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Indian Food - General Metro Detroit Area.

Daederik May 17, 2010 12:01 PM

Some friends of mine are really wanting to try out Indian Food. So far I haven't been able to find anything out here that I like...the few Indian restaurants that I have gone to out here are generally an insult to the culture and food in general.

I love curries, I make them at home, and I've been to some fantastic places in the UK. I'm not looking for something that is equivalent to that, but at least somewhere that the food tastes like it wasn't microwaved, and the naan bread doesn't taste like it was made by Ego.

Any suggestions? Preferably in the Madison Heights / Troy area!

Thanks in advance :)

  1. b
    boagman Sep 12, 2010 07:54 PM

    Just another nod for Neehee's, again. Donna and I went there again on Friday night, and once again, it was *totally* worth the drive from Waterford...never in my life did I think I would enjoy a vegetarian restaurant, but this one just rocks.

    A couple pointers: the Farmington location is now closed permanently, and the new, bigger space in Canton should be open later this month. We took a look at it and it's going to be so much better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: boagman
      JanPrimus Sep 13, 2010 06:06 AM

      Just drove past there yesterday and saw the new place....

      Just a added note for others...it is in the same Plaza...just down further to the west.

    2. jjspw Sep 12, 2010 06:01 AM

      I know I'm late to the party on this topic, but I want to share the two best Indian (South Indian) restaurants in metro Detroit, neither of which have been mentioned yet:

      Namaste Flavours
      34749 Grand River Ave
      Farmington, MI 48335
      (248) 471-5555

      Megha's Athidhi (just took over that "Goodbye Junk Food" place)
      2079 15 Mile Rd
      Sterling Heights, MI 48310
      (586) 446-9430

      Ashoka and Royal both tend to be far too buttery for my tastes. They use a lot of ghee in the food, and really tend to Americanize a lot of the flavors. Ashoka is very nice inside -- fine dining atmosphere that Desis like. But the food is terribly disappointing. If you like very rich food and you like North Indian cuisine, Ashoka may be your best option. But for me, South Indian is far more brilliant and bold, and the two suggestions I made really do an excellent job with it.

      Namaste Flavours is a dive. But the food is outstanding South Indian fare. Order chilli chicken (it's the Keralan style!), kadai chicken, lamb curry, any of the dosa (rava is my favorite), egg biryani.

      Athidhi has more refined decor (similar atmosphere to Ashoka). Food is different than Namaste, but excellent in its own way. Order kozhi varutha curry, kottu paratha, special pesarattu (moong daal dosa stuffed with upma), any of the biryani.

      6 Replies
      1. re: jjspw
        r
        Rheta Sep 12, 2010 11:15 AM

        Namaste Flavours is right around the corner from my house. I always wondered if it was good. When I've been to another store in that strip mall I've noticed the wonderful aromas coming from that restaurant. Do they have a lunch buffet? My daughter loves Indian food, so I think we'll head there next week for lunch.

        1. re: Rheta
          jjspw Sep 13, 2010 10:05 PM

          Rheta, yes, Namaste does a lunch buffet. I'm not positive, but I think the hours are 11-2:30 Tu-Fri and 11-3 (or 3:30) Sa-Su. The weekday lunch buffets tend to have more North Indian dishes, a bit milder, because there are fewer Desi clientele. But weekends is jam-packed with Desis, so the dishes are spicier, and more South Indian-focused (which are Namaste's specialties).

        2. re: jjspw
          v
          vtombrown Sep 13, 2010 09:04 PM

          jjspw,
          I've tried the Athidhi buffet and liked it (not ultra bargain priced, but good flavor). I've printed off your regular dinner rec's and will go try them next week. Thanks!
          Note: The place was PACKED when I (the sole gringo) was there.

          1. re: vtombrown
            jjspw Sep 13, 2010 10:07 PM

            VTB, I really haven't been impressed with Athidhi's buffet, although I've only had it once. I love them for dinner though. And you're right -- I'm always the only gringo in there. Compare that to the Ashokas and Royal Indians and Priyas, which are always full of gringos. ;-)

            -----
            Priya Restaurant
            72 W Maple Rd, Troy, MI 48084

          2. re: jjspw
            f
            Foog Sep 14, 2010 08:59 AM

            I am surprised about your buttery comment JJ, not that I have tried Ashoka or Royal, but I have has Namaste and it had an oil slick on top of it. It was passable not bad , but not great.

            Rangoli in Auburn Hills is great, my favorite is Ann Arbor though Madras Masala.

            I was disappointed in Ashoka (Canton) when my wife and I ate there and the rice was not basmati, it was more like uUncle Ben's.

            -----
            Madras Masala
            328 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

            1. re: Foog
              jjspw Sep 14, 2010 04:42 PM

              Foog, I know what you mean about some of Namaste's curries having the oil slick. But what I was talking about "buttery" is that really rich ghee taste throughout the curry that one gets with dishes like chicken tikka, butter chicken, malai kofta. Really rich-tasting foods like that really aren't my cup of tea. Despite some of Namaste's dishes having an oil slick on top, something like their chettinad chicken, for example, never knocks me out with that super-rich taste like a chicken tikka would.

          3. momskitchen May 20, 2010 06:16 PM

            I like Star of India in Ferndale:

            http://ferndaleindianfood.blogspot.com/

            -----
            Star of India
            180 W 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220

            1. d
              dewardav May 19, 2010 02:18 AM

              I work with several Indians (mostly southern) and they have taken me to Ashoka's. Like everyone else is saying this is very good. You have to try the Hydrabadi lamb Briyani. Awesome. The other place that that have taken me is Royal Indian Cuisine which is almost right across the street from Roch Rd Ashoka location. Now when my wife and I go I do tend to buy from Ashoka but Royal is also very good.

              -----
              Royal Indian Cuisine
              3877 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48083

              2 Replies
              1. re: dewardav
                Daederik May 19, 2010 08:53 AM

                Hmmm, might have to convince my friend to give that one a go. Looked very good! I've had Lamb Rogan Josh calling my name for a bit though...cannot...resist.

                ...now I just need someone to get a CTM, and I'm in good shape :-D

                1. re: dewardav
                  d
                  donbui82 May 19, 2010 07:27 PM

                  this is another vote for Royal Indian Cuisine and Ashoka. They are both on par with each other. My indian friends (and I have a lot of 'em) are split between the two. can't go wrong with either.

                  if you go to RIC, try their chicken 69 appetizer. taaasty!

                  don

                  -----
                  Royal Indian Cuisine
                  3877 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48083

                2. Daederik May 18, 2010 07:37 AM

                  Thanks for the replies :). I might give Ashoka a try tomorrow. Location wise it's in a good spot for us. Will definitely give a review :)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Daederik
                    g
                    grouper May 18, 2010 04:25 PM

                    I should say on my first visit to Ashoka, I was taken there by a good friend who is from India. Her family always went to the Canton location, but she lived on this side of town. I felt that was the best recommendation I could have.

                    1. re: grouper
                      JanPrimus May 18, 2010 04:30 PM

                      For those that need to know...it is on Haggerty just south of Ford road. I have to admit I have never been there. It always looks closed to me.

                      1. re: JanPrimus
                        g
                        grouper May 18, 2010 06:27 PM

                        Well, if you are driving by between 3:00 and 5:30 they are closed. Must make some kind of business sense to them...not me.

                        1. re: grouper
                          JanPrimus May 19, 2010 03:25 AM

                          Yeah...I always thought they were out of business. Too bad for them...that is a lot of missed business. I eat early dinners often.

                          1. re: JanPrimus
                            m
                            moose734 May 19, 2010 05:25 PM

                            That's extremely common of Indian restaurants ( around here at least). I've also noticed some Japanese restaurants ( Matsuchan for example) also have this practice. I just always assumed it to be a cultural thing and just made sure I was there during the right times.

                  2. coney with everything May 18, 2010 06:17 AM

                    Agree with Ashoka recs and also recommending Rangoli in Auburn Hills as well.

                    Both these places got the stamp of approval from my Indian colleagues at my old job.

                    1. JanPrimus May 17, 2010 04:45 PM

                      I know this is far from the area....but...It would be criminal not to mention Neehee's.

                      It is a vegetarian street food place that KNOWS flavor.

                      http://neehees.com/

                      I have gotten serious Carnivores to go to this place and they come out happy as a pig in mud.

                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/neehees-indian-street-food-canton

                      http://www.kitchenchick.com/2009/10/neehees-redux.html

                      http://www.metrotimes.com/food/review...

                      1. g
                        grouper May 17, 2010 03:50 PM

                        I would suggest Ashoka on Rochester Rd., just south of Wattles, in Troy. This was the first place that I've been here that reminded me of Indian restaurants in the UK. They have a lunch buffet which is just ok, but their dinners are good. They close after lunch and don't open up again until 5:30, won't even allow take-out orders until then either. If you're going soon there is lots of construction on Rochester right now.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: grouper
                          v
                          vtombrown May 17, 2010 06:19 PM

                          I've interrogated numerous ethnic Indians I work with, and indeed they all say Ashoka. If that is the best on the North Central-East side of Metro Detroit, then that's sad. I find it decent, but simply a step up from lame. (PS--there is a new Indian place at 15 Mile and Dequindre, named "No More Junk Food." I kid you not. It took over for a defunct Indian place, last month. Will try and report in a couple weeks, but I don't have my hopes up.)

                          I'm fired-up to make the long drive to give Neehee's a try, based on JP's rec. (if it's great, I'm going to make a post stating they now serve meat, just to see whether Boagman will take the bait... shhhhh).

                          1. re: vtombrown
                            b
                            boagman May 17, 2010 06:47 PM

                            Are you kidding, VTB? Dude, I'm already on the Neehee's train, ticket in hand. I've been at least twice, and can't wait to go back! I'm with JP: I'm a carnivore to the end, and I did not miss the meat there, not even a little bit. Absolutely great flavors they put together there, and if you've not gotten out there yet, you, sir, are missing out. Remember that they're closed on Tuesdays, though, so you'll have to wait until midweek at the earliest. Oh, and it's not just JP and me: my friend Donna really liked it, too, and the word is definitely out in the community, as this place gets a *huge* line for carry-out and eating in...they'll be so much better off when they get to move down to the end of the strip mall with 4x the space.

                            Neehee's is very, very good.

                            1. re: vtombrown
                              j
                              Jim M May 18, 2010 02:50 PM

                              BTW, there is a Neehee's in Farmington Hills, too -- closer for those in the OC (or the MC). Haven't been, but my friend who went to both likes them equally well.

                              http://www.yelp.com/biz/neehees-india...

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