A picture of Annapurna Devi, the Hindu goddess of nourishment, hangs at the hostess station to greet diners, and Buddha oversees the dining room, in the form of a giant wall mural at 70-seat Spice Kitchen.
Though typical to most Indian restaurants, don’t expect buffet lunch offerings. “Buffet lunch food is made in the mornings and loses flavor sitting around all day, being heated and reheated,” says Suresh Chandra, who helps daughter and owner Shalini Sharma run the restaurant.
Do expect a la carte plates of North Indian fare, characterized by dairy-based gravies and dairy products, including paneer (an unaged curd cheese) and yogurt, plus lentils, chilies, saffron, and nuts. Dishes cooked in a tandoor (cylindrical clay oven) are also common to this cuisine.
Appetizers to sample include deep-fried eggplant with tamarind chutney, served in a crisp lettuce wrap and an Indian-Chinese hybrid veggie stir-fry in a sauce of chili paste, soy sauce, onion, and ginger.
Among the mains, tandoori salmon (marinated in cinnamon and black pepper), tandoori lamb (marinated in a yogurt-spice blend), and the classic chicken tikka are good bets.
For dessert, the orange kulfi is innovatively presented in a segmented orange.
Spice Kitchen grinds its own spices, which “helps us achieve just the right proportion of spice to put in our marinades that our proteins soak in overnight,” says Chandra.
For newbies to this cuisine, there’s a helpful pie chart on the menu with descriptions of eight sauces, including madras (coconut and red chili) and kadhai (pepper and onion), that pair with a choice of protein or vegetable.
This is the sister restaurant (or perhaps distant cousin is more apropos) to the original in Lansdale, PA.
Indian restaurants are not usually known for variety or creativity of desserts, but Spice Kitchen breaks that tendency with the orange kulfi, an orange ice cream made and presented in a sectioned orange.
122 Mamaroneck Ave