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About Nanther

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    jumbo shrimp
  • Birthday 09/26/1968

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    Dupont Circle by day, Van Ness by Night

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  1. Oh, maybe they might be going to 18th St. This location is around the corner from my office, so I'm hopeful…. :-) Mar 14, 2016 - "Eritrean Cultural Center Planning New Eatery in Dupont" by Tim Regan on borderstan.com Either way, would be great to see them reopen soon.
  2. Just got word Indian Ocean has closed. It was great neighborhood hangout, and in my opinion, one of the best Indian restaurants in the city. The owner is fine, and managed to sell the place on short order to someone who wants to open a Caribbean restaurant. As much as I'll miss Indian Ocean (you have no idea how much!), I am intrigued to have some island cuisine in my neighborhood.
  3. Not quite germane to the immediate thread, but there's also a Penang in Gaithersburg at the Rio, but it's a dualie with Tandoori Nights. I will miss the downtown location since it was might close to work, but definitely agree that the Bethesda location is most "down home" for this displaced Malaysian. :-)
  4. I second Madras Palace for a good dosai, and decent South Indian in general. Sadly with Amma in Georgetown closing (or, more specifcially, re-fooding), there isn't a decent dosai choice in DC proper. However, technically, Langely Park is in PG Country.
  5. Raj at Indian Ocean tells me they're still accepting reservations for New Year's Eve. He's added some new items to the menu just for the evening! I'm trying to get him to make them permanent additions. I did persuade him to give me a copy of the menu for the evening (see attached). My wife and I definitely plan to make an evening of it. Hope to see some DR folks there as well! Indian Ocean 4221 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20008 (202) 362-4444 I'm just a customer...honest! Nanther Indian_Ocean_NYE_Menu_2009.pdf
  6. I knew I should have fully checked the website before I sent the link! Apologies. I'm currently at work, and don't have a copy of the takeout menu. I'll try and post some solid examples later today. However I'm a big fan of seafood, in general, and to find an Indian restaurant serving such a large variety of it, is extremely gratifying. Most places do offer Goan-style curries with shrimp or salmon, but Ocean goes a fair bit further. Dishes like tandoori lobster, fish dishes (both tandoori and curry preparations) using something other than salmon (Alaskan halibut, for example), and seafood curries with lobster, scallops, squid and shrimp (in one dish!). I had a soft-shell crab dish last night that I loved. Now, you have to understand...growing up in Singapore, I considered soft-shell crab...wimpy. My mother used to prepare an amazing curry with whole blue crab (if memory serves) that I attacked every time she made it. No mallets used...that's what teeth are for! Add to that South Indian style fish curries, deep-fried curried fish, and chilli tiger shrimp and you would understand why I had given up on finding good Indian-style seafood preparations. Granted, North Indian cuisine is quite different from South Indian cuisine, but gosh...I'll take what I can get. For those who aren't keen on seafood, my current fave is their green chilli chicken. It's not terribly spicy (well, if you can handle a vindaloo or Madras curry, you'll be fine) but it's got great flavor with a nice bite. They also have an amazing smoked tomato soup. The tomatoes are smoked inhouse with cinnamon. A lot of the condiments are homemade - the spicy lemon and sweet mango pickles - as are the desserts, like the pistachio ice cream or the mango, strawberry or banana sorbet (try the milaps, any one of them!). Great...now I'm really hungry.... Nanther
  7. Sorry to hear your experience wasn't what you expected and I'm really glad that you'll be giving it another try in a few months. We haven't been to the buffet yet but have been there to dinner at least once a week since they opened, and have had amazing experiences every visit. They've been having been working on getting things in order post opening. As the cuisine is not typical of most Indian joints, Raj has had to get the staff used to the menu items. Sure they have some of the expected fare, but it's the stuff that isn't expected that will make any visit to Indian Ocean memorable. Not, I'm not a compensated endorser, but I honestly believe that this place, given the fullness of time will become a dining destination the likes of Indique, or Heritage. I think its time is almost here. The diners might have been sparse (but we've never seen it empty) the last few weeks, but last night, it was packed...with large groups - not the usual, pairs of diners one typically sees Friday nights. It probably helped that they finally launched their full menu yesterday. For those who do venture here, make sure you speak to Raj if he's in. His passion for what he does, and for the food, is palpable. He will be more than happy to recommend dishes along with appropriate wine pairings. Their website is still being worked on but you can access it here http://www.indianoceandc.com/. Nanther
  8. Sorry, if it's not too late and this hasn't happened yet...I'm in! Nanther
  9. Thank you, and you're quite welcome! They are indeed open for lunch, and apparently they have been getting a good sized lunch crowd. Bon Appetit! Nanther
  10. We came, we saw, we ate...and we liked it! The full menu won't be available until later this week at the grand opening, but they had a fair bit available to gauge with. Other than having a large selection of seafood dishes, we were told there's an ambition to cook with less sugar and oil than one normally expects for Indian fare. This was definitely apparent in the dishes we had. My baseline was appetizers of samosas and vegetable pakora. Both were not greasy, as you tend to find in some other places, which helped make it a great start to the meal. The Wife ordered the Vegatarian Platter for her entree and I ordered the Seafood Platter. It's apparent that Indian Ocean is positioning itself beside Indique (down the street, as it were) rather than Delhi Dhaba (up the street). So presentation took a bit of a precedence to portion, I would say. The Wife's Vegetarian Platter consisted of two vegetable dishes and rice and my Seafood Platter comprised a salmon fillet, two shrimp and a solitary scallop (which wasn't mentioned in the menu, so I'll take the bonus!). Not complaining, just observing, as I have been spoiled by larger portions at other places that were more like eateries than restaurants. However like the appetizers, the entrees were tasty and comfortably filling without the greasy afterglow. This is definitely difficult to accomplish with dishes like saag paneer or mung bean curry and salmon fillet done tandoori style. I say "tandoori style" because most other places really don't have a tandoor so their tandoori dishes are basically meats or veggies slathered with "tandoori seasoning" and stuck on a grill or baked. This nicely seals in the oil and fat, if any, which makes for a scary au jus presentation when served. Not at Indian Ocean, as far as we can tell. We shared a kheer for dessert, which seemed like a larger than usual portion, and I'm definitely not complaining there! And no, I'm not portion obsessed...OK, maybe just a little. All in, it was an enjoyable meal, well presented and in a very cosy setting, with friendly managers (didn't find out if they were the actual owners!) and wait staff (maybe it was because we knew the wait staff from ther time at the Van Ness Dehli Dhaba), and we're definitely going back this weekend for the grand opening, to give the kitchen a proper test, if nothing else! Nanther
  11. OK, it's really open now...like, for sure.... The wife and I plan on checking it out tonight. Will post impressions after the food has been ingested.
  12. It is me, or has their Suicide Curry gotten a lot less...suicidal...of late? I remember it being a lot more punchy. Nanther
  13. Understood, and quite the opposite actually. Despite the heavily-residential populations of both neighborhoods, Van Ness has always been, and probably will continue to be, Cleveland Park's lesser-known cousin. It doesn't help that Van Ness, with UDC, the Intelstat building and all the embassies, also has a huge M-F, 9-5, working culture. That's why we've got four sandwich shops within a block or two of each other, a cafeteria-style joint and a Taco Bell/KFC Frankenstein (a guilty pleasure, I'll admit). Bottom line, Cleveland Park is a dining destination and Van Ness isn't (might be soon, but not now). I do agree that Van Ness needs restaurants, but I'd rather have something more unique to the neighborhoods like West African, Moroccan, or Malaysian (sorry, got to pitch the home cuisine! ). Personally, it doesn't look like there's a lot more space for restaurants in Van Ness, although I would love a decent coffee shop/diner that stayed open on weekends and one less sandwich shop. BTW, I'm not sure when the last time was you hit up Delhi Dhaba, but they have a new main cook now (came from ex-Mr. Everest on 18th St.). Their weekend lunch buffets have been good, although the quality of vegetable dishes do tend to vary. ON regular days, I've had good luck with their channa, salmon tikka and goat curry or biryani. Haven't tried everything on the menu, but like Shanghai Garden, it's become more like a "Cheers" for me, than an actual dining venue, although I'm quite happy with the food most of the time. Nanther
  14. Thanks! It's nice to hear. I'll be honest. I've had food from two out of the three establishments, and that too, it was takeout from Little India and a dine-in dhosai at A Taste of India. I was a little underwhelmed with both. Not that my standards are particularly high, and I have been in this country long enough to know most ethnic restaurants that aren't in a "native" neighborhood have the double challenge of keeping food tasting authentic and a full dining room. But even then, the dhosai was crispy and soft in all the wrong places, and the sambar and coconut chutney were watery. Little India didn't fare much better, but everyone's mileage varies. Heh. I haven't been to Rajiji yet, but I've been amazed that all three restaurants in such close proximity have lasted so long. Maybe they're all owned by the same person. Nanther
  15. Kinda, sorta. South Indian cuisine does tend to be spicier, mainly because of spice mix (and chillis) used. North Indian curries tend to be creamier as most recipies call for yoghurt while coconut milk is used in the South. As for seafood, all coastal regions, North or South have their own takes, but by far Goa and the Kerala region, on the south western coast have more notariety as to "from the sea" aspect of the cuisine. Honestly, I don't think the Van Ness neighborhood needs another Indian restaurant, unless the fare is vastly different from what the others offer (Dehli Dhaba, Indique in CP, and the three that are in WP). But like everyone else, I'm waiting and seeing. Nanther
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