Recent Posts

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Greenville Eats: Dale's Indian Cuisine

Dale's Indian Cuisine is a North Carolina based family restaurant that serves up traditional dishes in a formal, fine dining setting. The restaurant offers a buffet line during the lunch hours and a brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays. In the evening, however, it drops the conventional notions of an Indian restaurant in favor of an intimate wine and dine restaurant.

The intimate setting actually proved to be a little uncomfortable at first, for our party of four. Despite that, we settled into our table and quickly ordered a vegetable platter to get things started. The platter came with a variety of items off the appetizer list, the first of which being a vegetable fritter which definitely seemed to be a favorite. Flavorful, with a generous crunch, the fritters gave us a good first impression of things to come.

Next was the samosa, a puff pastry stuffed with chick peas and spices, and the aloo, a fried potato patty. Truth be told, I was hard-pressed to find a difference between the two, besides the texture of the pastries. The samosa was crunchier, but aloo was somewhat savorier. Neither made that memorable of an impression. There was also the cheese pakora, basically cheese fried in a batter. I was expecting something rich, but the pakora actually had the taste and texture of tofu, which I found to be uncomfortable with the other appetizers. All-in-all, a mixed bag, but not unpleasant by any means.

Our entrees soon came afterwards, piling our little round table. First was the Baigan Bhartha, an eggplant dish mashed in herbs and spices. Though I usually don't condone Indian dishes mild, this proved to be much better that way as it allowed the eggplant to shine through. My only concern was that it didn't feel like a dish that should be paired with rice. The next entree was the Chicken Korma, a curry dish that features an onion base alongside nuts and herbs. Traditional in every since of the word, fans of curry - or those looking for a place to start - will likely enjoy this down-to-Earth dish.

The oddest dish had to have of course been my own. Recommended by the server, my Chicken Tikka Masala was not a curry, but rather a tomato-based dish with cubed pieces of chicken and a flurry of Indian spices injected into the sauce. Sweet at first bite and bitingly hot after, the Masala was a dish that quickly came to stump me. I ended up not getting very far into it. Thinking about it the next day though, I popped my leftover Masala into the microwave and poured it over my own rice. Lo and behold, it actually came to somewhat win me over as the spices were able to settle overnight. As decent as it was the next day though, its the first eating that counts, and for that I would have to give it a bit of a thumbs down.

The winner of the night was easily the Tandoori Chicken, a pit-grilled dish featuring an array of seasonings and a light, spicy sauce underneath. Mouthwateringly juicy and tender enough to make plastic spoons look sharp, the dish was the flatout winner of the evening.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on Dale's Indian Cuisine
Atmosphere: Formal. Casual clothing is okay,
but dinner here is best left for date night.
Cost: Very expensive dinner. $12+
Lunch buffet runs for under ten though.
Try: The Tandoori chicken. Tender, juicy, and flavorful thanks to the grill.
Consider: Lunch. A fair price along with a buffet screams opportunity.

The Final Verdict

Personally, I've had Indian food from a cart, in a buffet, at a friends, and even at home. This, unusually enough, was the first time I had ever had it off a menu. As far as setting goes, I couldn't say I was a fan. It didn't allow the natural buzz of a college scene, and it forced the prices to go somewhere foreign to our entire table - most of which easily hit around the $16-20 range. Groups may want to consider cutting a dish and going the sharing route if that want to save some change.

Despite the prices, the entrees for the most part were all appetizing enough to sort of justify the bill, something that we all came away pretty pleased with it seemed - especially our Tandoori-filled friend. There was one key dish that made me question the whole experience though; the Naan, an Indian flatbread that came with the meal. When I think of Naan, I have memories of a soft, chewy pita that pairs amazingly well with things like curry and the eggplant dish that was ordered. Ours, however, turned out to be a hard fried tortilla-like bread that just didn't go feel right with any of the dishes.

For what we got, Dale's suggest that it would be a great place for lunch with its buffet, and perhaps an even better brunch (mimosas nonstop!). Unless you are looking for an intimate setting for a date, I would stick to the sunlight when checking out this local Indian eatery.

Dale's Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon


Post a Comment