neat halt. My companion and I stared at each other, mouths agape.
‘I’ll ask the waiter for a recommendation,’ I offered. She nodded. But it was soon clear that he was gearing us not toward what he believed was best, but to what he thought our untrained palettes could handle. Unfortunately, my date let him talk her out of fish tawa masala and into fish with garlic sauce.
‘It’s better,’ he assured her. I personally was so overwhelmed I just slumped in my chair and let him decide for me. He opted for butter chicken. Somehow, we dug up the wherewithal to order our own starters. We split an order of aloo najakat – fried potato skins coated with sesame seeds and stuffed with paneer (Indian cheese). The skins themselves were luscious – tinged yellow and with a comforting, toasty blend of spices that balanced nicely with the more demure cheese filling. Even better than this, though, was the tangdi kebab that followed. Chicken drumsticks offered up tauntingly submissive shards of meat.
A marinade of yoghurt and cream had served to break down the flesh, making it lovingly tender and buttery on the tongue. We thought this was a precursor of great things to come. It wasn’t. Rather, it was proof that one should never assume a waiter knows which are the best dishes on the menu.
My date’s garlic fish was ugly to look at. The sauce had that clear, gelatinous sheen emblematic of anything made with cornstarch. It wasn’t much more pleasant to eat, and the fish itself was dry and overcooked. The morsels in my butter chicken fared better – they were tender and juicy. The sauce, however, was too sweet, and somewhat resembling a jarred spaghetti sauce.
The disparity between the courses we chose and those we had chosen for us led us to believe there is some great food to be had at Indi Spice. Unfortunately, it’s hard to recommend a single section of the menu as better than the rest. Chances are, the trick is to order items that have more of an Indian influence, and aren’t merely ‘safe’ bets for the Western palette.
The bill (for two)
1x Large water Dhs2
1x Tangdi kebab Dhs18
1x Aloo najakat Dhs15
1x Butter chicken Dhs20
1x Fish in garlic sauce Dhs18
2x Butter naans Dhs8
Total (excluding service) Dhs81
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.