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Shakthi - Sri Lankan, Thai, and Northern Indian Restaurant in Arlandria - Closed


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This restaurant opened up about 3 weeks ago, and not a review on Yelp or DR or anywhere that I can see. I went in a week ago to look at the menu. They had standard north Indian fare, a Sri Lankan menu, and oddly enough, a few Thai dishes. So, yesterday, I had not eaten all day and went over there to pick up some take out. It was only two of us, so we didn't get to try much, but I'll definitely go back to try more dishes.

The place inside isn't much different than when it was Po Siam. I think some of the same decorations are up. I'm sure it will take some time. The bar area remains, but the alcohol does not. Wondering what their plan is going to be for that... I ordered off of the Sri Lankan section.

Dhal Vede - "the quintessential street food of south India and Sri Lanka" (not my words, I just googled it). It's a small patty made of split yellow lentils, chilies, curry powder or leaves, chickpea flour. About 2-2.5 inches, circular. They are tasty and a nice snack. 3 in an order for $4. Eaten with tamarind sauce and cilantro sauce.

Mutton Curry - deep brown color, meat on the bone, flavorful. My dining partner has some issues with spicy food, so we went with medium spice level. It was rich and I enjoyed it. It was $11-12 and not a very big portion. There was a fair amount of meat. 

Eggplant dish - I forgot the Indian name. Not too different than baingan bartha. It was good, but skin was on, and I don't always like that.

Sorry, not super descriptive - feel like takeout is super hard to get a hold of. I liked it. I'm going to try as many of the other dishes as I can. Since Bombay Curry Company seems like it will never open, this is what we have for South Asian in the Del Ray area. At about 615p, it was nearly empty, save for one other person who came in for take out. She tried ordering a Thai dish. I hope people give it a chance.

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I've been meaning to post about our DonRockwell dinner at Shakthi (it seems like a long time ago although it was only last week).

We focused on the Sri Lankan side of the menu.  From what I can recall (and others please chime in), we ordered:

Papadam

Mutton rolls

Lentil cakes (not on the menu so not sure what their actual name is)

Deviled chicken

Deviled pork

Kotthu roti (menu description:  medley of chopped vegetables, shredded roti, egg, sri lankan spices) - I can't remember if we ordered lamb or goat

String hoppers (menu description:  pressed white flour steamed into noodle form served with fish curry and coconut sambal)

Mutton curry (I think we ordered mutton?)

Dhal curry

Biryani (goat?)

Batu beduma (curried eggplant)

Polos Pehi (jackfruit)

and a custard cardamom (?) dessert that isn't on the online menu so I can't remember the name and description

I enjoyed all the food (and the company!).  My favorites were the kotthu roti, string hoppers, jackfruit, and eggplant.

The server asked us how spicy we wanted each dish, and we asked for spicy or medium for most of them.  The dishes weren't crazy spicy though.  The fish curry and coconut sambal, in particular (with the string hoppers) seemed the spiciest, and that was a gradual burn kind of spiciness.

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One of the things I love about dining with a group like this is trying so many different dishes.  Of everything on the menu, string hoppers was least interesting, yet it was my favorite and probably the only dish that would draw me back to Shakthi.

String hoppers was the dish I wanted to try the most if I was able to come. One day Saravana Palace had some on their buffet and I just loved them. Glad to hear Shakthi has a good rendition.

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I wanted to add a positive review for this place because I hope it'll get the italics in the dining guide it deserves.  My wife and I went a couple of Saturdays ago, and were very impressed.  We had the vadai (savory, lentil donuts), which had great flavor and was served with a wonderful chutney.  The idiyappam (string hoppers) were quite good.  I really enjoyed the potato curry it was served with, and the coconut sambal had a good kick.  Our favorite dish was the kotthu roti, which we had with lamb.  This was a dish neither of us were very familiar with, but absolutely loved.

We were disappointed that such a good place was as empty as it was.  There was only a couple of other tables of customers the entire time we were there.  As far as quality food, I think this place was on par with many of the oft-praised restaurants serving various Asian cuisines I've been to in NOVA.  I hope it starts to get the same amount of attention as those.

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I wanted to add a positive review for this place because I hope it'll get the italics in the dining guide it deserves.  

Agreed! 

I'm not going to write this on dcdining.com, nor am I going to write a long review, but I had the Lunch Buffet ($11.95) today, and here are some observations.

There were eight things: rice, chicken biryani, lamb curry, tomato curry, yellow dal, string beans, green pineapple curry, and palak paneer, and I was brought out a piece of fresh-baked naan.

1) It is unfair to judge any restaurant based solely on a lunch buffet

2) None of the food was gratuitously oily

3) I really wanted to like Shakthi, especially when I saw I was the only one there

4) I cannot raise it to Italic based on today's lunch

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Don

I don't mean to be disagreeable and I respect your caveats, but the above reviews mentioned string hoppers, kothu roti, and mutton curry as specialties of the house, and you didn't try one of them. Nor did you try the sambal (unless you didn't mention it), which is integral to Sri Lankan dishes ... So, I just think it's a little unfair. But, that's just an opinion. I think you should try some of the above and then if you feel the same way, that seems more reasonable.

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Don

I don't mean to be disagreeable and I respect your caveats, but the above reviews mentioned string hoppers, kothu roti, and mutton curry as specialties of the house, and you didn't try one of them. Nor did you try the sambal (unless you didn't mention it), which is integral to Sri Lankan dishes ... So, I just think it's a little unfair. But, that's just an opinion. I think you should try some of the above and then if you feel the same way, that seems more reasonable.

That's why I was so brief and cautious in my post. It is entirely possible that there's a Sri Lankan night cook who has nothing whatsoever to do with the Sunday lunch buffet. (Also, I know my overall tone wasn't one of me doing cartwheels, but the only negative thing I actually said was that I couldn't raise it to Italic based on my buffet lunch - I admit, my tone was purely intentional, a "read between the lines" kind-of thing for our seasoned members.) Your points are well-made and well-taken.

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5 hours ago, noamb said:

Drove by earlier today and seems to have been replaced by a Nepalese place with Royal in the name. Too bad - they were always nice.

One final memory:

Screenshot 2017-03-26 at 2.47.57 AM.png

The new restaurant is called Royal Nepal Restaurant, but don't count out Shakthi's owners, Stanley and Ramani Perera, who have been in the restaurant industry for twenty years - they imply, fairly strongly, that they'll be back anew.

Screenshot 2017-03-26 at 3.03.11 AM.png

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