Where to Eat This Weekend: Indian
At Bindi, inspiration comes from Bombay by way of Brooklyn, with the most successful dishes being vaguely exotic translation of hearty American fare, like puffs of fried dough filled with five-spice scented duck and sweet potato spiked with cumin-like ajwain, or well-balanced short-rib vindaloo. Cocktail mixers based on mango, ginger, pomegranate and cardamom can be fortified with BYO vodka and rum.
Bindi, 105 South 13th Street, 215-922-6061, bindibyob.com
A couple of years ago, Tiffin raised the bar for Indian food in Philadelphia. Its longtime chef, Rakesh Ramola, jumped ship and opened this astoundingly good BYO — just five minutes over the bridge — raising the bar even higher. The decor and service could both use work, but with such stellar plates coming from the kitchen, it barely matters. Our favorites: the several varieties of naan, tandoor-cooked meats and lamb chops, and all of the vindaloos, with the kheer or halvah for dessert.
Indeblue, 618 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, New Jersey, 856-854-4633, indebluerestaurant.com
Saffron Indian Kitchen
The layers of flavor at this Bala BYO take our Indian favorites up a notch, starting with the rice: light, fluffy, and infused with the restaurant’s namesake spice, it’s the perfect starchy building block to a delicious meal. Don’t miss the saag paneer, in which the brilliantly spiced spinach — what is that smoky note? — shines (rather than the cream, for a change), or the tandoori-kissed lamb cubes in the house special boti kebab.]
Saffron Indian Kitchen, 145 Montgomery Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, 484-278-4112, saffronofphilly.com
Both locations of Shere-E-Punjab offers the same great tandoori lamb and chicken platters as the original in Media, along with the best South Indian biryanis and Indian breads (naan, roti and kulcha) we’ve had in the area. Wash it all down with a homemade salt lassi.
Shere-E-Punjab, 208 West State Street, Media, 610-891-0400; Drexel Hill Shopping Center, 5059 State Road, Drexel Hill, 484-452-8140, shereepunjab.com
So many Tiffins, so little time. The fare is primarily Northern Indian, so you’ll have to get your dosas elsewhere (try the new Philadelphia Chutney Company for those) But other than that minor complaint, we adore this tiny operation—which now has locations from Girard Avenue to Wynnewood—whether we’re dining in, where the service is incredibly attentive, or getting delivery, with food that arrives hot and spicy. Our favorites? Quite literally, everything from the chicken tikka masala to the baingan bharta.
Tiffin, multiple locations, tiffin.com
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