Indian Food for Valentine's Day -- Raaga in Falls Church
The menu is very large for the special V-day buffet at Raaga, where we ate yesterday. The chef let us taste the sauce he is making for just one of the dishes, a "Seafood Malabar." http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/339583#5401201 The dish is a lovely, complex, coconut based sauce, and the chef is including several types of seafood. The menu is otherwise pretty extensive.
Chef used to work at the Bombay Club during the Clinton era, and is now part-owner of Raaga (which is a relatively new development).
So if you want to do something different today, go there. We might see you. (Just look for the person with the silly blissful look on her face).
PS, the chocolate covered strawberries he gave us to try were also very nice-- and I've never had them where the chocolate wasn't a little hard with some "crunch." This chocolate was high quality and soft, like a thin ganache.
In general, we are lately having the chef do "special" dishes that are off-menu. His latest spicy shrimp masala, and a shrimp pakora with (huge) shrimp, lightly battered and fried, then tempered with curry leaves and mustard seed were terrific. Also I'm crazy about this shrimp dish that he made for us a couple of times, and I don't know the name, but it seems something like this: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...
5872 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
My husband and I just ate dinner at Raaga, it is our anniversary and we couldnt be more pleased. The food was fantastic, the staff was gracious, the room was calm and comfortable. As with other readers, we had the shrimp masala, and the chicken vindaloo. Both were a wonderful blend of very diverse flavors into a single dish that was just wonderful. Thank you for letting us know about this place, it will be a regular for us from now on.
5872 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
did you get the shrimp masala off menu from chef ramesh? that is my fave!
another great thing is when he offers fresh chicken kabobs as appetizer. his spinach chaat appetizer is also very nice.
i was not happy last time with methi paratha, nor onion kulcha. i still like their regular paratha.
I convinced my friends to go here on a birthday based on the reviews here. Not good at all. In fact, my indian friend said it was one of the worst indian food he's ever had. The only thing that was good at all (ironically it was actually extremely good) was the hariyali chicken. Had it with an order of garlic butter naan, which was pretty good as well. Perhaps we made bad orders, but everything else we had was lukewarm, over salted, and dry. I remember ordering the green pepper chicken, the tikka masala, the rogan josh, and the tomato soup. The green pepper chicken was basically chicken drenched in that generic "green sauce" they provide as a dipping sauce in the beginning. The rogan josh was too thick and way too heavy, felt like the whole thing was just one big block of cream. The tomato soup was just horrid. The chicken tikka masala tasted like it was drenched in canned tomato soup and cream, no real spice or anything. The desert (I forgot the name) was a thick ice cream custard with pistachios I think, and that was pretty decent, though I've had much better.
Perhaps I need to befriend the chef before I have a decent experience here. Needless to say, however, I had to apologize to the birthday boy afterwards
that is regrettable. our friends from india were quite pleased. did you try to order something particular that your friend desired that wasn't on the menu (not that one needs to do so, of course)?
did you share your displeasure with management? how did they respond? i'm sure they'd like to have known how your first visit went. ctm is not a spicy dish, so perhaps you were expecting something that it is not supposed to be. just curious: what is your friend's india-regional background? what was he expecting in the way of the type of cuisine?
by the way, the pistachio dessert is called "kulfi."
what was the last restaurant in the area that you did like? what would you recommend ordering there?
Just got a sneak peak at their champagne brunch menu for valentine's day:
vegetable koftas "manchurian" (cabbage and carrots, spices plus pan-glazed with garlic and tomato -- go figure the name)
hariyali chicken (one of my favorites) http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/chicken-hariyali-tikka/Detail.aspx (cilantro, mint, garlic paste on tandoori grilled chicken chunks).
aachari chicken tikka (another chicken fave) http://www.grouprecipes.com/17559/achari-chicken-curry-tangy-indian-chicken.html
mix seafood masala (shrimp, scallops, salmon).
chicken tikka masala
kadai paneer http://www.archanaskitchen.com/indian-recipes/vegetables-in-gravy/24-khadai-paneer
aloo gobhi http://www.recipedelights.com/recipes/vegdishes/AlooGobiMasala.htm
corn palak http://bhook-lagi.blogspot.com/2007/0...
fresh tandoori breads
fresh fruit salad
$19.95 with all you can eat and also champagne refills (menu doesn't say "all you can drink"). they open at 11:30-3 for the valentine's brunch.
the koftas "manchurian" were not so great. even chef acknowledged this. maybe his sous chef was responsible. ;-). anyhow, mr. alka enjoyed the lamb biryani, and i am still a sucker for the succulent chicken tikka. the seafood masala i would have preferred done in the chef's style with mustard seed, curry leaf and coconut milk. the corn palak was outstanding, the corn sweet and juicy, and the spinach nicely spiced. kulfis were -- as always -- silky and delicious. i liked the aachari chicken for its tang, but wanted the hariyali chicken to be more infused with the mint and coriander flavor. chef said it marinates overnight, but maybe i want perhaps some ground coriander added to intensify that flavor. i think i'm going to experiment with that dish at home, and use chicken thighs, too -- instead of the breast.
the champagne was poured freely, may i add. we were just too focused on the food to want more than one or two flutes.
photos will follow......
In the photos, find chef and his latest spicy shrimp masala with (huge) shrimp, lightly battered and fried, then tempered with curry leaves and mustard seed (off-menu). Simply delectable!
Chef is not only very talented, but he's a great guy!
Look at that shrimp! Now, you know why I rave about Raaga.