Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Indique, DC

Indique, a name formed by merging Indian and unique, used to be my favorite Indian restaurant in DC, that is, until Rasika came to town. Now, I like to go to Indique here and there for what I consider to be pretty good, modern Indian food, though not quite as good as Rasika. Nestled in the forgotten neighborhood of Cleveland Park, this restaurant isn't as busy as it used to be. Zach and I went there early on a Sunday night and it was pretty empty. We were seated on the second floor of the two-story restaurant, which is always my preference as I like the ambiance upstairs.

The same three chutneys were on the table -- the same as they'd been for years and the menu had all of the same items on it that I remembered from years ago.

Before we ordered, I asked the waitress many questions about the dishes and although she was not knowledgeable about the vegan items, she was eager to assist. She spoke to the chef and then told me which items were vegan -- there are many from which to choose.  We started off by ordering drinks and appetizers. I ordered a mangotini and Zach ordered a tea. The mangotini was disappointing. The mango juice was thick and pulpy and wasn't mixed well with the vodka and Chambord.

As soon as we placed orders for our entrees, the appetizers arrived. We got the Mini Oothapam, which is a savory pancake made with ground lentils and rice that was paired with four chutneys -- two coconut, a cranberry, and a tomato-based one.

The other appetizer we ordered was the Aloo Tikki, which are potato patties stuffed with spiced peas served with assorted chutneys. Both appetizers were very tasty.

For my entree, I ordered the Vegetable Jahlfrezi, an old-time favorite. I think my biggest mistake was not ordering it spicy because when I tasted it, it just didn't have as much spice as I remember. This dish is a medley of vegetables including green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and peas. The sauce was good, but very oily and, as I mentioned, not spicy enough. The tomato chutney that was on the table, however, was very spicy and paired well with my sauce so I used it to boost up the spice. My dish also came with Dal, which tasted a bit bland.

I also had a Roti, which was fine.

Zach and I had eaten at Indique about a year ago and loved it, but weren't wow'd this time. Don't get me wrong -- the food was still good, but needed more of a kick. There was something missing this time. It makes me wonder if they got a new chef. In any case, the entrees are reasonably priced at about $12 each and the appetizers at about $6 each so it is much cheaper than Rasika. The service is good and the ambiance is calming, but they definitely need to spruce up their entrees. They also need to step it up on the drink menu. With so much competition in DC, I think Indique needs a makeover -- perhaps a new website and a new menu would help draw in the customers. I'm going to give it another year or so before returning to this restaurant.  We'll see if they improve upon anything in the meantime.

3512 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-6600

Indique on Urbanspoon

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