Recently, I took a trip to India by way of a culinary journey at Gandhi India’s Cuisine.
It was the perfect place to invite my friends, King Errisson, Neil Diamond’s percussionist and a former Grammy nominee, along with Beryl Warren, a former television associate producer and production coordinator.
When we first entered the newly renovated restaurant, which now has a more elegant decor, we were totally in awe. Gandhi has rich colored textures with old-world charm. The high-back seating gives patrons privacy and comfort. And the high ceilings give this eatery an ambiance that is different from most restaurants.
In addition, Gandhi has its own banquet area on the second floor, which was previously a dining loft. There are smaller rooms for meetings and social gatherings. They also have a new, separate, enclosed cocktail lounge that will be opening soon.
For newcomers to Indian cuisine, Gandhi’s new buffet layout with a granite-style counter top is the perfect way to sample a variety of tantalizing Indian dishes.
Our host and waiter, Kartar Singh, whom I had met about ten years ago, remembered me. I had appeared in a television commercial with him. So, that was a surprise and a wonderful time to chat about old times. In my experience, when dining in any Indian restaurant, the most common factor is their hospitality. It is true for Gandhi, and the service is excellent.
There are many tasty dishes to tempt your taste buds. The menu at Gandhi is diverse, offering lamb and chicken curry, along with vegetable and seafood dishes. In comparison to other spicy foods, Gandhi’s Northern Indian cuisine is milder than other regions, but you can order it to your liking – light, mild or hot.
Lamb Samosa, made with crisp patties, stuffed with spiced mint is one of the popular appetizers. Not to mention their Paneer Pakora, deep fried homemade cottage cheese. One of my favorite appetizers is the Vegetable Samosa, two crisp vegetable patties stuffed with moist, spiced vegetables.
One of the traditions in dining with Indian cuisine Mulligatawny Soup. It is made of lentils, chicken and rice. I make it a habit to have that with every Indian meal. The other tradition is ordering the steamed Basmati Rice garnished with peas. Another robust, flavorful dish is Biryani. It is a plate of mixed vegetables and saffron rice.
King Errisson ordered the Chicken Korma, which is moderately spiced in a cream sauce with nuts. He said it hit the spot and it was just enough.
One of my favorite entrees is the Sag Lamb cooked with spiced, creamed spinach, which is the dish I ordered, along with the Chicken Vindaloo cooked in hot, spicy chili sauce with potatoes. Now that will clear up your sinuses!
Beryl Warren, who has traveled to India and many other places in the world, ordered Chicken Tikka Masala, a delicately spiced sauce surrounding roasted chicken pieces, which are baked in a special clay oven.
It is always a good idea to order Raita, plain yogurt sauce mixed with spices to cool your palate on the spicier dishes.
She said the food at Gandhi is enough for two people and quit invigorating. As with most of my culinary journey, desserts are usual at the end of the meal. To satisfy our cravings for something sweet, we ordered the Pista Kulfi, Indian ice cream made from milk and enriched with pistachio nuts. We also ordered Mango Custard cooked with milk and fruit bits. We also had Gajjar Halwa, a pudding with grated carrots cooked in whole milk, garnished with fruits and nuts.
For a delicious beverage, try the Mango Lassi, or select one of their Indian beers. The motto of Gandhi is “authentic Indian cuisine in the city of make believe.”
Gandhi is located near the intersection of Flamingo and Paradise Rd at 4080 Paradise Road in the Paradise Shopping Center, about five minutes from the Strip. It is open from 11 until 2:30 for the lunch buffet and dinner from 5 to 10, seven days a week.
For information or group reservations and banquets, call 734-0094, and visit their website at www.gandhicuisine.com. CSN rates Gandhi a 9.