7 new-generation restaurants redefining Indian food in North Texas

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Generational changes are taking place at Indian restaurants in the Dallas area.

A young cohort of restaurant owners who are eager to rethink the genre, rethink everything from the dining room to the desserts. They expel the buffet table and play contemporary music. They incorporate fusion cuisine, street snacks and stylish plating. The results are often delicious.

Over the past few months, I’ve eaten along this wave from Oak Cliff to Colony and talked to several owners, including a 21-year-old restaurant owner. The resulting photo is a South Asian dining scene that pursues both innovation and fun.

This trend is not new. In 2015, Kumar’s brought Plano a menu full of cheeky commentary (“Plain Rice: Well, I won’t try to explain this, $ 2”). However, the recent explosive opening has made the fusion of India and Pakistan one of the largest and most exciting trends in North Texas.

Here’s a field note about a new generation of South Asian restaurants and what they’ve been thinking outside the buffet. Eat the list and find fusion dishes such as butter chicken pizza, gulab jamun cupcakes, chapli burger and cardamom tres leches cake.

Windmill

Windmills is the first American location for the fusion concept of Bangalore-based breweries, restaurants and jazz clubs. Founder Kamal Sagar is a well-known architect and avid music collector in India. Windmills combines his passion with eye-catching interior design, live jazz concerts, delicious beer and Indian and Texas fusion food.

If this already sounds unique, wait for the menu to appear. From kerala beef fries and potato tick charts to chicken fried steaks and ribeye with bones, everything is here. The food is plated with a wonderful taste. In other words, Texas has no place like Windmills, and no other restaurant has so many ideas and cultures boldly blended together.

But everyone else is competing to catch up.

5755 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony. windmills-usa.com..

Louie Pérez on the left is drinking a few beers in a truck yard with his dog Goose and his companions Bingham and Michael Swain. It's one of Grandscape's 26 restaurants that developed $ 1.5 billion at The Colony.
A spicy chaprikebab burger in Richardson's Ada. Lamb meat, seasonings, and slices of raw onion on sesame bread.
A spicy chaprikebab burger in Richardson’s Ada. Lamb meat, seasonings, and slices of raw onion on sesame bread.

Ada

In the Islamic community in the Dallas area, Ada was the most talked-about newcomer in 2021. Much of the talk focused on modern interior design and “modern desi” fusion dishes such as delicious Karahitakos and the very spicy chaprikebab burgers.

The traditionalists of the online chat group were dissatisfied with the price of Ada. With dishes like New Zealand lamb chops ($ 22), restaurants are proudly betting on their claims as high-end destinations. Ada is a unique and tasty dining place, its parts are very generous, and one has to fight the prejudiced corrosive belief that some dishes should be cheaper and less creative than others. not.

If fusion isn’t ready, Adda offers more traditional specials at lunch to serve non-Asian customers from nearby offices. It’s not an experience we recommend.

744 S. Central Expy. , # 230, Richardson. theadda.io..

A colorful split-level dining room in the Desi District in Irving.
A colorful split-level dining room in the Desi District in Irving.

Digi district

While ordering kati rolls, Nepalese peaches, Paneer burgers, “Tosas” (a combination of tacos dosa), and ultra-rich Gulab Jamun cupcakes, the whimsical words on the walls of this “modern urban market” Please enjoy. Cupcakes and tosa are more than just novelties — they are pretty good.

“We like to try fusion food, not just stick to the real thing,” says co-owner Sheetal Liddar. “We are working on tacos. We are trying to make more fun tacos and artistic tacos.”

The original Irving store, which has been popular locally since 2017, is now rapidly expanding into a regional chain of restaurant and grocery combinations. According to Lider, the next ideal location in the Desi district is to serve Tosa and other fusion dishes to people who enjoy ladder liquor in the nightlife area.

Locations of Irving, Little Elm and McKinney. Plano butcher shop. Frisco’s location will open shortly. thedesidistrict.com..

Ras Malai Gateau, Foreground and Luffy Kulfi are offered at Plano's Minervain Indian Bistro.
Ras Malai Gateau, Foreground and Luffy Kulfi are offered at Plano’s Minervain Indian Bistro.(Jason Janic / Special Contributor)

Minerva Indian Bistro

Minerva’s menu spans Indian, Pakistani and Indochina cuisine. But when you look at the drink card, there are even more surprises. A powerful mocktail program for non-alcoholic drinks and a list of fun and creative desserts on the back. Many of these are the inventions of the owner Adil Jawed and his team.

Ras Malai Gateau, a perfect blend of traditional Indian desserts in the shape of a Tres leches cake, was one of my favorite bites last year. Cardamom, saffron and pistachios add flavor to the cake, and rose water dyes the icing blushing pink.

21-year-old Jord remodeled a 6-month-old restaurant with his wife. Her father is now an executive chef.

“My wife and I drew the place ourselves. We layered the menu ourselves,” he says. “There are some things that are unique to us, but we feel like we’re innovating in a way.” Some of Minerva’s new tricks are the original masala spice mix and nan made without yeast. It is included.

“I was born into culture, but what we do is very different.”

3825 W. Spring Creek Parkway, # 206, Plano. minervaplano.com..

What the Biryani's quirky wall artwork in Irving asks questions that all of us are wondering. "What food?"
What the Biryani’s quirky wall artwork in Irving asks questions that all of us are wondering.

What is Biryani?

Yes, it’s the real name of an Irving restaurant that opened a little less than a year ago, and it’s also the sports wall art reading “WT FOOD.” The pristine white interior features a cute HGTV-style touch, like a neon “Namaste” sign or a small decorative metal bike. The bathroom, labeled “Wonder Woman” and “Batmen,” is adorned with a bouquet in a bottle of old whiskey.

Although it may look like a new era, the cuisine is rooted in tradition, from basic vegetables and boneless chicken to delicious ground goat keema and mirapakaya coated with your favorite protein. A green chili sauce with a melting spice, centered on 18 types of biryani. The polota here is especially flaky, crispy and delicious. Fold them around an appetizer like a “cheeky garlic” paneer.

If you’re interested in desserts, skip the options here and the Desi district is a 10-minute drive away.

3601 Regent Blvd. , # 150, Irving. whatthebiryani.com..

Far East Pizza Company

This Richardson Ghost Kitchen features classic dishes such as butter chicken and Paneer masala on a thin crust. Indian pizza is not new in Texas. Bombay Pizza was a landmark in downtown Houston 10 years ago, and the India Chart Cafe on Frankford Road has long served basic pizza. But the Far East is a new leader in this field.

The Far East is also very friendly to vegetarians. My favorite pies are paneer, cauliflower, red onions, basil, tomatoes, and veggie spectacular with an Indian-style cloth between pesto and chutney. Butter Paneer pizza also has a good balance of flavor.

A notable new rival is The Colony’s Fun Pizza Kitchen.

1500 N. Greenville Ave. , # 110, Richardson. fareastpizza.com..

Anali chicken with pomegranate seeds, yogurt, ginger, chili and fenugreek. From Bishop Arts' finest Indian restaurant.
Anali chicken with pomegranate seeds, yogurt, ginger, chili and fenugreek. From Bishop Arts’ finest Indian restaurant.(Bentores / Special contributor)

Âme

Opened in the Bishop Arts District in 2021, Âme adds Indian spices as a gentle decoration on top of Dallas’ favorite food group, Sunday Brunch. You can order spinach omelette with side cups of chicken sauce, fried chicken and waffles sprinkled with biryani spices, or plates of diner-style eggs, potatoes and chaprikebabs.

With a gorgeous interior design, this is the most Americanized restaurant in this column, but I hate food the most. Âme’s Masala Chai cup contains enough sugar to double as a dessert. Of all the foods, only Chapri Kebab has a particularly bold flavor. Fried chicken was good, but my table was melancholy imagined using Tucker, a technique for spicing with oil, to give it a hot glaze like Nashville.

The crowd at Bishop Arts Branch may look at things differently. If your friend says “I don’t cook Indian food because it’s too spicy”, take me here.

418N.Bishop Avenue amerestaurantdallas.com..

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