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Aug 19, 2010 09:52 AM

New Indian Restaurant South Asheville?

This afternoon while driving on Hwy 25 in South Asheville, I noticed a new Indian restaurant is opening in Gerber Village, a couple doors up from Five Guys. Does anyone know anything about it?


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  1. my friend peeked into the window this afternoon and guessed it looked like they were still a month or so away from completion. She took a pic of the outside too, which I'll attach (doesn't show too much).

    8 Replies
      1. re: Scirocco

        It is opening soon. The owners also own India Garden on Tunnel. I recently ate at both Mela and Indian Garden and I really liked the food at Indian Garden better. I ordered Lamb Saag in both places and their was no comparison same was true for the Garlic Naan and the soups. My husband ordered Tandoori Chicken in both and they were comparable. India Garden is very consistent anf authentic. I hope that Cinnamon Girl in South Asheville will be as good. Being a transplant from San Francisco where their are Indian Restaurants everywhere I am a bit critical. I must admit I like the atmosphere of Mela and the downtown location , I wish the food was a bit better. I have not tried Kathmendu yet. Does anyone have a thought on it. I love Chai Pani for quick and casual Indian Street. food.

        1. re: rkerr

          I still haven't tried Chai Pani. I'm always indimidated by Indian menus because they are unfamiliar, and so much seems to be fried. What can you recommend that is good, but is not fried?

          1. re: danna

            Eeek! I hate hearing bad things about is hands-down one of our favorites in town,ethnic or otherwise. Their Tikka Masala is to die for and the fish curry is amazing. Oh, and the shrimp in the coconut sauce....yum! I think their rice is cooked to perfection and I have never had anything there that wasn't bursting with flavor and top notch.

            We went to the lunch buffet at Kathmandu and thought it was very good. Lots of flavor, albiet a tad on the greasy side. Also, not a lot of ambiance, at least not at lunch on a weekend. It is not Indian, but rather Himilayian...althought the flavors and ingredients were similar.

            Danna, we ordered Chai Pani from Blue Ridge to Go one time and thought it was only OK. And at the time (granted it was a while ago) it seemed like almost everything on their menu was fried! Much more so than Mela.

            1. re: miss piggy

              I agree with Miss Piggy. I haven't tried Indian Garden, but Mela is definitely superior to the other Indian places I've tried. (Better cocktails, too.)

              1. re: Jeff C.

                I also love Mela and wish we had as good an Indian restaurant here in So. Florida. Can't wait to get back next week and indulge!

            2. re: danna

              You are right that a lot of Chai Pani's menu is fried (and not my thing), but I had one of their specials a non-vegetarian Thali: boneless chicken in a coconut curry, with rice, daal, flatbread, popadum, raita, chickpea salad and a sweet dessert and it was REALLY good. Nothing fried. will attach a pic (my friend does a food blog, so I end up with a lot of pictures of what I've eaten!!).

              I absolutely love Indian food and it is a myth that it's all hot (there are some - don't order Vindaloo!), but most just has a bunch of flavor. Treat it like Chinese - go with friends, order a bunch of stuff and pass it around. Or go to a lunch buffet. I know. but in this case it's helpful to figure out what you like.

              I like India Garden and Mela a lot. totally different atmospheres though. IG is white tablecloths and more "date night". Mela is more casual and a ton more "urban" and energetic. Chai Pani is totally differen from the other two. It is meant to mimic street food - hence all the fried "portable" stuff. Mela and IG aren't like that.

            3. re: rkerr

              I love Kathmandu for lunch and Mela for dinner. I think Chai Pani is not good. (been there twice.) India Garden has been ok for me but never have ordered off the menu - just buffet. I'll try them for dinner next time...

              India Garden Restaurant
              156 S Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC 28805

          2. Has anyone been to Cinnamon yet? Any updates?

            6 Replies
            1. re: jbaucom75

              Just got back from lunch at Cinnamon Kitchen and thought the food was excellent. I'm not going to make comparisons with Mela because they are both very good. But am very happy to have CK in my own back yard. My daughter ordered the Sabji Korma, vegetables cooked with cashew cream sauce. The sauce a great cashew flavor which often gets masked by other flavors in many sauces. The portion was very large and included a bowl of basmati rice seasoned with a seed, think it was cumin, but was very subtle. and peas. It also came with four vegetable fritters. The batter was a little on the heavy side but they were very tasty. I had the Bangan Bed Chicken. Breaded eggplant topped with sauteed chicken breast on tomatoes, eggplant chutney and caralmelized onions on a bed of vegetables and rice. It was fabulous, the chicken breast nice and moist the only thing I would change would be to lose the skin on the breaded eggplant since I'm not a big fan of it. The meal came with Naan and mango chutney. The chutney was pretty bland and I wouldn't of known there was mango in it unless you told me but the Naan. Light, airy, bubbly, with a light coating of ghee on top was nirvana. Evidently it's cooked in authentic clay ovens.The service needs to be ironed out a little. It wasn't busy when we were there and it wasn't bad but wasn't great either. Probably would do good to train the waitstaff on the food, But all in all a keeper. They also offer take out. I'm going to talk this place up. It's great to see some quality restaurants coming to South Asheville

              1. re: catsailor

                Sounds promising... And I just read where Chai Pani has received the New York Times seal of approval. Now, if we could just get a decent Vietnamese (or Ethiopian) place!

              2. re: jbaucom75

                a website is next on the agenda, but in the mean time know that they have everything on their menu a traditional Indian Restaurant has for sure.
                I have gone twice now to Cinnamon Kitchen this past week. I have ordered to go- food since I live a mile away and prefer to eat at home. The first night it was impeccable Chicken Korma…
                Tonight I ordered an appetizer of Vegetable Samosas, Chicken Saag, and Nan.. This came with delicious chutneys, two , very spicy. Their is food for the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians..
                Everything was cooked to perfection, the chicken, tender and tasty, the spinach mixture perfectly spiced and so creamy and delicious too. The vegetable samosas were cooked to perfection, crisp on the outside and full of vegs… The Nan was excellent. There is a tandoor oven on the premises. Tandoori chicken is on the menu.. there are several desserts to choose from. The atmosphere is quiet and comfortable, the decor is lovely, all brand newly designed and furnished and it would be a great place to go with friends or family anytime for a wonderful dinner..

                I am so glad there is a much needed Indian restaurant now once again in South Asheville. It is as good as anywhere in this town, certainly as good as Mela or India Garden, who are also the owners. And the servings sizes are generous. There is enough for me to make another meal for which I am very grateful. And this is exactly what I was able to do the last time I ordered there.
                So if you are close to the Biltmore area, South Asheville,Fairview, Arden, Fletcher or even Hendersonville or anywhere in the vicinity and you like indian food or would like to try it, there is an excellent place now in Gerber Village, right next to Hendersonville Road..
                Debra Reece Simons

                India Garden Restaurant
                156 S Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC 28805

                1. re: debrasimons

                  Thanks for the reports everyone! Looking forward to trying it out!

                  1. re: jbaucom75

                    Finally had a chance to try Chai Pani Saturday night, and I liked it. If I had out of town company I was trying to impress, I'd still go with Mela (which also has a full bar). But for cheaper, slightly faster Indian, Chai Pani is a solid bet.

                2. re: jbaucom75

                  I've been to Cinnamon Kitchen twice now and the food has been great both times. The naan is better than great. Best Indian food I've ever had in Asheville or anywhere else.

                3. Cinnamon Kitchen now has a Facebook page:


                  Also, a website (still under construction, but menus are up!):

                  1. My husband and I finally got around to trying Cinnamon Kitchen last night and really enjoyed it. I had a BOGO from the WNC Insider card (note: you NEED the paper coupon, not just the punch card) plus $20 left on a generic gift card, so that made it very appealing! :)

                    The atmosphere is nice, a "warm casual", although I wish they would separate the bar a little bit more. pretty bar and way in the back, but I don't really need the two flat screens in full view. Too sports-bar-ish. Although they did have them on mute, which was good. Service was good. The food came out quickly. We didn't have any drinks, so can't comment on those. I did briefly look at the wine by the glass choices and they seemed a bit limited. And overpriced for the overall price point of the restaurant.

                    Anyway, the food. Plenty of traditional Indian choices. My husband got the Chicken Hara Bhara - Chicken breast with fresh spinach, cream, ginger, tomatoes and herbs - $15.95. I got the Lamb Rogan Josh - lamb with tomato, ginger, caramelized onions with garam masala - $16.95 A lot of sauce, which I like. I got mine spiced medium and it was perfect for me. A noticeable kick without blowing your head off.

                    We certainly didn't need it, but because we love Indian breads, we added a bread basket ($6.95) - the bread was wonderful! We took most of it home which was the plan all along. The entrees came with basmati rice and oddly, a bowl of salad with no dressing. ???? We even asked if it was a mistake (like they thought we ordered a side salad). It was a nice little green salad, but just out of place. Since there was no dressing on it, we took that home too - untouched. And we took home half of our entrees. So, VERY generous portions. They give you some papad with two sauces to start, both good. Oh, and I got my favorite dessert - gulab jamun ($3.95). like little Dunkin' Munchkins in a sweet cinnamon (in this case) syrup. I thought I heard the server telling the next table the they have Thali, but it's not on the menu. Good to know.

                    I think it's right up there with both India Garden and Mela. I'm not Indian food expert, so can't vouch for authenticity, but we both agreed it was very good and would absolutely go back.