Five Things: Rasoi, Pawtucket
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Lovers of Indian cuisine had been talking up a storm about Rasoi, tucked away on the Pawtucket-Providence line. Sean DeBobes checked in on the spice scene to see what was up. Here are the five things he wants you to know.
One. Cardamom Cocktail.
Rasoi has a well-thought-out cocktail menu. You will only find a few classics, but what Rasoi lacks in common concoctions they make up for with some really fun and off-beat selections. I tried the ginger cardamom martini, a mix of ginger infused vodka with cardamom water and triple sec. I was pleasantly shocked with how subtly sweet the drink was. This was a martini that was pleasingly dominated with spice from the ginger.
Two. Thalis (This & That).
If you just can’t make up your mind on what to order, this is the perfect way to go. This platter combines eight components that really allow you to taste your way around the restaurant. Chef/Owner Sanjiv Dhal incorporates favorites from throughout the menu to make up one sampler that will leave you craving just a bit more of each expertly prepared dish. A clear standout on the plate for me was the chicken lababdar, a dark orange dish that trumpeted autumn onto the table. I really enjoyed the initial sweetness of the sauce that morphed into a mild spice.
Three. Sweet Curry.
If you need a way to convince yourself to eat your veggies I have found the answer. The vegetable mango curry at Rasoi is sensational. This side dish that could double as a dessert blends the taste of perfectly ripe mango with coconut in a creamy sauce that will defy many curry preconceptions. Incredibly light and sweet this dish is assured and masterful.
One of my favorite parts of Indian cuisine is the prevalence of unique fresh cheeses (paneer). While there are certainly similarities amongst many recipes, each chef has his or her own favorite way to make this staple. Rasoi really exceeds expectations with their house-made cheese, marvelously creamy and with a really fresh and deep flavor. I only wish I had ordered this distinctive cheese in a few more dishes.
Reminiscent of a rice pudding, for dessert the chef simmered vermicelli in milk and sugar until the pasta had broken down into a farina-like texture. The semi-sweet porridge was delicately flavored with cardamom, raisins and sugar. After a meal of complex and intense flavors this simple and delicate dessert was a great ending to my meal.
Would I go back? Yes. There is a second thalis on the menu and at $16 for eight tastes it is calling my name.
Hit “Save”: Rasoi, 727 East Ave #6 Pawtucket. 728-5500. Reservations encouraged. Mon-Thu 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-10:30pm; Sat 11:30am-10:30pm; Sun 11:30am-9:30pm
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