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good indian in Seattle?

Wondering if there are any good indian recs in seattle? I'm talking - something really special. . .thanks in advance for any recs!!

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  1. Depends on what you mean by "really special." In my book, no, not in Seattle. You have to go to Vancouver for that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: PAO

      Alright then, Mr. "You have to go to Vancouver", let's rephrase the question:

      What is the most special Indian rec for Seattle?
      What comes the closest to striving for something along the line of Vij's?

      1. re: GreenYoshi

        Charles is probably right. Poppy isn't Indian, but some is Indian inspired. There is nothing in Seattle or environs that even comes within a mile of resembling Vij's. I wish there were. If you find one, let us know.

        1. re: PAO

          It's really that there isn't an Indian place in Seattle that aspires to be what Vij's is, i.e., a high-end Indian restaurant. I don't know of any place that's trying to be in that category. (Disclaimer: I haven't been to Poppy.)

          Best Indian I've found in Seattle is Bengal Tiger in Ravenna, but that's just a neighborhood Indian joint that does what it does well. You'll eat well, but it's not a special occasion place.

    2. For really special Indian inspired I would go to Poppy. This is pure pacific Northwest Dinning but with Indian Spicing. Wonderful food, lovely space, great wine list and fun cocktails.

      1. nothing to recommend in Seattle. Poppy is NOT an Indian restaurant. I would call it PNW meets many diverse & international flavors & techniques (fusion) restaurant.

        1 Reply
        1. re: staffstuff

          I agree. Poppy has some interesting Indian-inspired dishes but is definitely not like Vij's.

          Bengal Tiger is quite nice, and I used to like India Bistro in Ballard but haven't been for years. Standard Indian restaurant food.

        2. Naan n' Curry is a really delicious, reasonably priced Paki/Indian restaurant. Its located in downtown Renton, which is a bit out of the way... worth adding to the list though! I love their lunch specials.


          3 Replies
          1. re: emilyla

            Spice Route in Bellevue is great. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/395665; so is Curry Leaf, Factoria. Check out the Tamil specialties at the former, and the Keralan items at the latter. I'm judging them by dinner offerings only, and I can't vouch for any buffet lunch.

            Udupi Palace, Naan n' Curry and Bengal Tiger are pretty good, so long as you focus on their specialties. Preet's is passable but insipid. I have yet to try Kanishka, Mayuri, Mysore Masala (all Redmond), or Pabla (Renton) but all are on my list.

            Note that of all these only Bengal Tiger is in Seattle proper, which is woefully inadequate for authentic Indian food; Redmond and Bellevue are far better. If you want Anglo-indian standards and marekdly muted curries there are other options, but I'd rather cook at home.

            I've never been to Vij's, which is widely regarded as a sort of holy grail of Indian food in N. America. From what I've read, the local places I've recommended will not offer the fusion-ish creativity or ambiance of Vij's, but will offer some well-prepared regional specialties that are more than worthwhile.

            1. re: equinoise

              I can Vouch that Mayuri is good. One thinng they have is Indo-Chinese dishes, the "lollipop" chicken, kind of like sweet and sour chicken, but not sweet, and hot as heck with tons of fresh Jalapenos. Pretty good! They make good Onion Pakoras, Onion Dosas, and the the Chicken is good, too. Overall a good vibe.

              1. re: equinoise

                I know the Q is about Seattle, but the number of mentions of Vij's prompts me to write: I went to Vij's recently after hearing the hype about it for years -- and was underwhelmed. I don't get it. It's not "fusion Indian" by any means (Madhur Jaffrey's Dawat in NYC was the first of that genre and it really pressed Indian food in new directions, some of which included reviving dishes that had gone out of style). Back to Vij's: it's standard India fare, upscale to the extend that it's got "service," something I suspect folks don't expect from "curry joints." But as far as the food goes, I was hard pressed to see what was unique or so spectacular about it; it's the kind you get in any 4 or 5-star hotel restaurant in India.

            2. Poppy is not at all Indian. And yes, they use some spices occasionally found and used on the subcninent.

              I get my Indian take out from Chutney's on QA. It is also your standard North Indian tandoori curry mix.

              Is Naan n Curry the same as the chain in SF?

              1. My Indian friends love Udupi Palace, Spice Route and Kabab House (the latter I'm not crazy about). None of these are special occasion places but by special maybe you mean something else? Like just really good/authentic?

                3 Replies
                1. re: christy319

                  I returned to Spice Route last weekend and can report the food was reliably good. We had the veg chettinad, kadai okra and a new item, ceylon egg curry, which was described as sri lankan in origin. All were abundantly spiced, but not without preserving the unique flavor combination of each. The okra had a good dry texture and "breath of wok" (the kadai is an indian cooking vesel similar to a wok). The heat was prominent even in the dishes we chose to be "medium" ("mild" was not offered as a choice by the waiter, and appropriately so). They have added some covers to the light fixtures and some half-walls to reduce the feeling of dining in a cavernous conference room, which is a welcome improvement. Another new item we enjoyed was beetroot halva, a dessert of diced beets cooked in ghee with cardomom, cloves, cashews and almonds.

                  1. re: equinoise

                    Have you had the gobi manchurian? It's like crack.

                    1. re: christy319

                      I am a big fan of Spice Route. Their dishes are definitely spicier than the normal mild, medium or hot designations would suggest, and their menu is very extensive with items one rarely sees at Indian restaurants. We were originally alerted to gobi manchurian by a vegetarian friend who raved about it. I can only saw "wow." Although it is offered as an appetizer, I could have this as an entree all by itself.

                2. I have enjoyed Roti in Queen Anne (highly decorated interior), Taste of India on Ravenna , Qazi's in Fremont, and India Bistro in Ballard (nicer interior than most).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: natalie.warner

                    The closest you will get to food from Vij's in Seattle will be to make something out of his cookbook.

                  2. I really like Roti in Queen Anne for solid, delicious Indian food - no fusion though. I was also underwhelmed by Vij's. It was fine - but I actually prefer the food I've had at Roti. Maybe I prefer a more homestyle Indian meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: burritobelle

                      I used to enjoy Roti quite a bit. Then, one day it seemed that they got heavy handed with the salt and on the past several times I visited it was like eating and Indain-spiced salt lick with lamb flavoring. Needless to say, I have stopped going. Maybe that has changed? And, are they still open? For some reason I thought that they have closed their doors......

                    2. Naan N Curry is excellent, esp. for Pakistani dishes (haleem), but their N. Indian dishes are also well above the average in this area.

                      I agree with Equinoise that Preet's doesn't always deliver; however, Punjab Sweets in Kent absolutely rules. Punjab Sweets has the best Indian sweets in the area, IMHO they are better than All India Sweets and other Vancouver sweet shops. Their cuisine, like Preet's is down-home vegetarian Punjabi fare. Both places cook well, but kitchen and service at Punjab Sweets seems better.

                      If you're willing to drive to Lacey (near Olympia), Curry Corner is probably the closest we get to London-style curry joints in this area. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Scott O

                        I would second the endorsement of Curry Corner in Lacey (actually north of Lacey, on Martin Way, just before the long downhill to Nisqually).

                        Their cook used to be at the former Mehfil restaurant on Sleater-Kinney in Lacey. (Sleater-Kinney was a street long before it was a grunge band.)

                        Curry Corner shares a strip mall will Cebu, a good philippine restaurant (no alcohol).

                        1. re: Steve in Olympia

                          Traveler's in Cap Hill is easily my favorite Indian restaurant in Seattle, probably in the top 5 Indian restaurants ever. I'm Indian and cook a ton of Indian food, and they know the recipes (both North and South Indian dishes are done well). They do it healthy, true to form, and also add a few local ingredients and tweaks from time to time. This last bit is what impresses me most. They've worked enough with the recipes that they are able to tweak them.

                          Two caveats - it has an interesting atmosphere but not the type of place you would go for dinner. Lunch or take out is a better bet. Second, it's vegetarian.

                          You can always stop in there for a samosa and chai as well.

                          It's not to be missed!

                        2. re: Scott O

                          I went to Kebab Palace in Redmond last night and was very impressed by the biryani with goat and chicken; the gravy is served on the side, and it is wonderfully aromatic and considerably hot. The chutneys and pickles they serve are definitely noteworthy, one (tomato perhaps?) was an unusual additon to the more common tamarind and mint. We also had the lamb boti kebab served sizzling over onions, which was v. good. My only gripe is that the menu indicated that naan would come with the biryani but they said no. It appears, from prior lukewarm reports about the curries and the buffet generally, that the "chefs specialties" and the pakistani items are the most promising dishes. The place attacts a halal crowd which I think facilitates keeping the intensity of the spicing out of the gringo zone. Will return for the fried chicken and nihari.

                        3. Try Shamiana in Kirkland for Indian and Paki food. Decor is nice and the food and curries are pretty darned tasty!