It started with the naan. With that crisp bite and barely risen chew, its weirdly rustic Rorschach shapes and delicate, lacy swirls of golden-brown clarified butter. The naan— that’s what won me over.
Admittedly, I already liked Veda a lot. From the minute I sat down, the minute I smelled it. But that naan? That’s what cemented it. So simple, so utilitarian and so right. I want it every day.
But caring so much about naan is pointless, I know. Naan is everywhere in Indian food. There isn’t an Indian restaurant anywhere that doesn’t offer one or two or 12 varieties, sometimes good, sometimes not. To go bonkers over naan is like going bonkers over the hamburger buns at McDonald’s.
And yet still.
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It’s been a while since we reported on the opening of a new Indian restaurant in Philly. And while I find that disappointing and, frankly, a little mystifying (in this vegan-friendly, health-conscious moment, with a million Italian restaurants and gastropubs and New American copy-cats all vying for the same dollars, what could be more welcome than a hit of curry and tandoor smoke?), I’ve got high hopes for this new one: Veda, open now in the former Le Castagne space at 1920 Chestnut Street.
Why? Because I’m an optimist, of course. But also because the menu–with its bistro modernism, smart presentations and Indian flavors unconstrained by strict adherence to classicism–looks like something special. Something different in an arena of cuisine that Philly often overlooks, bypasses or forgets about entirely.
Plus, they’ve got a pretty good happy hour deal, and that helps, too.
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It’s weird to think that King Of Prussia is becoming one of the most interesting restaurant neighborhoods in the region. But seriously? It’s kind of true.
I mean at the KOP Mall alone there’s already a seriously good version of Kevin Sbraga’s Fat Ham, a carbon copy of Hai Street, two Shake Shacks, Mistral scheduled for 2017 (which, okay, is from Princeton, but still), a Vetri Square Pie outpost attached to the KOP Urban Outfitters, and a whole bunch of other places to eat. There’s Papaya Vietnamese and, sure, a whole lot of chain restaurants and a whole lot of steakhouses, but still. It’s a busy town.
And now, on top of everything else, about a mile away from the excesses of the KOP Mall, the first ever franchise restaurant from Tiffin will be opening at the Valley Forge Plaza Shopping Center.
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The tandoor ovens will cool after September 7th.
Tashan, the high-end Indian restaurant from Tiffin founder Munish Narula will close after dinner service on Monday, September 7th.
The attractive restaurant opened almost exactly four years ago to excellent reviews but never became the hard-to-get a reservation, must-be-seen-at restaurant that Narula envisioned it would become, and many, including this site practically demanded it be.
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Saag Paneer | Photo via Facebook
Tiffin is urging you to kick the Taco Tuesday habit and get on board with Tiffin Tuesdays. All eight Tiffin locations are offering their vegetarian entrees for just $8. And that counts for eat-in, takeout and delivery (Just use the code VeggieTues for you delivery discount).
The $8 entrees (normally $12) include the immensely popular saag paneer, as well as the tasty malai kofta, vegetable dumplings cooked in a creamy cashew nut sauce; and the Southern Indian vegetable korma.
Tiffins are located in and around the Philadelphia area including two new New Jersey locations.
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Starting on January 9, Tiffin began to offer $8 entrees for eight days. Each day, the deal was featured at one of their eight locations. Tiffin has now extended that deal until January 30 and it will now be offered at every location, every day. The chain has restaurants throughout the Philadelphia area and New Jersey.
This deal is available for dine-in, carry-out or delivery and has an eight entree limit per order.
Indeblue’s Midtown Village location is adding a late night happy hour. Nightly, from 9 p.m. till the bar closes, the Indian restaurant runs the same bar specials they do from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Those deals include $3 beers, $4 wines, $5 cocktails and $3, $4 and $5 plates.
Indeblue joins a host of other Midtown Village bars and restaurants offering late night deals.
Check out the happy menu below »
Starting today, Tiffin is celebrating its 8th anniversary with eight days of $8 entrees. The chain of eight Indian restaurants is offering all of its entrees for $8 for one day at each location during the eight day celebration. Tiffin’s entrees usally start at $12, so the savings can be significant.
The deal kicks off today at Tiffin’s Girard Avenue location.
Check out the full schedule »
Chef/owner Rakesh Ramola at Indeblue | Photo by Neal Santos
Indian food has been a part of Philadelphia’s culinary landscape for a long time — so long that there’s no specific neighborhood devoted to it, but rather a spray of outposts scattered around: biryani on Ridge Pike in Eagleville, goat curry in Northeast Philly, Punjabi cuisine in Chester County, dosa just over the bridge in Cherry Hill. The Indian canon is broad and fractious in its variety of regional specialties, so here’s a must-hit list for those looking to expand their tastes beyond tandoori chicken.
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Photo via Philadelphia Real Estate Blog
Samosa’s Indian Vegetarian had a good long run at 1214 Walnut Street. But after it closed, things have gotten weird. Early this fall, Dream Island Grill opened in its place. The new concept specialized in Caribbean food. Oddly, the lunch menu was Mexican. But then on December 13th, a reader told us that Dream Island was gone and it has been replace by Buena Vida, a pricier Mexican restaurant. Then by Monday, a banner noted that “We Are Back, Indian Cuisine.” And today, The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog spots a Saffron Indian Cuisine sign. A sign which looks similar to the Saffron Indian Cuisine on North Broad. Of course that Saffron has at least two web sites.
So to recap, that restaurant at Camac and Walnut is back selling Indian food. But what will tomorrow bring?
Walnut Street eatery continues search for identity [Philadelphia Real Estate Blog]