Bethesda, MD - PASSAGE TO INDIA August 10 2013

PASSAGE TO INDIA

Location: Bethesda, MD

Ambience: Traditional

Price Range: Somewhat Expensive

Seat Availability: Advance Reservation required

Parking: Street parking, Valet parking

Metro accessible: Yes, Bethesda is the nearest

Website: www.PassageToIndia.info

Worth it? YES

OVERALL:

Overall, a decent experience. This is a good restaurant if you are shopping in or around the Bethesda Row area. The restaurant serves great North Indian fare, but if you are a vegetarian, or if you prefer really spicy food, then this is probably not the restaurant for you.

DETAIL:

Passage to India is located near Bethesda, MD. The ambience at this restaurant is traditional, while being colorful, interesting, and inviting. The customer service is excellent; they greet you when you come and frequently check in with you despite being packed.

When I first looked at the menu, I realized that drinks here are expensive.  The menu is long, complex, and confusing, even though they tried to compartmentalize into various regions of India. Most patrons end up ordering North Indian dishes since they are familiar with them.

The appetizers are fairly generic, nothing special. Hence, we decided to skip appetizers. Entrees are divided in 4 regional cuisines of India (North, East, West, South). We decided to try something from all the regions.

NORTH INDIAN - Certainly, the north Indian food here is excellent, I would highly recommend Paneer and Figs Korma (Paneer aur Anjeer Kofta). It’s mild, creamy, and sweet. We also got Jackfruit curry, which is tasty and spicy. I have had jackfruit as a fruit in India, but this was my first time eating it in a curry. My friends commented that it tasted like Artichokes, and I agree.

WEST INDIAN - We were disappointed with the Konkan Fish Curry. It was very mild, requiring some salt. It was also quite creamy. The key to making West Indian food is using freshly squeezed coconut milk, not something from a can. Also, for a restaurant specializing largely in North Indian food, Passage to India had some  difficulties in recreating a specific West Indian cuisine.

SOUTH INDIAN - From the South Indian menu, we tried Coorgi Murg (Chicken curry from Coorg region), which was very good. A nice minty flavor and heat from peppers made this a perfect combination with the mild Korma curry that we ordered. You can choose white or dark meat of chicken.

EAST INDIAN - We did not try anything from this section, perhaps next time around!

ACCOMPANIMENTS & DESSERT - Each entree comes with some salad and rice. Breads are awesome; we tried Mint Paratha, Roti, and Naan. They were all good. Desserts are amazing, we ordered Kulfi (Indian vegetarian ice-cream, which is not churned) and Semolina Halwa, and they were both amazing. Portion sizes are good; for a party of 3, ordering 3 or 4 curries and 3 breads will be sufficient.

Thank you PASSAGE TO INDIA!