Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Got an invite for a special food bloggers dinner at IMLI INDIAN KITCHEN (769 East Passyunk Ave. Near 6th & Catherine, where Ulivo used to be) from Jeff Belonger of My Philly Alive. I've followed this site for a while, but never met the editor behind this extensive Things to Do in Philly resource site. Thanks Jeff, for being a wonderful host.
I enjoy going to all the restaurant opening parties, appreciate every invite, but this was particularly nice to have an intimate sit down dinner. Much easier to really get a good sense of the food, rather than standing with your plate or at cocktail tables, and dishes made to be plated never taste as good eaten from chaffing dishes.
|Imil Indian Kitchen on Passyunk exterior and interior|
One of the reasons why Craig LeBan has been a respected food critic for so many years is because he knows the difference between Indian food from the north part of India vs. the south, and can tell you an Indian lamb dish is too light on this spice or that to distinguish it from a Turkish one. I'm afraid my palate is not so discerning. But I do know about the pleasure of good food and every dish I experienced during our blogger's repast at Imil Indian Kitchen, tasted homemade, spicy without being tastelessly hot and I really enjoyed the great textures of each sauce. I normally eat Indian food from places with a buffet, so this upscale Indian cuisine made a huge difference in the quality for me.
Arshad "Mo" Chugtai, former Cafe Spice owner opened Imili Indian Kitchen (BYOB) May of 2015, but recently brought in new Executive Chef Bimol V. Sarkar, who has completely changed their menu. So Craig should probably go back for a second review.
Here's what we devoured:
|The buttered Nan, Plain Nan, and Garlic Nan, baked in clay oven - Outstanding! Also served Vegetable Samosa - Pastry stuffed with peas, potatoes, herbs and spices, servied with mango chutney & tamarind chutney|
|Chicken Seekh Kabab - minced chicken tempered with onions, ginger,garlic and fresh herbs|
|Rashmi Kabab - tender Chicken marinated in mild spices topped with wisps of sugar|
|Kalmi Kabab - chicken thigh with bone marinated in ginger garlic spice|
Kalmi Kabab I highly recommend. It doesn't photograph as beautifully as it tastes, but the thighs were extremely tender.
|Lf. Began-Bhurta - roasted eggplant cooked fresh tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices & Rt. Shrimp Aachari - shrimp cooked in special Indian spice and pickle|
|Lamb Kurma - lamb cubes cooked in mild traditional curry sauce|
MY FAVORITE Chicken Tikka Massala. Like I said, truly enjoyed every dish, but this traditional Indian dish was done to perfection. The tomato cream sauce! Again, wish I had Leban's talent with descriptions, but that's why he gets paid the big bucks. Still, I can say this earned the coveted Tinsel & Tine 4 Tine Rating!
|Chicken Tikka Massala - boneliess chicken cooked in special tomato cream sauce|
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