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Feb 24, 2009 05:51 PM

India House St Paul - WTF?

Ok so i was skeptically excited to see grand asia replaced by a st paul outpost of eat streets India House. Now i havent eaten at IH in Mpls since it was New Delhi (where i think i only had one, passable but unremarkable meal).

I watched as the signage appeared, somewhat suprised that there was no newsprint covering the windows on the remodel/redecorating job.

So this is where the story gets weird. Their website says they are open (i havent been by in two days to check). But the menu isn't indian at all, its indonesian. Im thinking to myself, his menu looks very familiar. its EXACTLY the same as the one i saw at Bali on nicollet on sat night (Really tasty grilled chicken with a tangy tamarind sauce and good, but not great, gado gado.)

Now the pictures next to the online menu clearly show actual indian food. it occurs to me that one of the following scenarios are incredibly likely, and i'd love any help figuring out which it is. Either the websites are done by the same folks and the Bali menu got put up as filler and never got replaced with real content, or given the proximity of india house mpls and bali, there is some sort of co-ownership and there will be indonesian food at india house st paul, or c. i stepped into thetwilight zone and you all will check that menu and find india food, or that the name of the restaurant is now indonesia house.

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  1. OK, t. toast- I can help here. I live nearby and have been sticking my head in their door for
    a while now wondering when they would open. They are definitely doing Indian food. I
    was told the owner also ran Taste of India in Golden Valley plus another Indian place. It
    does look like a Twilight Zone switchup on the online menu. The place finally did open this past Sunday and I even went in today and they let me look at the lunch buffet setup, which was closed down but they had thoughtfully left the little signs for each buffet dish- there were about 5 veggie dishes, a chicken or two, a beef, some salad, 2 desserts- all Indian.

    Let us know how the food is- I probably won't make it there since I'm moving to St Louis
    Park Saturday.

    4 Replies
    1. re: faith

      That's going to be a long drive for Cheeky Monkey!


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        But faith will have Yum! Kitchen & Bakery, a restaurant I feel is superior to most.(including Cheeky Monkey). Good luck with the move.

        1. re: NugarifiK

          Not to get too far afield from India House, but I respectfully disagree with your feelings about Yum. To me it's the Pottery Barn of restaurants. You won't be too disappointed by what you're getting, but it's fairly trendy, trying too hard, and not overly exciting.

          Bringing it back to India House - I've had mixed experiences with the food there, particularly at lunch. Hope the St. Paul outpost is more consistent.

          1. re: bob s

            I agree with you about Yum's savory food, but their baked goods are pretty tasty-- I had the best coconut cake there last weekend-- moist, light and quite coconutty.

    2. The menu online now appears to be correct.

      I have had mixed experiences at the India House on Nicollet, but I'm happy to see ANY indian restaurant in St. Paul (where I live)-- until now the closest has been India Palace in Roseville, which is a bit of a hike for takeout.

      8 Replies
      1. re: KristinT013

        Agreed. As a St. Paulite, I have been hoping for some Indian food closer to home than Roseville. I think I'll check it out this week.

        1. re: dahlsk

          please report back. its indisputable that the st paul indian situation is underwhelming (though i love everest, another option is greatly appreciated)

          1. re: tex.s.toast

            I went to India House for takeout last night. It looks basically the same as before, just cleaned up with a new coat of paint and new drapes. Perfectly fine overall. Sat and had a glass of wine while I waited for the food. (A new habit as it gives me 15 minutes of calm me-time away from my baby.) Anyway, I ordered beef samosas, naan, chicken biryani and chicken kashmiri. Nothing too exciting, but my husband's been sick and wanted simple things. All medium heat, which I'd say they were. The samosas were nice and crispy, but they had so much ground beef in them that I would have liked more peas I guess. Good cilantro chutney to go with them, though. The naan was fine, like most other places. The serving of biryani had good chunks of chicken, raisins, cashews and was pretty tasty. The kashmiri seemed a little more "homemade" (a good thing) with nice chunky pieces of sauteed onion, peas, tomato and chicken. All and all, nothing revolutionary but I am very happy to have a competent Indian place in the area!

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              I've had India House 3 or 4 times now. Not only am I thrilled there's an Indian place in the neighborhood - a move that was long overdue - but India House is some of the best food I've had. The place on Nicollet is indeed mediocre, as is the place on 8th downtown. India Palace in Roseville is a clear winner, and I wouldn't be surprised if its the same ownership. I have nothing but rave reviews for the India House on Grand Av - although I haven't been to India, it rivals the Indian food in British-run northern Ireland. My Sri Lankan friends agree that it is some of the best Indian food in the city.

              1. re: chowhound7777

                What I'd love is a good Indian grocery store in St. Paul. I always have to head to Columbia Heights to buy groceries. I am really sad that Southeast Asia Deli changed hands. They had such great stuff. The new menu is good, but no more ragda patties.

                An interesting little tidbit - most of the grocery stores and restaurants are actually Pakistani. One of the reasons you'll see so much meat on the menu.

                1. re: misterpatrick


                  If going to Bloomington is more convenient for you, Patel's Groceries is across the street from the Kebob's Restaurant and the India Cafe. The address is 7837 Portland Ave S. They have another store by the same name at 1835 Central Ave NE right next to Pak Zam Zam restaurant. At both locations, they carry Indian sweets made in Chicago in a deli case. They also have sweet paan already made at the deli or the cashier. At the Central Ave shop, you can ask sweet or non-sweet paan freshly rolled for you. (I don't know if they do that at the Bloomington location.)

                  1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

                    Thanks for the tip. I already go to the Patel's on Central although I still prefer shopping at Southwest Asia even though they have a smaller selection. I cook a lot of Indian food so like a shop with a pretty good selection. The folks at Patel's always seem grumpy while at Southwest they always seem pleased to see everyone. Bloomington and Central are equally inconvenient for me.

                    Also, my confession is that I really don't like Indian sweets. I've tried and failed. Part of the problem is that I hate rosewater. In my mind it makes everything taste like hand lotion.

                    1. re: misterpatrick


                      Now I want to visit Southwest Asia. Could you please provide the address?

                      I like rose water very much; I pour it on my yogurt. But, some of my friends tease me about my love of Earl Grey tea by saying, "Why do you want to drink tea that smells like a bar of soap!?" So, I can relate to your comment about hand-lotion-flavored sweets!