Spice of Life | By Bhairavi Bhatt
11/01/2010 10:00AM ● Published by Anonymous
The growing demand here for Indian cuisine has opened doors for Southeast Asia restaurants like Shalimar, Marquis Bistro at Doubletree and the well-established Bombay Bistro. Spice blends are at the heart of Indian cuisine. Many were created centuries ago, perfected over the decades and passed down from generation to generation. In fact, the very phrase “Indian food” tends to conjure exotic aromas and the euphoric taste of the spices, but unbeknownst to many, the blends are actually specific to the regions of India and each region has its own favorites.
Shalimar: Shalimar, the newest player on Fayetteville’s Southeast Asian restaurant scene, is rapidly gaining popularity with locals. The menu favors the flavors of northern India, with dishes like malai chicken kebab and lamb rogan josh. However, Chef Luke Rosario has also created blends of spices that are unique to Shalimar and adopted flavors originally celebrated by the Mughal Kings of ancient India. Naans, the delicious flatbreads typically served with Indian meals, at Shalimar are baked in an authentic tandoor clay oven, which gives the breads and the other tandoori items their distinctive earthly flavor. Shalimar | 3401 Raeford Rd. | 910.433.4351
Bombay Bistro: That the menu at Bombay Bistro draws heavily on foods favored in Bombay should not be a surprise. It’s right there in the restaurant’s name, after all. Bombay Bistro has been successful in serving typical hearty items such as samosas, palak paneer and paneer makhani. Buffets at Bombay Bistro are an event in themselves, as they offer an array of items and showcase a variety of spice blends. The cozy decor of the restaurant, with its walls of Indian artwork, provide a perfect backdrop for the filling and flavorful food. Bombay Bistro | 5945 CliffdaleRd | 910.487.0020
Marquis Bistro at the Doubletree Hotel: People are often surprised to learn that delicious and authentic Indian food can be found inside the Doubletree Hotel on Cedar Creek Road. The hotel’s restaurant, the Marquis Bistro, has a menu of more expected foods like sandwiches and pastas, but with several delightful Indian surprises added to the mix. The Marquis Bistro’s head chef of Indian Cuisine, Sabrata Bag, hails from India, and the food’s preparation and tastes reflect that. By eating the food there, diners are instantly transported to the busy streets of ancient Delhi where these dishes, like chicken curry, biryani and more, were born. Marquis Bistro | 1965 Cedar Creek Rd. | 910.323.8282