So, as many of you know I was in Cleveland this past week for work. Unfortunately, looking at my calendar and seeing a visit to Cleveland elicits about the same level of excitement as making a visit to my Dentist but thus rent was due so I persevered. Weather wise, this was the ideal time to be there after all!
Now, normally Cleveland is more known for it’s rust, condemned buildings and Johnny someone than it’s cuisine, but this week turned into an unexpected surprise. For starters, I tried pizza with sunny side up eggs and bacon on top. Which if you’re wondering was absolutely scrumptious. I also had the pleasure of stumbling upon Cuisine of India though and will make it a point to always visit this location when work takes me back to Cleveland.
I ended up finding this place through Yelp. I searched the entire metropolis of Cleveland for Indian food and sorted by rating. The first couple of places that appeared in the list were Southern Indian food which is normally a bit too bland for my taste. I had tried another Indian restaurant earlier in the week and… let’s just say I won’t be writing a post about it. Thus, on my last night in the city before flying back to Vegas I thought I would throw the dice one last time to see if crapped out or my luck was turning.
Right as I pulled into the parking lot, I knew this place was going to be a hit. It literally sits next door to an Indian Grocery store. You know there’s going to be quality and fresh ingredients when all it takes is 10 steps to get them! I don’t know much about Cleveland geography, but it appeared to be in the more cultural district of Cleveland given the businesses and venues in close proximity. I did not know I was going to be in for such a treat!
Let’s start with the decor — perfect. It’s a nice fusion between traditional casual Indian dining and upscale modern. The room is open, with vibrant colors and has a bar and lounge section. On Sundays, they even have a Champagne Brunch! Bollywood is almost always on TV giving the restaurant a very authentic sound and vibe.
At first glance at the menu I was immediately impressed. The range of starters was absolutely exceptional. They also did a wonderful job of carrying the casual Indian modern fusion ‘theme’ throughout their dishes which is very apparent in their plating. As you can see in the picture above, great care is taken in not only the recipes and flavor but also the presentation. To me, flavor is the most important but it was quite a breath of fresh air to have something that looked as delicious as it tasted.
They have quite an impressive soup array:
- Shorba é Dhania Mirch – Clear, mildly spiced soup simmered with fresh cilantro, lemon juice and green chopped Chilis
- Indo-Chinese Style Hot & Sour Soup
- Tomato Soup – Oddly enough a crowd favorite
One of the interesting things about this place is how they serve the papadom. South Texans would feel right as home. Essentially instead of serving it to you in the tradition folded over style they have taken larger pieces and broken it up into ‘chips’ in a basket. This is served with Tamarind chutney giving it a chips and salsa esque feel.
It was then that I noticed something I had never tried before but immediately excited my taste buds.
Mirchi Pakora. Seriously — Where have you been all of my life? This was absolute perfection. This is a spicy appetizer that starts with large fresh banana peppers. They then stuff these with spicy mashed potatoes and peppers for flavor. This is then lightly deep fried for texture, but is served soft. This dish is accompanied by both tamarind and green chutneys. I cannot explain how amazing this dish was.
For dinner I ended open ordering one of my favorite dishes – Chicken Korma! As you can see from the plating above, the presentation was wonderful. They do an interesting spin on what I consider traditional Korma and make it with a special in-house coconut based sauce. They then top it with shaved almonds for texture. Normally, I am not a huge fan of coconut but I have to say this worked out quite well. I ordered mine ‘Indian Spicy’ because I love to feel my food and I’d have to say the dish turned out quite well. It was a nice balance of fresh ingredients, bold flavors, with just the right amount of heat. The Garlic naan was absolutely everything you could want in naan as well. It was the right thickness, and flavor profile and went perfect with the Korma!
I must say, I really enjoy this establishment. It’s a family owned business and you can tell that they’re passionate about what they do and this percolates into each dish they prepare. In the middle of dinner the owner came over to me and we had a nice chat about her cuisine and Indian food as a whole. She joked a bit about how spicy I like my food and says she likes the same. The Mirchi Pakora is also her favorite starter on the menu which makes sense given how good it was! The owner(s) along with the wait staff could not be more of a courteous group and I am oddly enough looking forward to my next visit here.
If your travels ever take you to Cleveland, Ohio, please do yourself a favor and check out Cuisine of India!
6857 W 130th Street
Parma Heights, OH 44130
T: (440) 842-5907
Lunch Buffet: Tue – Fri 11:30am – 2:30pm
Weekend Brunch: Sat – Sun 12:00pm – 3:45pm
Dinner: Mon – Sun 5:00pm – 10:00pm