Friday Five: Indian

DusmeshAh, Indian food. Clifton is to Indian food as Hyde Park is to Thai and Sushi. However, I’m finding recently that great Indian restaurants have escaped the “college food” stigma and have moved into other areas of the city. These are my favorites– in no particular order.

1. Amma’s Kitchen (Roselawn): The only South Indian, all-vegetarian restaurant on this list, but the spices are so heady and the flavors so unique that you won’t miss the meat, promise. I love their podli idli (little spiced rice cakes) and masala dosas (spiced potatoes in a thin pancake).   It’s probably my favorite. So maybe this one is in order.

2. Bombay Brazier (Blue Ash): a high end Indian restaurant if there ever was one, the chef is a presence around the dining room and provides Indian cooking lessons in collaboration with yogahOMe. The staff is very well versed in the menu, and will help you to pick a protein that works well with your favorite sauce. Their Bombay naan (almost dessert, filled with dried mango) and lighter, less creamy version of chicken makhani are two favorites.

3. Shaan India (Oakley): So they have a lunch buffet– don’t judge.  The management takes pride in that buffet and everything is delicious– you can even find delicacies like goat curry that you’d never find on another buffet in town.  Delicious.

4. Dusmesh (Northside):  This little, unassuming restaurant has some big flavors.  A full review is coming, but my favorite dishes– saag paneer and chicken makhani– were both flavorful, and the onion naan chock-full of onions (and huge).

5. Jungle Jim’s (Fairfield):  What?  That’s not a restaurant!  No, it isn’t, but it has the best selection of Indian groceries in town, so you can try your hand at making your own curries and Indian food.  I really love buying tandoori paste there to coat boneless chicken breasts– a quick taste of India in my own kitchen.


What’s your favorite?

12 thoughts on “Friday Five: Indian”

  • Dusmesh is my favorite. Their chicken tikka masala uses less cream than other places and packs a ton of flavor. I feel like they do the best mix of spice + flavor. I love spicy foods and I feel like sometimes when you order higher up in the spiciness scale at some places, you lose flavor. They also do take out from their buffet for $4.99/lb so its great when its just me grabbing some food and I can’t make a decision. Their Saag Paneer is also probably the best I’ve tasted in town.

    Shaan gets my runner up position – good Indian food in my neighborhood with AMAZING service. They also do a frequent visitor card with entrees, where your 7th is free. My neighborhood option used to be Baba, where I felt like the food was inconsistent and never felt like they wanted my business.

  • here’s a suggestion for your next visit to amma’s kitchen – try onion chilli uttapam. i’ve never been to the other three restaurants. you must visit brij mohan on reading road. they serve only vegetarian and almost everything is high quality.

  • They are all good but I honestly cannot believe that Ambar isnt on the top of your list.
    Excellent food.
    chicken tiki masala, saag paneer, vege fritters……………

    • A couple of years ago it might’ve been, as Ambar started me on my Indian food kick, but I’ve found their food has suffered in the past few years, and their service certainly has. Would I eat there? Sure. But it’s not in my top five anymore. These other places are better. I tried Brij Mohan tonight, and that would definitely go in my top five as well.

  • shalimar grill at tylersville is good for dinner. Brij mohan is my favorite. I’ve eaten there multiple times in one weekend. Plus sometimes there is cricket.

  • Bombay Brazier takes Indian to new heights, the chefs special and the lamb with eggplant are delicious. The portions are generous. Take out allows 2 dishes to become 4 meals with some to spare. It spoils you and you don’t want to return to Clifton.

  • I was thrilled to see Amma’s Kitchen at the top of your list. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in Cincinnati, period. Their buffet is wonderful because you can try dishes that you just can’t find anywhere else around here. As far as the menu goes, I’m completely and totally smitten with their Channa Masala. I need to branch out and try something new!

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