Nothing is as it seems at this smart Indian eatery, smoothly run with great personal charm by the Mahadevan family. It's waterside but offers an attractive indoor dining room; it's Indian but without any plasma screens or Bollywood kitsch; and the artfully put-together food manages to be gutsy yet sophisticated at the same time. The vibrantly spiced signature entree of crab with brown rice string hoppers laps up its warm coconut broth, the shellfish strands texturally echoing the noodle threads. Baingan jaipuri - fine eggplant chips, fried crisp in a spicy besan crust - comes served in a cute paper cone, while lamb martaban (lamb shoulder with pickled spices and tomato) is baked slowly in a claypot, its bread seal broken at the table to much oohing and aahing. Even the cardamom and pistachio kulfi ice-cream manages to be different - ready with rosewater, speckled with ground spice and squiggled with a tangy berry coulis to offset the sweetness.
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