Starting with dinner and rounding out several lunch visits, I have yet to have a bad meal at Anokha. Settled into the Shoppes at Westgate, the joint’s exterior is less than welcoming. Its entrance reminds me a bit of a CVS Pharmacy. Once inside, the interior is a bit bar-pick-up-jointy. While all this may add […]
Starting with dinner and rounding out several lunch visits, I have yet to have a bad meal at Anokha. Settled into the Shoppes at Westgate, the joint’s exterior is less than welcoming. Its entrance reminds me a bit of a CVS Pharmacy.
Once inside, the interior is a bit bar-pick-up-jointy. While all this may add some cheesiness to the dining experience, the food is spectacular.
If you are there for dinner, go with the lasooni ghobi for an appetizer. Delightful gems of cauliflower (I know, many people find cauliflower to be “scary”) in a light tomato garlic sauce make a fantastic entrance. Typically, the majority of lasooni/lasuni are garlic-based. However, Anokha adds a bit of acid by virtue of tomato to their take on gobi excellence. I loved the samosas (potato and pea fritters) and the potato kebab, but the ghobi just outshone the others.
For your entrees, I would be remiss not to suggest the tandoor chicken tikka. Smelling slightly smoky (most likely a result of its clay oven cooking), it is tender, a smidgen spicy and irresistibly succulent. Another dish not be missed is the channa masala (for you vegetarians). Large pieces of potatoes and a healthy addition of chickpeas covered in a creamy punjabi sauce, this is exceeding similar to an aloo chole (a common Indian street food). The punjabi sauce consists of a zippy mixture of tomato, butter, yogurt and a hint of cream. Served with a fragrant rice, you end up with a dish both hearty and comforting.
For lunch, do not expect a typical (all the yellow food in stainless steel) buffet Indian place. This is a delicious sit-down Indian lunch place. You can get the above tandoor chicken; delicious and a hefty portion. Or, you could go in another direction and get the aloo ghobi (again, with the cauliflower). Heavy-handed with the curry, the potato and cauliflower mixture is spectacular. A little lighter on the tumeric than other richmond versions of this dish, it also is creamier (and not so mustardy colored). With some spice, it is delicious every time I go to Anokha.
A couple of other suggestions for when you head over to get your Indian on are to definitely get some naan. Any variation they offer is lovely. I prefer the uncovered “plain”. Get extra. If they have a special soup, get it. If it includes lentils, get it to eat there and then get some to go (get some naan to-go as well).