MSP - Gandhi Mahal
Went there for dinner last night; mostly good, but nothing terribly exciting.
Firstly, the two adjoining rooms are decorated very nicely with vivid east Indian colors and saris; very nice, though for food that is usually shared, the two-tops are quite small.
No beer or wine yet - didn't try any of their specialy lassis, but many tables were; they looked very refreshing.
Now on to the food - complimentary papadums and mint or tamarind chutney when you sit down - very nice.
The entree's though, were only OK. The mixed tandoori grill consisted of lamb, chicken, goat, and shrimp. The shrimp (1 small one) was nothing to speak of at all. The meats were very tender, but they didn't taste of tandoor - they could have been grilled for all I know.
We also had the palak paneer, paneer with spinach sauce, and the paneer was delicious; most times it's just texture and not much flavor, but they definately stood out. The spinach sauce was very boring - not much flavor.
The meal came with a basic basmati rice that was fine, but the naan (which comes separately) was really delicious; puffy and chewy on the edges and crisp and yummy in the middle - the garlic was especially delightful.
Didn't try any of the desserts as were were full and I have to admit are too sweet for my taste anyway.
If this place wasn't so close to my house I probably wouldn't make a special trip to go again, but since they are giving out 25% off coupons for a return visit, I'll go again to be fair and check out other items.
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I live close by and got take out. The Lamb Coconut Curry and Garlic Naan. I thought it was absolutely delicious. The owners are very friendly and the atmosphere was a lot nicer than I had expected. I will definitely be going back.
I went to Gandhi Mahal for dinner tonight. It was great!
We ordered some papadums, which were fine - nothing special - but the accompanying sauces (tamarind, cilantro chutney, and onion relish) were much better than most places' versions. They definitely didn't taste like they came from a jar.
Then we had the Persian Dansak with lamb (in a smooth sauce of cooked-down lentils and tomatoes) and Palak Paneer (spinach and house-made "cheese") - both dishes ordered medium. I loved them both - quite spicy (as in hot) and flavorful (as in full of spices). Mr. Tastebud says that their medium is at "the high end of medium" for the Twin Cities - he found the dishes quite hot. Me, I thought it was just right, but my tolerance for heat is higher than his.
The garlic nan was great, too - lots of freshly minced garlic on top. I also had salty lassi (I don't like the sweet versions with food), and it was delicious - based on their rich, house-made yogurt and not too much salt. It's the best lassi I've had in the Twin Cities (though I haven't sampled them all...).
We didn't order dessert, but the waiter brought us a sample of the pistachio-saffron kulfi (ice cream) that was delicious. I will try to save room for this next time!
I love that they're open late on Sundays - we didn't get there until 8:30, so we were very happy that the place is open until 10:00. We were the only people there, and the service was great (perhaps that's obvious, but it's not always a given when a place is non-busy).
The cool thing about Gandhi Mahal is that they offer sample sizes of many of their dishes for a few dollars each, as well as samples of the lassi - almost like Indian tapas. :-) It would be a fun way to try a lot of things for not much money (or calories).
>>quite spicy (as in hot)
I"m calling you out on this one. I ordered my palak paneer Bollywood hot (the hottest they offer), and it was barely zingy. It had a noticeable afterglow, but only noticeable. And the people I was with felt the same way about their dishes. Sadly, none of the Indian restos in the twins (since New Delhi closed) offer truly hot hot HOT Indian food. I guess you sum it up well with your comment that they are geared toward Twin Cities taste buds.
Don't get me wrong. I do think Ghandi Mahal is one of the tastier venues in town. Just not hot enough for me.
Interesting to note that Ghandi was a vegetarian, and the resto offers meat.
That's the place.
When last I dined at Best of India the waiter asked how spicy I wanted my Aloo Muttar and I said, "Spicy. Really, I mean spicy!." To which he replied, "Oh you mean Indian spicy? Because I have to warn you it really is very hot." He was right. Boy was I happy! And the leftovers were unbelievably tasty the next day, too.
They do have a very small wine and beer list but you might call and ask if they'd allow you to bring in something from Four Firkins. Maybe if you tipped them a bottle that could be the corkage? Worth asking, anyway.
We tried this place for the first time this afternoon and had the lunch buffet. It was excellent. The naan was outstanding and the waitress went around to each table with a fresh batch. At the end of our meal, the waitress brought out some home-made ice cream that was really tasty--not too sweet and quite creamy. We thought the buffet was priced well at $10 and will definitely be going back. Not that it matters much to us, but the decor of the place was really nice and it had a cool ambiance. It is a family business and the people working there were all really friendly and appreciative.