Thursday, September 10, 2009

Namaste Shangri-La

Well, I have never been to Asia and never eaten Indian or Himalayan food until I came to Anchorage so I cannot tell you if this or that is authentic but what I can tell you is this food tastes AWESOME!

We visited the cute and subtle restaurant just the other day on a whim. Hubby and I treated ourselves to a quite mid-week lunch together. Located just off the Lake Otis and Tudor intersection, in the strip mall with Primal Instinct Tattoo and Ichiban. It can be easily missed when going by at breakneck speed. However, when you are in rush hour traffic, take the time to look over and note it's location for tomorrows lunch.

Naturally, when going to a non-american restaurant we ask for recommendations from the host or wait staff. We were not disappointed as our genteel waiter came to our rescue with a variety of house specialties to choose from.

We were the only ones in the restaurant at 11:15 am but having noted they just opened, I was not worried. Soon the tables started to full up and they even had a few take-out orders.

We ordered off the Lunch Menu which consisted of a very nice selection of delightful treats, from vegetarian to meaty. We chose the Lamb Handi (Chunks of lamb cooked with onions, spices and aromatic herbs in a thick gravy) and the Chicken Kalimiri (Chicken pieces marinated in black pepper & cooked in a mildly spiced mushroom sauce).

The inside of the restaurant was warm and cozy with nice dark wood tables, and fanciful lamps from India. It was a very inviting atmosphere and the music was not over powering.

We did not have to wait long to dive right into our lunch either! It came out in those gloriuos copper serving dishes which I love! It makes food sharing so much fun. The rice was perfectly cooked although I am not certain they used Basmati rice. We also ordered the garlic naan which has become my absolute favorite part of any Indian/mountain food! Yuumm!! Lunch was also served with house salad (a cabbage/carrot mix) and dal (a sauce made from lentils and spices, usually served with rice, which our waiter explained it is used to "wet" the food since most Indian food can be very dry). Personally I did not care for the dal, but lentils have not been my thing. It was good, but the taste of all the other dishes outweighed my need for dal.

The sauces were so incredible and full of flavors. Each dish was complex and totally different from each other. I think if it were allowed, I would have licked the bowls clean. Our waiter was very pleased to remove our EMPTY plates!

Their prices are fairly average for a sit down restaurant in Anchorage. A nice lunch for 2 with appetizer and drinks, plus tip was $35.

yes, this hole-in the wall oasis will be a place to return to again and again!

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