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Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe in Chapel Hill now open

bbqme Jul 6, 2010 12:36 PM

I called to confirm. Here's the website & menu:


Looks like a modest menu to start. The BBQ plate is an interesting offering. I see samosa chaat and malai kofta in my near eating future...

  1. b
    brokegradstudent Oct 22, 2010 11:21 AM

    I haven't made it to the store front yet but they are going to be out at Oktoberfest in Saxapahaw this weekend (along with Fullsteam brewery!) and I'm excited to try her food.

    1. s
      sangeetagod Sep 11, 2010 04:09 PM

      We finally made it to Vimala's place. I grew up in India, and always disliked eating at Indian restaurants. To my joy, Vimala's cooking is home style as promised! I agree with aluchaat.
      Homemade Indian food is nothing like what they serve in the Indian restaurants.
      I know where I am going when I have a longing for homemade food.

      1. r
        rafeco Jul 26, 2010 02:16 PM

        The Story interviewed Vimala today.


        1. a
          aluchaat Jul 21, 2010 05:19 PM

          We are thrilled to finally have an Indian place with food that is literally home cooked. Reading some of the criticism here affirms our belief that the so-called Indian restaurants have done a disservice to real Indian cooking. Home cooked Indian meals are nothing like the over-done, cream laced, cloying, stale gravy-filled, mushy dishes that passes for food at most Indian restaurants.

          My wife and I have eaten about 3-4 times at Vimla's and, at every instance, have enjoyed the food and the community feeling. Sure, the samosa could be a tad crispier and the chhole could be a bit more spicier. Actually all one needs to do is to ask her to add a bit of fresh green chillies or, if you prefer, red chilli powder for an extra bite).

          From what we have observed, the food is made fresh every day! Compare that to days (and even weeks) old crap at mainstream restaurants. Also, most of the ingredients are local. This is soul food made by happy, friendly people who enjoy feeding others.

          However, they can use some more variety in the menu and could rotate items daily. Also, Vimlaji, if you are reading this, please serve parathas hot!

          3 Replies
          1. re: aluchaat
            Rory Jul 21, 2010 09:38 PM

            I second everything bbqme said about the food. Indian cooking uses spices such as cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, cardamom; black and green, poppy seeds, etc that aren't the list bit hot but add great flavour.

            had a great time with our fellow 'hound!

            1. re: aluchaat
              bbqme Jul 22, 2010 12:32 PM

              If you are referring to my criticisms you are off-base. I am a Bengali born and raised so I know what real Indian food should taste like. Ms. Vimala needs to trust Triangle diners and flavor her food more boldly, which means more than just adding more chili.

              1. re: aluchaat
                Tom from Raleigh Jul 29, 2010 07:28 AM

                I think aluchaat hit the nail squarely on the head. Had carryout from Vimala's last night. It was great! Everything tasted very fresh. There were a few missteps, that I instantly forgave, based on the newness of their operation and their recent publicity.

                I ordered from the road, so I don't know what we had other than the goat curry, the chole chaat, and the brownies. All were tasty and complex. Vimala asked if I liked it spicy and gave me a container of something hot. Because it was a long day, I didn't analyze the meal, but it really hit the spot. The cardamon in the brownies was subtle which I thought worked well rather than overpowering the other flavors.

                We'll go back soon.

              2. b
                bbqme Jul 15, 2010 07:54 AM

                Had dinner there Tuesday with Rory and her dad. I really wanted to like this place because of Vimala's story and her heart being in the right place with respect to the local farmers and the community. But the food was hit or miss-- sadly, mostly miss. I had the veg thali, adding both the malai kufta and tandoori chicken. I really enjoyed the spinach dish and the cole slaw. The tandoori chicken was good, the chicken breast remained moist. But the other dishes, like the eggplant and the chole (I tried some of Rory's), I kept thinking something was missing...it was...bland. The malai kufta was disappointing; malai means cream-based curry but it tasted vinegary, more like vindaloo kufta, except without the spiciness of vindaloo that makes it interesting. The menu is also very limited.

                I am not writing this place off but I would like to see them expand the menu a little bit and be more bold with their flavoring and spicing (oh Greenleaf how I miss you so!). Perhaps a visit to the Indian food truck in Durham will give them a better idea of how they should spice their food. I did enjoy the freshness of their food. They really differentiate themselves from other Indian joints in this regard.

                7 Replies
                1. re: bbqme
                  burgeoningfoodie Jul 15, 2010 10:55 AM

                  Maybe she is worried about spicing it up in fear of turning others away?

                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                    bbqme Jul 15, 2010 01:34 PM

                    Quite possible, but spicing it up doesn't necesarily mean making things hotter. I'd like her food to have more of a flavor punch.

                  2. re: bbqme
                    LulusMom Jul 16, 2010 12:25 PM

                    How disappointing! Without the spice, what is the point? Hope she hears this criticism and makes changes. Thanks for the review.

                    1. re: bbqme
                      saragirl Jul 16, 2010 01:33 PM

                      I can't agree with you more, bbqme.
                      Dinning there Wednesday and we had Pakoras, Plantains, and Samosa Chole Chaa. Didn't notice we had two fried items, and it turned out fine because their crust was awesome. The sauces (tamarind & cilantro-mint chutney) came with Pakoras was, however, not as distinct as the veggie, super fresh and even kind of juicy. I was more disappointed by the samosa, which was so light-flavored and over-freshing. It made me wonder if I was misled by the previous experience of the fully spiced with hot aftertaste stuffing. The plantains in crust was my favorite of the day, although the sweet yogurt sauce remained mild.
                      I like this place in terms of the story behind and the atmosphere/environment. My partner, unlike me, enjoyed the gentleness of the food. Somehow, I kept thinking about Green Leaf during the meal. I know close to nothing about Indian food but couldn't forget the strong complexity and bombarded balance presented in every dish of Green Leaf. Miss them so much.

                      1. re: saragirl
                        burgeoningfoodie Jul 19, 2010 08:17 AM

                        I was there for their "Grand Opening" It was flavorful, but I also know nothing about Indian cooking. I tried her Cardamom brownie as a dessert but it wasn't anything special. It was a brownie and I tasted no cardamom. I will say it was soft and tasty, but I expected more. I hope with time she'll get the correct proportions of spices and all to recreate her home cooking if she is using larger bowls at the restaurant.

                      2. re: bbqme
                        suepak Jul 26, 2010 01:20 PM

                        Hi bbqme...I'm very curious. What is the "Indian food truck" you refer to in your post? Thanks!

                        1. re: suepak
                          ToothTooth Jul 26, 2010 07:22 PM

                          The real name of the "indian food truck" is "Indian Food on Wheels":



                      3. s
                        splendidmike Jul 9, 2010 09:32 AM

                        We had the Vegetarian Thali and Samosa Chole Chaat. Really unbelievably good - lived up to the considerable hype around Vimila. Will definitely go again. The flavors were very crisp, fresh, and distinctive, unlike most Indian I've had before.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: splendidmike
                          Rory Jul 9, 2010 11:44 AM

                          Bbqme; tues, 6:30 works for me and my Dad!

                          1. re: Rory
                            bbqme Jul 10, 2010 07:05 PM

                            See y'all there Tuesday!

                            1. re: bbqme
                              LulusMom Jul 11, 2010 01:55 PM

                              Wish I was able to come. Husband (aka LulusDad) only just home from a week away, and I kind of feel like we need to have some family dinners. Please report on everything! Sorry I'll miss you all (hi Rory!).

                          2. re: splendidmike
                            alexig Jul 9, 2010 12:16 PM

                            We were there on Wednesday evening. It was lovely.I agree that the flavors were fresh and distinctive. I had a chole roti roll and my husband had the Vegetarian Thali, both excellent. Sitting outside was a bonus. Highly recommended. Can't wait to go back.

                            1. re: alexig
                              Rory Jul 11, 2010 01:23 PM

                              those were the 2 items I'm really keen on trying so, thanks for the reports See everyone Tuesday!

                              1. re: Rory
                                Rory Jul 14, 2010 03:58 PM


                          3. b
                            burgeoningfoodie Jul 7, 2010 11:19 AM

                            The official Grand Opening is this Saturday.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                              Rory Jul 7, 2010 12:01 PM

                              I'm a chapel hill-ite too;
                              so let's make a day:) Tuesday/ Wednesday dinner? I'm now actively dying for some roti

                              1. re: Rory
                                bbqme Jul 9, 2010 07:47 AM

                                How about 6:30 next Tuesday?

                                1. re: bbqme
                                  burgeoningfoodie Jul 9, 2010 12:47 PM

                                  sounds good but best do this off of the forum.

                            2. romansperson Jul 7, 2010 10:31 AM

                              The BBQ plate is genius; I could use that as bait to get my husband to come with me - otherwise I'd have a hard time convincing him to try this place. :)

                              1. b
                                burgeoningfoodie Jul 6, 2010 01:26 PM

                                It's been open for about a week or so as far as I know, but I haven't been yet.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                  Rory Jul 6, 2010 02:57 PM

                                  I love roti; anyone want to go together?

                                  1. re: Rory
                                    bbqme Jul 6, 2010 07:50 PM

                                    I do! I live in Chapel Hill and am around all week so any day except Saturday (son's birthday) works for me.

                                    1. re: bbqme
                                      burgeoningfoodie Jul 7, 2010 05:53 AM

                                      I'll join but I'm going to go for small and not too spicy... gotta watch my manly figure.

                                    2. re: Rory
                                      LulusMom Jul 7, 2010 06:12 AM

                                      I'd love to join, if possible.

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