Review: Dusmesh

chicken makhani

I just keep eating Indian food.  It’s not a bad thing, I don’t think– I’ve certainly gotten a tour of Cincinnati’s Indian offerings, since every time I post about one, I get three more suggestions for others to try.  Dusmesh was at the top of many folks’ lists, so after work one day, I decided to go it alone and head to Dusmesh.

Dusmesh is right along Ludlow Avenue, right in between Clifton and Northside.  It’s an unlikely location– an old house, across the street from Cincinnati State, an island with no other retail establishments around.  That’s okay– word gets around.

I’ve been going to these restaurants and generally ordering the same thing– onion naan, chicken makhani, saag paneer, raita– if there’s more of us, perhaps some chicken tikka or tandoori chicken.  I generally order a spice level of 3 (on a scale of 1-6).


I walked into Dusmesh alone and was greeted warmly, and given a big booth and a menu.  I chose onion naan, chicken makhani, and saag paneer (a lot for one person, but Indian leftovers are the best!).  I ordered both the makhani and the saag paneer on a 3 (scale of 1-6).  The food came quickly and was piping hot.  I liked their raita, which has a lot of carrot and onion in it, as well as the cooling yogurt and a round grain of some sort that I couldn’t put my finger on– perhaps one of my intrepid readers could help me out with this.  Their onion naan was excellent as well; a huge portion stuffed full of soft onions.

saag paneer

The chicken makhani was very nice– lots of almonds and plump raisins in a buttery, tomato-based sauce.  Saag paneer had gigantic chunks of paneer, and a not-too-creamy sauce (so often, saag paneer is watery, and that’s no good).  The seasoning was delicate– not absent, but subtle, and the spice was not what I expected a 3 to be.  You see, I used to be that person who ordered a one or zero (!) when it came to Indian or Thai food.  I’ve now come to appreciate the spice profile of Indian food, and order whatever “medium” is.  I was disappointed that the spice was more like a 1– still delicious, but very little heat.  I might try a 4 next time to see if it’s a little spicier.  In all, though, a very good Indian experience and it will probably be my default “close-by” Indian spot, easily replacing any other Indian in Clifton.

I hear they also do a good lunch buffet (the Urbanspoon reviews rave about it), and the prices are moderate– not the least expensive Indian I’ve had, but not expensive, either.   The service is friendly– not something found very easily down the street at other Clifton Indian restaurants.  The only other Indian place left on my reader-submitted “list to try” is Brij Mohan– well, I have to write about it. I’ve been twice– so look for that tomorrow (as well as an Indian Roundup of some sort).

Dusmesh Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon