Monday, February 1, 2010

Guru: For The Love Of Chaat

(Papadam: kickass start)

A while ago, I found my Indian food lover in the form of Guru, “Boutique” Indian Dining. That was back in August. I haven’t been back since then. Why? Don’t ask me why. Just know that, this time, when I went back, it was still the same, beautiful flavors I fell in love with the first time around. And in the words of Teenage Fanclub, “Ain’t That Enough?”

Yes. That’s definitely enough. It also helps that Guru doesn’t do the typical $98 lunchtime buffet thing that every Indian joint this side of the harbor seems to love serving. Hey – I have nothing against all-you-can-eat Indian food, but my lazy ass desires food to come to me, instead of me having to – God forbid – GET UP – and go to the food. Plus, my self-centered side also takes joy in knowing that the kitchen is freshly concocting a dish just for me, instead of plating up some mass-produced curry for all in the house.

(Samosa + Chaat = wow + OMG!)

We started off with some complimentary papadam (Indian wafers) which were flecked on the surface with bits of coriander, chopped onions, chili and Indian spices. So good with the raita and a perfect way to start. Then our “real” appetizers arrived – four fatty samosas ($40), again served with a side of their awesome raita. These samosas were veggie-filled but tasted so deceptively meaty. But good as they were, in no way could they compare to the stellar dish of the meal – the almighty blue mango chaat ($70). Cubes of refreshingly sweet mango, paired with whole wheat cracker crisps for a nice touch of crunch, and all doused under a lovely flavor-bomb of sweetened yogurt, mint and tamarind chutney. The flavors just melded so well together… needless to say, I polished off the chaat with much ease.

We also ordered a berry lamb pullao ($98) of basmati rice with grilled lamb, cashews and fresh blueberries. I was actually really excited about this dish since I remember it being nothing short of stunning the first time I tried it. But perhaps the berries weren’t in season (bland and juiceless) and the kitchen didn’t have their complete A-game on (lamb was overcooked. Tough, dry) so this was a slight disappointment, especially after the wowing appetizers. Oh well, all in all, there were more wins than losses. And seriously, any place that can churn out that blue mango chaat can do no wrong in my books.

FOOD: 4/5

GURU ($$$)
13 Lower Elgin Street

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