Often named among the best Indian restaurants in Atlanta, Bhojanic has been on my list of places to try for years. I finally had an opportunity to dine there with B. It was her first restaurant review so we were prepared to sample a bit of everything.
The space was warm and inviting with burgundy crushed velvet curtains and soft lighting.
We started with a glass of malbec and an order of naan with raita and chutneys, plus two dishes from the tapas menu, Bhojanic shrimp and eggplant makki ki roti.
Despite my disdain for cucumber, I really like raita. B and I tore off pieces of the naan and dipped it in the cool yogurt sauce. The jumbo shrimp sauteed in a tomato and onion masala were tasty but we were hoping it would be spicier. Likewise, the eggplant dip was somewhat bland, but I loved the traditional Indian flat cornbread that was served with it for dipping.
Chat is described on the menu as a popular Indian street food, consisting of crispy chips or noodles combined with savory toppings and chutneys. It sounded really weird so we had to try it. We chose the chat papri made with crispy flour chips, potato, garbanzo beans, yogurt and mint chutney. I hate mint and requested the chutney on the side. However, as is often the case with Indian food, mint and cilantro are interchangeable, so there was a chance I would, in fact, love it.
The chat arrived, just as weird as we thought. A hodge-podge of crispy chips, cold yogurt, garbanzos…..it was like nachos gone horribly wrong. Turns out I was right about the mint chutney, though. It tasted more like cilantro, loved it!
There is no vindaloo on the menu at Bhojanic. Our server explained the cooking is from a region where the food is not so spicy. So our repeated requests for hot and spicy were met with tepid results.
Not enthralled by the chat, we had saved sufficient room for a thali, a cafeteria style metal tray, each compartment with a different veggie or meat dish. B and I couldn’t decide so we ended up getting two thalis, each with one meat and two veggies.
Each thali comes with rice, chapati (whole wheat flat bread), papadam (crispy lentil cracker), salad, and raita. For our meats we chose the goat curry and the chicken tikka masala. Among the four veggie selections was saag paneer, creamed spinach with cubes of Indian cheese. I often buy the same dish as a frozen entree called palaak paneer by Ethnic Gourmet. It’s delicious. B wanted to try the black lentils called daal makhini and the potatoes and cauliflower, alu gobhi. Our final vegetable was the bhindi masala, sauteed okra with caramelized onions.
We finally got our wish! The goat was pretty spicy, in a yogurt based curry sauce. Unfortunately, goat is always more bones than meat. Another Indian entree I purchase in the health food department at Kroger is Ethnic Gourmet’s chicken tikka masala, boneless tandoori chicken in a tomato cream sauce. Bhojanic’s version was very similar, and therefore very tasty. A couple of beers cooled off our palates.
Of the vegetable sides on our thalis I liked the saag paneer and the okra best, although I don’t remember any caramelized onions with the okra. Both B and I were running out of room, filling up on chapati and chutneys, but ordered one dessert anyway.
We opted for a traditional Indian dessert called rus malai, two small cheese dumplings in a saffron cream sauce. Yes, it was weird. The saffron flavor was nice but the spongey, cheeselike texture was unpleasant.
There aren’t too many things B and I haven’t tried so our intention was to venture out of our comfort zones a bit. Mint chutney, chat, cheese dumplings for dessert….I’d say mission accomplished!
1363 Clairmont Road, Decatur 404-633-9233