Tumeric Indian Restaurant - Vienna
The latest effort from the Aditi folks in that strip along Maple Ave (Rt 123) at the end of Beulah Road has been open for about a month, and I had an opportunity to go there with my picky eater friends Sunday evening. In the past, there's been Aditi which always had pretty good food but is now a market, then Aditi Bistro, a fast food (wraps) Indian restaurant which closed several months ago. Now there's Tumeric. Oddly, each of the three restaurant efforts have been in different places in the strip. As I recall, the latest one was formerly the Indian video and CD shop.
Anyway, the new place is the prettiest of the lot. They put a lot of money and labor into it. It's fairly small, a couple of dozen tables with a bar at the back. The menu (it's still the "soft opening" menu) has most of the standard dishes - tandooris, byrianis, kabobs, and curries. There seemed to be more shrimp and salmon dishes than I usually see on an Indian menu. There were a couple of variety platters (there's a name for that which I don't remember but you will), a fairly short list of apetizers and breads.
We started out with a pakkora assortment. The menu description wasn't the usual vegetables, but rather chicken strips, onion rings, and shrimp. Since two of us don't eat shrimp, we asked to substitute some extra vegetables. It was OK, but we've had better. It was a little greasy and the onions and chicken were too salty. The extra vegetables were a few pieces of potato cut like thick cut French fries and battered like the chicken and onions.
The real food and breads, however, were excellent. I had a dish new to me described as Pepper Chicken, a dark red stew with chunks of very tender chicken, possibly marinated in yogurt, with a complex blend of spices that gave that "taste in layers" that's often used to describe Indian food. The Picky Eaters each had what they always have when we eat Indian - she butter chicken and he lamb vindaloo. The vindaloo was, I thought, really well balanced, not as much vinegar as we've had in other restaurants.
It was refreshing to visit an Indian restaurant that doesn't seem to be shy about spicing, nor do they make a big deal of it. None of the one, two, or three chili pepper icons on the menu, and we weren't asked how spicy we wanted our food. Nothing was bland here, we didn't wish we had asked for "spicy" but we weren't dying from the heat either. If this is how they like it, that's how I like it.
When we arrived around 6:30, there was only one other party dining, and a couple of people waiting at the bar for take-out. By the time we had finished our dinner, there were three more tables filled and I saw a couple more take-out orders leaving, but the sure weren't very busy. It did seem, though, that two of the other parties seemed to know the hostess, perhaps from previous iterations. We didn't see any Indians dining there as we often see at Jaipur in Fairfax. Maybe they'll catch on.
Most of the entrees were in the $13-$15 range and portions were generous. The variety platters were $17-$18. Most breads are $2-$2.50. We're not drinkers but I noticed Taj beer on a couple of tables.
I don't think it has "destination" status, but if you live in the neighborhood, it's worth a visit. Try something other than pakkora as an appetizer though. Or do, and tell me that it's better than ours.