Friday, February 19, 2010

Haveli



490 Franklin Rd. SE, Marietta, GA http://haveliindiancuisines.com/home.html

Last night my friends Megan and Brian and I had dinner at Haveli. I’ve been meaning to try Haveli for a while. It’s resided in its location just off of South Marietta Pkwy forever. You can’t help but spot the building with its big, bold sign and building that must have formerly an Applebee’s. Due to the long-time success of the restaurant I thought it must have great Indian food, and eagerly awaited my first meal there.

Alas, I must report to you that I found the food below average, bordering on bad.

I ordered the shrimp curry. The curry was too soupy and lacked sufficient flavor. It had a lot of fresh, shredded cilantro, but that was about it. I didn’t even bother to finish it. If an Indian restaurant can’t make a good curry, it might as well close its doors. The garlic naan was small and the garlic itself overpowering. It was $2.75 and pales in comparison to that served at Himalayas on Peachtree Rd. for $2.50. You’ll get at least 25% more bread at Himalayas, and it will taste better.

The worst thing about this is that Haveli isn’t cheap – my shrimp curry was $14.95. Himalayas offers a far superior version for $12.50, and this includes raita, rice, soup and coffee or tea (it’s $9.99 for a la carte). If I could have named a price after tasting the food I would have paid about $4.99 for my shrimp curry, and that’s keeping in mind that shrimp is expensive.

The website for Haveli is great – lots of pictures of the food and a good-looking bar. The reality is a major disappointment. The food is sub-par and the restaurant’s d├ęcor is uninspiring, more American than Indian. The idea should be that you love everything so much that you forget you’re in Marietta, Georgia. There’s no possibility that this will happen at Haveli.

On the flipside, Brian and Megan really enjoyed their dishes, lamb curry and chicken korma. Usually I take any opportunity to taste my companions’ food, but last night I was so discouraged by my own meal that I declined.

The only positive was the service, which was excellent. Our waiter was friendly and very solicitous without being annoying. Brian and Megan brought a coupon, and our waiter gave us credit for it then returned it to us for future use. That would be awesome if the food actually made me want to return.

Verdict: Below average. For great Indian food in Marietta, stick with Vatica on Powers Ferry Rd.

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