for good buddy of BOOF, ml's, farewell dinner, a bunch of us set out to Indique. We had originally planned to go to rasika (OMG, one day the review will come YUMMM) but because we had a large party, it was going to be difficult to organize.
we all set out to indique for a nice indian dinner and all of us have a deep love for Indian food (i mean, why wouldn't you) so all of us were a little disappointed about no rasika but still excited for good indian.
indique is located in the very nice neighborhood of cleveland park right by the metro so it is easily accessible. indique also has a newer sister restaurant that opened up in friendship heights, indique heights (makes sense), which features essentially the same menu but they also have the lovely lunch buffet, and who doesn't love an indian buffet? Back to indique. The restaurant has a very nice warm decor with nice reds accenting the interior, hardwood floors, dark brown tables, and subtle lighting, with candelight throughout. the restaurant has big windows which allows for a lot of welcomed natural light.
we were seated on the second floor and the restaurant was busy but not overwhelmingly so. i actually had a livingsocial coupon for $50.00 to the restaurant, so I was not opposed for us choosing this location for dinner.
a few of us were running late but by the time we made it upstairs and were seated, some buddies had already started nomming (yes i did just use that as a verb, not a big deal) on some garlic naan bread which was to be expected. they all said it was delicious, but clearly i had to have some for myself...it is naan bread. i think naan bread is always delicious and this was more of the same. indique has a great deal for a prefix theater menu which is $20.00 and you have your choice of an appetizer, entree and a dessert.
we essentially had some people get one of each option so i'll run through some of what we all nibbled on. many of us chose to have the vegetable samosa for the appetizer which i think was definitely the highlight of the night. it was seasoned well with a fair amount of "heat" but it also had a nice sweet chutney flavored infused in and the presentation was also lovely.
others had the chaat papri which was not a hit of the night. it is a dish that is made of flour crisps, potatoes, chic peas mixed in with yogurt, cilantro and tamarind chutney. According to our expert buddy of the night, ml (he is indian), he said that he things that they overloaded it with yogurt which overpowered the nice flavors of the cilantro and chutney. however, one of the funniest things came out of the dish and that is when BOOF buddy, kku, managed to eat ALL of it to the shock and almost appall of everyone. it was a very pretty presentation though.
for entrees, we had people kind of all over the spectrum. some buddies ordered the saffron malai chicken which is chicken marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic, cream cheese and saffron. buddies who had this dish really enjoyed it and said that it was flavored well, but didn't have much "kick" to it which could have definitely taken the dish to the next "level".
one buddy had the chicken tikka mkhani which is marinated boneless chicken cooked in tandoor finished with a "flavorful" tomato based gravy. unfortuantely, the dish was not as "flavorful" as the description led on, so this buddy wasn't too pleased with the dish and wished that he had ordered something else with more spice and heat to it.
other buddies ordered the lamb nilgiri korma which is lamb cooked in a green masala with cilantro and hot peppers. although there was nothing special about this dish and the flavors were not very complex, most buddies were pleased and liked that the dish did have some flavor and kick.
i ordered the paneer mkhani which was cubes of cheese in a flavorful tomato based gravy. the cubes of cheese were the best part of the dish but there was not too much flavor in the sauce. the dish could have been something really special but instead it fell a little flat.
for desserts we were all pretty split between the rice pudding with pistachio and almonds and the mango ice cream. the rice pudding was decent, nothing special but not awful. the mango ice cream didn't really taste like mango ice cream but whatever it did taste like, it was pretty good.
buddy ml did not order off the pre-theater menu but i do remember him getting the kadai paneer which is cubes of cheese tossed with onions, green peppers and spices. i think he also ordered the baingan bhartha which is tandoor roasted eggplant cooked with onions, tomatoes and spices. he said the dishes were fine but not great and surprisingly enough, he really prefers the other location, indique heights a little bit more.
overall, indique was a decent experience. service was good. location is nice. the food was ok but i don't really think i would come back again unless it were with a coupon. i would not be opposed to trying out the other location, indique heights, but i feel that the restaurant tones down their spices to accommodate for the masses which hinders the possible success of their food.
Things to do: Hit up the zoo.