What You’ll Be Eating At Veda, The New Modern Indian Bistro In Rittenhouse

We've got a look at the menus.

Veda1

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.

At lunch (yeah, Indian for lunch in Center City, which I’m pretty excited about), Veda does a two-course jaldi jaldi (quick quick) prix fixe–starter and an entree, served thali-style, for around $15. Options look like this:

2- Courses prix-fixe

choice of one from Starters and one from Lunch Specials Vegetarian – 15 I Chicken — 15 I Lamb or Seafood — 16

Starters {before the meal}

Soup of the day

Spicy Corn Soup (V, GF)

Roasted sweet corn / fresh cilantro / pepper

Okra Salad (V, GF)

Warm & Crispy okra / shallots / tomatoes / tangy spices

Lassuni Gobi (V, GF)

Spiced cauliflower / lime / garlic / ginger / fresh cilantro / tangy tomato sauce

Chicken Murmuri Rolls

Shredded spiced chicken / roasted peppers / kasoori methi / garam masala

Lunch Specials entrée
Served with Dal Makhani OR Channa, naan and basmati rice

Chicken Tikka Makhani (GF)

Chicken tikka / burnt ginger / tomatos / honey / fenugreek greens.

Punjabi Chicken Curry (GF)

Boneless Chicken / shallots / tomatoes / garam masala.

Tandoori Chicken (GF)

Spring chicken / ginger / garlic / tandoori spices / barbecued over charcoal

Lamb Roganjosh (GF)

Boneless Lamb / shallots / kashmiri red chili / garam-masala / black cardamoms.

Goan Shrimp Curry (GF)

Balck tiger shrimp/ deghi chili peppers / peri-peri masala / black cardamom / coconut milk

Tofu Green Peas Curry (V, GF)

Tofu / green peas / onion tomato sauce / toasted cashews / fenugreek greens

Paneer Lababdar (GF)

‘Paneer’ – Indian cheese cubes / caramelized onions / tomato / ginger / fresh coriander greens.

Veda does a happy hour, 7 days a week, from 5:30 to 7:30, that offers 50% off all drinks and small plates, and that’s a pretty good deal. The full dinner menu is both large enough to contain lots of surprises, but not so big that it’s overwhelming. Check it out:

 

Shuruvat {before the meal}

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup (V, GF)

Butternut squash / ginger / curry / lemon

7.00

Spicy Corn Soup (V, GF)

Roasted sweet corn / fresh cilantro / pepper

7.00

Okra Salad (V, GF)

Warm & Crispy okra / shallots / tomatoes / tangy spices

8.00

 

Chotta {small plates}

 

Crispy Spinach Chaat (GF)

Crispy baby Spinach / shallots / tomatoes / spiced yogurt / tamarind & date chutney

8.00

Lassoni Gobi (V, GF)

Tangy cauliflower / garlic / fresh cilantro/ ginger / tomato sauce – a Veda special

9.00

Ragda Patties (V, GF)

Spiced potato patties / tangy chickpeas / red onion / tamarind & date chutney— A popular street-food

8.00

Masala Hummus Platter (V, GF without naan)

Curried hummus / grilled eggplant / peri-peri drizzle / garlic naan

9.00

Vegetable Samosas (v)

Crisp potato patties / tangy chickpeas / red onion tamarind & date chutney— A popular street-food

6.00

Masala Crab Cakes

Goan crab cakes / coconut / fennel / chili balsamic / panch-phoran tomato chutney

12.00

Calcutta Pork Ribs (GF)

Baby-back Ribs / yellow chilli powder / mango chutney glaze / lime / fresh coriander

14.00

Fish peri-Peri (GF)

Pan-seared tilapia / ginger / garlic / wine vinegar peri-peri marinade / goan spice blend

10.00

Seafood Bhel (GF)

Scallops / baby calamari / shrimp / crunchy sev / roasted peanuts / tangy green mango salsa

12.00

Chicken Murmuri Rolls

Shredded spiced chicken / roasted peppers / kasoori methi / garam masala

7.00

 

Kebabs {tandoori grills}

 

Lamb Chops (GF)

Tender lamb chops / ginger / cardamom / garam-masala

23.00

Tandoori Chicken (GF)

Spring chicken / ginger / garlic / tandoori spices / barbecued over charcoal

16.00

Tandoori Shrimp (GF)

Jumbo shrimp / ajwain seeds / fresh coriander / lime / char-grilled to a golden hue

20.00

Chicken Lasooni Tikka (GF)

Boneless chicken / black garlic / pepper flakes / lemon / garam-masala

16.00

Spicy Reshmi Kebab

Minced chicken / mint / green chillies / mace / cardamom / fresh coriander

15.00

Chicken Kesar Malai Kebab (GF)

Boneless chicken / saffron / creamed cheese / garlic / mint chutney

16.00

Lamb Seekh Kebab (GF)

Minced Lamb / black cardamoms / fresh coriander / garam masala / mint chutney

17.00

 

Patiala {main meal}

 

Crispy Spinach Chaat (GF)

Crispy baby Spinach / shallots / tomatoes / spiced yogurt / tamarind & date chutney

8.00

Paneer Makhani (GF)

‘Paneer’ – Indian cheese cubes / tomato / burnt ginger, / honey / fenugreek greens

16.00

Gobhi Mutter (V, GF)

Cauliflower / green peas / cumin / ginger

14.00

Wild Mushroom Korma (GF)

Shiitake / cremini / oyster mushroom / kari / coconut milk / almonds / jeweled rice

15.00

Tofu Green Peas Curry (V, GF)

Tofu / green peas / onion tomato sauce / toasted cashew / fenugreek greens

15.00

Baingan ka Salan (V, GF)

Baby Eggplant / coconut / peanuts / toasted sesame / mustard seeds / tamarind

16.00

Pindi Channa Masala (V, GF)

Chickpeas / ajwain / cumin / pomegranate / green mango

14.00

East India Lamb Shank (GF)

Slow braised Lamb Shank / caramelized Onions / green cardamom / mace / saffron

23.00

Lamb Roganjosh (GF)

Boneless Lamb / shallots / kashmiri red chili / garam-masala / black cardamoms

21.00

Lamb Vindaloo (vin•da•loo) (GF)

Red wine vinegar marinated boneless lamb / pearl onion / smoked chillies / cinnamon / jaggery / fingerling potato

22.00

Nilgiri Fish Korma (GF)

White bass / green cardamom / star-anise / spinach / cilantro / coconut / jeweled rice

21.00

Tamarind Fish Kari (GF)

Malabar tamarind poached skate wing / kashmir red chilli / kari leaves / black mustard

22.00

Goan Shrimp Curry (GF)

Balck tiger shrimp/ deghi chili peppers / peri-peri masala / roasted coriander / black cardamonm / coconut milk

22.00

Chicken Tikka Makhani (GF)

Chicken tikka / burnt ginger / tomatos / honey / fenugreek greens

19.00

Chicken Lababdar (GF)

Boneless chicken / caramelized onions / tomato / ginger / fresh coriander greens

19.00

Chicken Baby Spinach (GF)

Chicken / shallots / tender baby spinach / garam masala

19.00

Chicken Biryani (GF)

Aromatic chicken / biryani masala / cinnamon / green cardamom / basmati rice / raita

22.00

 

Roti {breads}

 

Naan (v)

3.00

Garlic Naan with Herbs (v)

3.00

Onion & Sage Naan (V)

4.00

Goat Cheese Naan

5.00

Chilli Cilantro Naan (V)

4.00

Roti (v)

3.00

Laccha Paratha (V)

4.00

Mint Paratha (V)

4.00

Amritsari Kulcha (V)

Potatoes / cauliflower / pomegranate powder

5.00

Bread Basket (4) (V)

Naan, Garlic, Lachha & Onion Sage Naan.

12.00
Oh, and just because I appreciate it when a place tries to tailor their cocktail menu to their cuisine, here’s what they’re offering behind the bar (in addition to beers, wines, whiskies and a short list of mocktails):

 

Cocktails

 

Old Fashioned Gabbar

Jim Beam Black, Grand Marnier, Green Chartreuse,Turbinado Syrup, Dash Angostura Bitters, Dash Orange Bitters, Orange Zest

12

Veda Mule

Beefeater Gin, Jim Beam Bourbon, Ginger Syrup, Mint Syrup, Lime Juice, Dash Angostura Bitters

12

Laila

Cucumber Infused Effen Vodka, Saint Germaine, Mint Syrup, Lime Juice, Dash Peychaud’s Bitters

12

Manhattan Basanti

Martell Cognac, Dolin Rouge, Cherry Bitters Apricot Jam.

12

Morning Kamasutra

Effen Vodka, Frangelico, Kahlua, Fernet Branca, Bailey’s,House Fudge

14

Last Train to Delhi

Cruzan 5 Year Rum, Lemon Juice, Tamarind Shrub, Mint Syrup, Egg white.

12

Shirtless Gandhi

Jim Beam Rye, Aperol Liqueur, Chai Coconut Shrub, Turbinado Syrup, Lemon Juice, Dash Angostura Bitters.

12
Veda [official]