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$20 dinner at Indique Heights


DanielK
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Please join us as Chef Vinod along with Executive Chefs Abraham Varghese and Sivaraman Balamurugan take you on a meandering journey through the South of India. This will be a journey involving all of your senses - not only the food, but Chef Vinod will also deliver a multimedia presentation which has been given often at the Smithsonian Institution.

Exact menu TBD, but expect a number of different tastes exploring the variety of South Indian cuisine, for the ridiculously low price of $20 (not including tax, tip, drinks).

RSVP here in the topic, or via PM.

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UPDATE: Menu still pending, 16 attendees so far, room for lots more.

Please join us as Chef Vinod along with Executive Chefs Abraham Varghese and Sivaraman Balamurugan take you on a meandering journey through the South of India. This will be a journey involving all of your senses - not only the food, but Chef Vinod will also deliver a multimedia presentation which has been given often at the Smithsonian Institution.

Exact menu TBD, but expect a number of different tastes exploring the variety of South Indian cuisine, for the ridiculously low price of $20 (not including tax, tip, drinks).

RSVP here in the topic, or via PM.

DanielK +1

GennaroE

rkduggins +1

sphere777

Heather

crackers

bbhasin +1

zoramargolis +1

Foodtrip +1

ema

NCPinDC

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LATEST UPDATE:

I just got off the phone with Chef Vinod. He wants to keep the actual menu secret, because he has some real surprises planned. He shared the details with me, and I promise you will be blown away. There will be passed appetizers while standing, and the seated family-style dinner will involve fingers more than utensils. Beyond that, I will not say! There will be vegetarian options, but if you have food allergies beyond that, send me a PM.

19 attendees so far, room for lots more; don't miss this!

Please join us as Chef Vinod along with Executive Chefs Abraham Varghese and Sivaraman Balamurugan take you on a meandering journey through the South of India. This will be a journey involving all of your senses - not only the food, but Chef Vinod will also deliver a multimedia presentation which has been given often at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dinner remains at the ridiculously low price of $20 (not including tax, tip, drinks).

RSVP here in the topic, or via PM.

DanielK +1

GennaroE +2

rkduggins +1

sphere777

Heather

crackers

Jacques Gastreaux

bbhasin +1

zoramargolis +1

Foodtrip +1

ema

NCPinDC

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LAST CHANCE!!

I need to give Chef Vinod the final headcount tonight. So you have until about 11pm to join the party.

He wants to keep the actual menu secret, because he has some real surprises planned. He shared the details with me, and I promise you will be blown away. There will be passed appetizers while standing, and the seated family-style dinner will involve fingers more than utensils. Beyond that, I will not say! There will be vegetarian options, but if you have food allergies beyond that, send me a PM.

Please join us as Chef Vinod along with Executive Chefs Abraham Varghese and Sivaraman Balamurugan take you on a meandering journey through the South of India. This will be a journey involving all of your senses - not only the food, but Chef Vinod will also deliver a multimedia presentation which has been given often at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dinner remains at the ridiculously low price of $20 (not including tax, tip, drinks).

RSVP here in the topic, or via PM.

DanielK +1

GennaroE +2

rkduggins +1

sphere777

Heather

crackers

Jacques Gastreaux

bbhasin +1

zoramargolis +1

Foodtrip +1

ema

NCPinDC

Waitman +2

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Final headcount 25 - awesome!

Metro, directions, and parking info on their website.

BRING CASH!! Figure $26 after tax and tip, plus drinks.

LAST CHANCE!!

I need to give Chef Vinod the final headcount tonight. So you have until about 11pm to join the party.

He wants to keep the actual menu secret, because he has some real surprises planned. He shared the details with me, and I promise you will be blown away. There will be passed appetizers while standing, and the seated family-style dinner will involve fingers more than utensils. Beyond that, I will not say! There will be vegetarian options, but if you have food allergies beyond that, send me a PM.

Please join us as Chef Vinod along with Executive Chefs Abraham Varghese and Sivaraman Balamurugan take you on a meandering journey through the South of India. This will be a journey involving all of your senses - not only the food, but Chef Vinod will also deliver a multimedia presentation which has been given often at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dinner remains at the ridiculously low price of $20 (not including tax, tip, drinks).

RSVP here in the topic, or via PM.

DanielK +1

GennaroE +2

rkduggins +1

sphere777

Heather

crackers

Jacques Gastreaux

bbhasin +1

zoramargolis +1

Foodtrip +1

ema

NCPinDC

Waitman +2

LaShanta

xcanuck +1

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We were fortunate to be able to attend the dinner at Indique Heights on Thursday evening. I am a relatively new member of DR.com, so it was especially nice to meet other members. I have been told by DanielK that, as the only newbie at the event, it’s my duty to post first about the dinner. Well, here goes....

This event was a journey through South India. The evening began in the bar where we were treated to several passed hors d’oeuvres, including:

Shrimp Varuval

Chicken 65

Cauliflower Bezule

Cashewnut Pakoras

All of these were delicious, with the pakoras as the standout. I never did get an explanation for what ‘Chicken 65’ meant, but they were very tasty. This part of the evening concluded with the serving of Konchan Chaar, a seafood broth from Kerala with ginger, curry leaves and coconut milk. This may have been my favorite dish of the evening. It was flavorful and spicy, yet the spice did not overwhelm the flavors.

By the time we entered the dining room we were so full from the appetizers that it was hard to imagine eating any more food, and yet we were served SO MUCH food and somehow we managed to eat it! This was a different dining experience. The place setting was a giant banana leaf...no utensils, no plates. All of the food was placed on the banana leaf and we used our fingers in place of forks. We learned later during the slide show that banana trees play a very important role in southern India, with every part of the tree being utilized in some way.

The dishes came so fast and furious that it was hard to keep up with all of them. Here is a list from the menu we were given:

Plain Rice

Aleppey Fish Curry

Chicken Chettinad/Chicken Vepudu

Syrian Lamb Coconut Fry

Fried Okra

Bhindi Sholapuri

Sambar

Mathan Erissery (pumpkin, lentils and coconut)

Hyderabadi Baingan

Vegetable Stew with Idiyappam

Tomato Rasam

Pineapple Menaskai

Banana Chips/Bitter Melon Chips

Sarkara Varatti (Jaggery-coated banana chips)

Inji Puli (Ginger, tamarind and jaggery)

Lemon Pickle

Fresh hot Mango Pickle

Small baby Banana

Almost everything that was served to us was really delicious. There were a few stand-outs. I’ve never been a fan of Okra, but I have to say that the fried version served this evening was outstanding! The Tomato Rasam, which was served near the end of the meal and almost overlooked, was a wonderful broth with spicy accents. It was my second favorite dish of the evening, a true highlight of the meal. The Fish Curry, the Syrian Lamb, the Chicken Chettinad and the Pineapple Menaskai were all very tasty.

And finally, there were 3 desserts:

Paurpe Pradhaman (black lentils, coconut, pistachios, spices including cardamom)

Shreekandh Brule (a yogurt brulee)

Mango Cheese Flan

The paurpe pradhaman was a real highlight. The cardamom flavoring was perfect.

The meal was followed by an interesting slide show which was an overview of the cuisine of South India, presented by Chef Vinod. This entire experience was ours for the incredibly low price of approximately $26 per person (including tax and tip). Thank you so much to DanielK for organizing this event and to Chef Vinod and his staff for their gracious and generous hospitality.

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I second the comment on Konchan Chaar. It was intense on the flavor and light on the salt, with just enough season to bring out the sweetness of the shrimps. Other dishes that I liked were fish curry, baby eggplant, pineapple menaskai, and those strange noodles with a very unique aroma. I am not a veteran Indian food eater, so it was wonderful to try so many dishes not offered in typical Indian restaurants.

Thanks for organizing this event and thanks Indique Heights for a great meal.

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Both of my friends, who have yet to join the board, and myself, really enjoyed tonight's dinner at Indique Heights. It was a ton of food - I still feel stuffed hours later - and most all of it was really good. My only regret is that we didn't really get to try many of their unique takes on classical Indian food, for example the many dishes shown in the slide-show that were Indique's reinterpretations of traditional Indian foods (Papri chaat, etc.). But I guess that's just their way of roping us into coming back for more, right? If so, I think it will prove effective.

Here were a couple of our favorites...

Shrimp Varuval - These were simply great as an horsd'ouvre. Bite sized, not stingy on the shrimp, and packed with flavor thanks to the sauce said shrimp were cooked in.

Cashewnut Pakoras - Addicting. I want these instead of popcorn at the movies. Once they set the platters down on the table, I couldn't help going over and grabbing more and more.

Cauliflower Bezule - Also great, and my vegetarian friend was quickly hooked on them. I was surprised by how crispy they looked, only to find them softer, and touched with a hint of acidity.

Konchan Chaar - I found this broth/soup to be far more enjoyable than the one brought out later in the meal (Tomato Rasam, I think). It was creamy and spicy, yet well balanced, while the other was just a bit too oily for my tastes.

Mathan Erissery - Surprisingly, I think this was my favorite of the night. This was the pumpkin curry, and it was just awesome. Or maybe I'm just on a pumpkin kick lately (pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pizza, and pumpkin bread from Radius, and now pumpkin curry...)

Pineapple Menaskai - A great contrast to all the spicier flavors going on, the sweet pineapple really stood out, and I found myself wanting more as I repeatedly delved into the Chicken Chettinad and other more aggressive offerings.

Aleppey Fish Curry - This was probably my favorite protein, just barely edging out the lamb. It was nice and light, with balanced flavors, and not overly creamy.

I disliked only a few of the many courses served...

Tomato Rasam - As mentioned above, just a bit bland, and oily. I could have gone for another shot of Konchan Chaar instead.

Hyderabadi Baingan - I was determined to love this based on its description. But for some reason I felt like it didn't deliver on the peanut flavor I was eagerly awaiting. Instead the peanut was too subdued, and the thick, sort of grainy sauce seemed bland as a result. I think some added saltiness and a stronger peanut presence would have done it a lot of good.

Everything else was quite good though, but I couldn't really call my list "favorites" if I listed much more.

Thanks again to Chef Vinod, and the whole team at Indique Heights, as well as Dan for organizing the event.

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A stellar meal and wonderful evening. Indique Heights is IMHO is the finest dining space among all the Indian spaces in the area including Rasika, Bombay Club and Passage, very tastefully done.

My favorites tonight

1. Konchan Char ( way way up there, took the first sip and was blown away. Regretted not asking for another serving.)

2. Pineapple Menaskai, Oh the play on the sweet and sour with a touch of heat and the Southern flavors. Mind blowing.

3. Ginger Pickle. What can I say. They need to bottle and sell this stuff.

4. Cashewnut Pakora. battered deep fried cashew kernels. Crisp and spicy. My doctor is not going to be happy if he

finds out how many I ate.

Thank you DanielK for organizing and to Chef Vinod for executing this, the hospitality of the hosts was

unsurpassable.

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Reposted from a PM I got from Chef Vinod on facebook:

Dear Daniel,

Thank you so much for organizing this at Indique Heights at such short notice. I am so sorry that the presentation did not go as I had planned. I did not get enough time to go home and pick up my computer etc and so wasted a lot of time trying to figure things out.

I am glad to hear that you folks enjoyed the dinner. I was a bit skeptical about serving on a banana leaf. I was very impressed that not one person in the group asked for a fork or a spoon. That was very impressive.

I wish that Don was there so his could also have this complete experience.

Thank you once again and please do keep in touch.

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I'd like to thank - not only Chef Vinod for putting together such an amazing dinner for only $20 - but also DanielK, who has a long history of working behind the scenes here ... not only putting together our value-packed $20 Tuesday dinners, but also for tirelessly recruting members to participate in dr.com DC Central Kitchen nights once a month. Between the two, he really has his hands full, yet he excels at organizing events that are both flat-out FUN (like this one) and also community-minded (like DC Central Kitchen night). Can we all buy the great DanielK a drink the next time we see him? I know I will. Thank you, Daniel, for all you do here. And thanks again to you, Chef Vinod, for putting together this amazing dinner. This worked because of your combined efforts.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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