Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Niramish



1138 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA www.niramish.com

On Friday night Heidi and I had dinner at Nirimish Indian restaurant in Little Five Points.

We started with an order of samosas. These were the best part of the meal. They were fried up crisp, with a wonderful mix of vegetables (primarily potato) inside. Two big pieces for $3.49. Not the cheapest samosas in town, but very good and just the right amount for 2 diners.

Next we ordered the naan. I love naan's billowy shape and light deliciousness, but this naan was mediocre, almost bland. Nowhere nearly as good as what's served at Himalayas on Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Same for the rice.

For my entree, I had the balti bindhir johl (#41 - $10.99), a dish I've never tried before. According to the menu, balti is cooked with the chef's "secret" recipe of yogurt, coriander, gorom (garam) masala, tomatoes, onion, green chili and cilantro. (Not much of a secret when they tell you exactly what's comprises it, but whatever.) The bindhir johl contains okra, but you can get different versions with other vegetables. This was supposed to be moderately spicy, but I would say it's pretty hot. I had to request a small cup of raita to cool it down, and I usually like moderately spiced food. Unfortunately the raita deadened the flavor. On the bright side, the okra and thinly sliced onions were cooked appropriately, no vegetables were mushy.

Heidi ordered the chicken passanda (#87 - $11.99), but we don't think this is what the waiter brought out. For one thing, chicken passanda is listed on the menu as containing pineapple. We couldn't detect any pineapple in this dish. For another thing, it doesn't list coconut milk as an ingredient, but it was the predominant flavor in this mild dish. Whatever it was, it was okay, better than my entree but too heavy on the coconut (and I usually like coconut). Reviewing the menu as posted on the website, I can't tell what Heidi actually ate. Maybe the chicken ceylon, which has shredded coconut? But no, that dish is "mildly hot spicy," and what Heidi had wasn't.

Guess it will have to remain a mystery.

The menu is large, so there are lots of options, including many vegetarian choices. There's tandoori of course, along with dosas, makhni, tikkas, vindaloo and curries. Lots of lamb specialties, if you're so inclined.

So nothing was wrong with the food or service, but nothing was excellent either. The meal was fine, but I don't have any desire to return and try more dishes, or re-order the ones I ate on Friday.

Verdict: Average.

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