Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sarovar Indian Cuisine

He: It was time for a break from all the pizza and the Asian food. We decided to switch subcontinents and try out Sarovar (8440 Burnett Rd, Austin, TX). The restaurant was almost completely empty when we got there around 7 on Saturday. Even though an Indian person recommended it, I was a little worried. It didn't help that the service was a little scatterbrained and the waiter was slow to materialize. We pressed on regardless and ordered the Sarovar Chicken, a house specialty per the menu, and an old favorite, the Lamb Vindaloo. The restaurant offers three levels of spiciness. We opted for mild, and that is what we got. Next time I am going to vote for medium. An Indian meal is just not complete without at least a little sweat beading on one's brow.

The chicken was good albeit somewhat bland. I don't even remember what other ingredients the dish included. It was some form of vegetable and a thin red sauce. The portion was small, but sufficient for a light dinner. We ordered a la carte, but they offer the same dish as a package deal with soup, salad, and a whole bunch of other things. Presumably that would be enough to fill a person up.

The Lamb Vindaloo was probably more like Sheep Vindaloo. The sauce was pretty decent, but the meat was tough and overcooked. The best part of the dinner was dipping the excellent Nan into the Vindaloo sauce. In fact the Nan was so good that we had to get a second helping.

Thinking about Indian restaurants I realized that I really haven't had any memorable Indian food in a long time. We should explore the options in Houston. Surely a city that big can produce one or two good Indian restaurants. Next time She comes to Houston we will get to work on that.

While I was not exactly impressed with Sarovar, I would happily go back there again and give them another try. Dinner for two was less than $30 (excluding tip), we got decent but unexceptional food, and the Nan was good enough to compensate for other shortcoming. Next time I am going to order the food medium spicy while avoiding the sheep.

She: I enjoyed my dinner at Sarovar, but I generally enjoy anything that comes with rice, so I'm an easy customer. I'm also not too well-versed in Indian food, so I can't give a very qualified opinion. Although the sauces for our dishes may have been on the bland side for Indian food, that didn't bother me too much, and using piping-hot nan to mop up the sauce was delicious.

The cuts of meat were certainly better than those to be found at Bombay Bistro, although the meat could have been fresher. Sarovar also gives you a lot more rice than Bombay Bistro does. On my two-data-point survey, Sarovar is definitely the winner.

There aren't too many restaurants in Austin that I've visited that I would enthusiastically visit again after the first visit. However, Sarovar is one. I've turned into a sucker for their nan.

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