No reviews from Robin Garr this week, but Marty Rosen decided to skip the lunch buffet and check out what he describes as "colorful, vivid examples of canonic Indian dishes" at Clay Oven Indian Restaurant. Rosen states the obvious to anyone with a passing familiarity with Indian food, noting "the body of the menu is filled with stews and braises" and "vegetarians will find plenty of options." He enjoys the "colorful conglomeration of creamy and crunchy textures" of his Allu Papdi Chaat, "a dish that my friend Trent said might aptly be called 'Indian nachos' — but for the fact that it's served cool." He notices the Nepali dishes on the menu, but only echoes the Clay Oven description of Chicken Momo as dumplings "filled with chicken, cilantro, ginger and garlic" without any indication of what he thought of them. His platter of Tandoori Seekh Kebab is another story.
Like Garr last week, Rosen notices that "Clay Oven" is just another way to say "Tandoor." Delighting they're served with "as luxurious a bowl of lentils, beans and spices as you could ever hope to find," Rosen writes the "tandoori oven dishes get plenty of love," but adds: "I can attest to this: If you tell the kitchen to bring the heat, bring it they will."
Ordering a platter of Tandoori Seekh Kebab, Rosen asks for "Indian hot" and finds the dish "a succulent delight … but the tears I shed over it didn't represent an emotional catharsis in response to the fine work of the kitchen." He describes his "physical response to the brick-red dusting of fiery spices that coated the meat" as "a good thing," but notes that "at one point I was dipping rosemary naan into sweet mango chutney, grabbing up scoops of rice, and rinsing my mouth with Kingfisher in a rear-guard action to fight off the heat." Rosen says "next time maybe I'll stick with medium (and, in fact, the dishes we ordered medium not only spoke boldly, they were marvelous complexes of herbs and spices)." He points out Clay Oven offers "a reasonably priced assortment of wines and beers, as well as cooling non-alcoholic drinks like yogurt-based lassi and spicy chai" should he feel like crying again. [Courier-Journal]
· All Eater Week In Reviews [~ELOU~]
· Clay Oven turns up the heat on authentic Indian dishes [Courier-Journal]
· Clay Oven Indian Restaurant [Official Site]