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Bindi in Philadelphia

anyone been there yet? it opened wednesday and i am very curious to hear about it. i've just recently discovered the many Indian restaurants in phillly/s jersey. it's a wonderful cuisine to explore.

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  1. It hasn't opened yet, next Wednesday is the day (the 12th).

    I presume you've been to Tiffin?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Buckethead

      of course. if you're ever in s jersey, stop by rajhborg in cherry hill http://www.rajbhog.com/index_main.asp... definitely not a place to call a "restaurant" BUT they have great foods for takeout. there are tables and chairs but zero atmosphere. the people are very nice and try to be helpful...they feature a huge selection of sweets and are attached to a grocery store next door (same company). the samosas and other snacks are quite good. it's vegetarian so no meat dishes but the steam table has a pretty interesting selection you won't find elsewhere. i imagine they cater mostly to an indian clientele. worth checking out...i loved the carrot and squash halea (at least i think that's the name)

    2. I ate there last Thursday, and I very much recommend it! I'm not an expert on Indian food, so I cannot say how authentic Bindi is, but the meal was certainly excellent. We shared the Pani Puri (roast duck) and the Mussels Bhindi Gozzoo appetizers (the mussel broth is great with bread. For the entree I ordered the Shrimp and Winter Vegetable Sambar with the Saag Chapati bread, with no disappointments. I highly recommend the Mango and cardamom drink mix, which we mixed with rum. The pomegranate mix is also good..

      Although the food took a bit long to arrive -- which I suppose can be expected in a brand new place -- the service was otherwise very good. Our waitress was especially knowledgeable about the ingredients. The prices are comparable to Lolita by the same chef and owner, which means you'll probably spend $30-$40 per person.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kemac

        It seems to me that it's not really intended to be an authentic Indian restaurant, more like Indian-inspired, the same way that Lolita is Mexican-inspired rather than authentic Mexican.

      2. Could you tell us where this restaurant is?

        1 Reply
        1. I tried Bindi a couple of weeks ago. Interesting menu. As a previous poster mentioned, it's not authentic Indian, but rather "Indian" insprired. For authentic Indian, and to get a frequent "Indian" fix, Tiffin is definitely the place.

          Bindi wasn't bad, but it's a place I may go to only once. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try Indian insprired cuisine. The Kofta appetizer was excellent, but the Roasted Duck Pani Puri wasn't that good at all. As an Indian and a someone who is knowledgeable about Indian food, I just don't see duck and pani puri going together.

          For our entrees, we tried the Ghost and the Pork Vindaloo. Decent entrees, but nothing I was blown away by.

          Overall it's an interesting idea and there is definitely a buzz about this place in the city. Although it's not a place I will frequent.

          1. Poor management will ruin even the best of restaurants, let alone mediocre ones.

            This restaurant does not serve Indian fare. ( i almost laughed when they brought the chaat out.... so small, so wrong.) Their take on "Modern Indian" is really just an American Bistro trying to co-opt ethnic flair to inflate their prices, while butchering the cuisine. Having lived in New Delhi for a year and traveling extensively through the continent I have great fondness for the food, but I could not find anything resembling that culture in the food served here.

            The staff seams personally inexperienced with the cuisine, as badly mispronouncing names as the food was mis-prepared.

            Having spent over $70 at our table of 4, we were informed (after we had finished) that there was a $20 minimum per person and if we didn't order $18 worth of desert we would be charged an additional $18. This struck us as extremely bad and potently illegal policy. When we asked the manager if they should have told us that before we ordered she curtly replied "It's on the menu." and then turned to me and said "People come here for dinner, you shouldn't come here for snacks."

            There aren't many Indian restaurants in Philly i like, but this one is certainly the worst.

            go to Tiffin or drive up to Udupi Dosa House in Bensalem
            (friend said the lamb (gosht) wasn't bad.)

            2 Replies
            1. re: woodland

              Yesterday while walking around, I looked at Bindi's menu posted in their window. The menu is similar in size to Lolita's -- 5-7 choices in each category. It clearly states at the very bottom that there is a $18 per person minimum, not $20.

              1. re: woodland

                I don't know, maybe my math is not as good as it once was, but something here doesn't add up. If there is a minimum of $18 per person that would come out to be $72 (4x18=72) minimum for a party of 4. Woodland, you say your party spent over $70 and needed to spend $18 more on dessert? I think your numbers are a little off here... either that or you were annoyed at the policy and might be streching the truth a bit to make your point look more justified. I guess if a restaurant has a policy that you don't like and it's clearly stated on the menu, you always have the option to get up and leave... espically in that area of the city. There are many fine alternative choices.

              2. I am also born in India but eat out regularly in Philadelphia and eleswhere in the US and abroad. I appreciate that there may be something called "Indian inspired cuisine". However, the inspiration is lacking at Bindi. A pork vindaloo consisted of a piece of tenderloin that had been roasted, sliced and placed on some kind of red spicy sauce. There was also some kind of pureed vegetable in the mix somewhere. All of this was served in a polished kadai. There was no rice to accompany this dish since ( silly me ) I assumed that curry comes with rice. My feeling is that taking cooking lessons from Julie Sahni is not good enough to start an Indian restaurant. Some time ago a question arose on this site of whether one should go to Lolita or Xochitl to sample Mexican food. One commentator proferred the opinion that authenticity should not be the guiding factor. I beg to disagree -- Xochitl every time.

                1. I hated this place, would not recommend. I agree with prior post that this place “interpretation” of Indian cuisine is lacking. I found the staff rude and very inexperienced. They struggled with the pronunciation of the meals on menu. If you are going to open an Indian-esque restaurant make sure your staff can properly pronounce the words. It’s very embarrassing and pretty much puts a spot light on how this restaurant is trying to make a “profit by co-opting ethnic flair” (as posted by someone else). The entrees were average at best. The appetizers were a slap in the face insulting. So bad! I would give this place an F for Failure.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: narwhal

                    Lucky for me, I went to Bindi (and didn't listen to some of these posts) and had an excellent meal. The sign outside says "modern indian." I think some people are missing the point. My meal was fresh, nicely spiced and thoroughly enjoyable. The lamb shank was delicious. Will be returning with friends.

                    1. re: bethanymd

                      Ate at Bindi last week.
                      I am generally dubious of food establishments in which non of the owners or chefs are from the country of culinary origin in this case caucasian women who have never set foot in India cheffing an "Indian" restaurant.
                      I however expected to be pleasantly surprised.
                      Sadly that was not the case, I guess it can best be described as "Indian-lite" they dont even have a tandoori oven.
                      Tiffin still rules.
                      The food is not bad food, it just lacks soul

                      1. re: Newgirlbackintown

                        I do not think people can go to Bindi expecting Tiffin. They seems to have totally different goals when it comes to their cuisines. Bindi is supposed to be a fusion restaurant. I dont think they claim to be an authentic Indian restaurant. And Tiffin, well, is just Indian. No fusion with the exception of a few Indo-Chinese dishes. I grew up eating Indian food every day, and I know when I go to Bindi it's not going to be authentic Indian food. But I still appreciate it for what it is, and applaud people who explore a different culinary tradition than their own. Bindi doesn't really need a tandoor oven to prove authenticity. Anyway, many of their dishes seem to be influenced by South Indian cuisine. And you do not need Tandoor ovens for that--those are mainly used for Northern Indian dishes, especially Punjabi. Furthermore, are people really going to restauraunts only to experience authentic food? There's a taste factor too. Sometimes it comes down to simply enjoying what you're eating. And I did enjoy my food at Bindi. Was it authentic? No, but I wasn't expecting it to be.

                  2. I think it's unfair to compare Tiffin and Bindi. I have not been to Bindi but I have heard from a few friends (some of whom are Indian) that Bindi isn't bad, but they each stress that it's FUSION food. It's not real Indian food.

                    If you want real indian food in Philly, I suggest Tiffin. It's a hike to get there, but it's a GREAT restaurant. Simple, comfortable, easy going atmosphere. Friendly staff, great food and I love that the specials change every month. From what I hear, Bindi is very fusion, and very much different. Different isn't always bad, but it's not traditional Indian at all.

                    1. I ate at Bindi in March and loved it! Everyone was very friendly and accommodating. Our server was helpful, and shared with us her favorite items on the menu. The food was delicious. My friend and I split two appetizers, and I had the lamb vindaloo for an entree. We split one dessert (the chai tea and cookies - we got two cups of chai). I'm going back this Friday. There were so many things on the menu, and I want to try them all.

                      1. I have had two excellent meals at Bindi. Many of the comments on this restaurant frustrate me because they assume that Bindi is attempting to provide classic Indian cuisine. Lolita is to Mexican, as Bindi is to Indian. In other words, they are both more American fusion than Mexican/Indian. If you accept this fact and develop appropriate expectations, the dining can be phenomenal.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: provnphilly

                          I too have had two excellent meals at Bindi, the last one was Friday night. The lamb shank was so tender, it was falling off the bone. And we even tried one of the delicious drink mixers - lemon, pomegranate, ginger. It was really good. All the flavors of India, both north and south, are there, with a modern and fresh interpretation. And, Bindi received an Excellent review from Craig LeBan in Sunday's Inquirer. Try to get a reservation now!