Thursday, May 15, 2008


105 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, 215.922.6061

It was a Girls Dinner night and Girlfriend Roz (who refuses to eat most ethnic cuisines) was covered in Poison Something to venture out comfortably. So Girlfriend Mo and I jumped at the opportunity and headed straight to Indian BYO Bindi (after a warm-up drink at Vintage, of course (get there if you love wine) ).

Inside, it's stylishly dark, narrow with high ceilings, tight and loud. As much as we wanted to absorb the interior energy and ambiance, it was a nice night and we opted to sit outside. Watching the Gayborhood nightlife blossom is always entertaining.

Our service was fine, nothing to complain or brag about. To start us off, a complimentary flatbread of sorts showed up. Two, to be exact. And they were like giant potato chips with embedded toasted sesame seeds and a dipping liquid. Tasty only with the dips. Otherwise, it was cardboard-like.

The menu has just the right amount of options so as not to be overwhelming, and there's something for everyone. But, don't expect your traditionally classic Indian dishes. These have a little twist. Well done, we thought. For an entree, I started with the Lobster Pani Puri ($9) which came with a lime tamerind water to splash on. Girlfriend Mo had the pan seared scallops and cauliflower pakora ($11) with tomato-mustard seed chutney, thai basil pea puree, pea shoot salad. Surprisingly yummy.

Mo had the chana masala chicken ($18), a fenu greek-yogurt marinated chicken, ginger, chickpea-onion masala and pulao rice pilaf and I had the goan shrimp xacuti ($21) made with chili, aromatic spiced coconut milk, radish koshimbir and lime rice. Rice for both entrees came on the side. There was enough spice (but not too much) in each dish that by the end of the meal, both Mo and I were congested. Personally, no Indian meal is complete without a roti, so we had the Paranthe. It was a little crispy for my liking, but the flavor was nice. As far as portions go, everything was just right. Probably could have done without the roti though. It was the size of a small pizza, folded.

I've read mixed reviews, but we really enjoyed our meal. It was slightly different than what you'd get in a traditional Indian restaurant, prices were average for the city, portions weren't ridiculously huge or small, and everything was flavorful. I will definitely be returning.

Also, if you don't want to byo wine or beer, grab your favorite rum, tequila or vodka and throw it in a pitcher of one of their fun Indian-style mixers.

Read more reviews here, here, here, here and here.

P.S. It's cash only.


Anonymous said...

Had my birthday dinner here. Thought it was great. Thanks for the recommendation. I'd definitely go back and try one of their drink mixes.

Also stopped by Vintage. LOVED this place too. Had the cheese plate ($16) and was expecting a lot more cheese, but what was there was really good too. Had a Spanish Tempranillo Realeza. FANTASTIC wine. 3 glasses of wine and the app cost us $50 including tip!

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