When I asked what she wanted for dinner, Cinnamon’s response was simply “spicy is good”. That was my cue to look up Indian restaurants, and I found this little gem in Richardson called Mumtaz Indian Restaurant (shout-out to WordPress blogs!).
I have to admit, I was pretty excited when we decided on going for Indian food. I don’t get a lot of Indian food, mostly because most people I know don’t enjoy it. It’s a real bummer, because I ADORE Indian food. Usually I go to lunch buffets, like Tandoor in Arlington, or Roti Grill in Plano. I haven’t been for Indian food for DINNER in forever.
After a bit of confusion as to where the place was (I very stupidly listened to my GPS – it was mostly right, the place was just further into the shopping center), we stepped inside to a very empty restaurant. It was beautifully decorated, and the music playing was wonderful, but there were only two other occupied tables at 7:30 on a Tuesday night. A few other people came in, but it makes me sad that this little gem is so hidden.
We decided to get the two chef’s special platters. One was vegetarian, the other was not. They seemed sampler-ish, and part of what I love about Indian food is the variety! First to arrive were the appetizers – fish pakora and vegetable samosas. The fish pakora wasn’t heavy at all, but light and yummy, with a little bit of heat (disclaimer: Cinnamon’s and my definitions of “heat” and “spice” are probably different than the average person’s, as we love spicy things). The samosa was freaking incredible, and also gigantic. We split it in half and it still seemed huge! We, uh, may have forgotten to take a picture of those, because we were starving and it looked too delicious.
The platters were humongous big. Like, gargantuan. Both had rice and raita, and the non-veggie one had chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, and saag paneer. The vegetarian one had palak paneer, punjabi chana masala, and malai kofta. Some naan and roti accompanied the platters (which took up our whole table). Cinnamon and I are both huge fans of chicken tikka masala, so that got devoured really quickly. As far as I know, that’s the only kind of Indian food Cinnamon had ever had, so it was a new experience for her. The lamb curry wasn’t entirely what I expected – it was much spicier than I anticipated, but fantastic. The lamb wasn’t as tender as it could have been, but whatever, yum! Saag paneer is another favorite dish of mine, and it lived up to expectations, with a little more heat than what I expected. We DID ask for “hot”, but I assumed that was “inexperienced Indian food” hot, and not “hey this is an Indian restaurant you idiot” hot.
I have to admit, we didn’t really get to the vegetarian plate so much, mostly because we stuffed ourselves full of chicken and lamb. We did try everything on it, and loved it all!
When the waitress came by asking about dessert, I got really excited – gulab jamun is one of my favorite things ever, and so we ordered some. Cinnamon, again, had never had it, but I think I’ve turned her into a convert. Gulab jamun is a sweet pastry ball, served warm in a rose and honey syrup. It’s sweet in a natural way, and doesn’t feel heavy at all. It was a great ending to an awesome dinner, and we’ve got leftovers to devour tomorrow!
My experience of Indian cuisine is limited. Chicken Tikka Masala, yes please. I had basically found a favorite + stuck to it when I went to Bombay House in Utah once a year. So chalk this up to being more adventurous. In selection of dinner I decided that it needed to be spicy as a decongestant while trying to shake being sick. Sassafras made an excellent choice in this restaurant.
We decided on the Chef’s Recommendations: Mumtaz Mahal Feast (non-veg) + Vaishnav Delight (vegetarian). When they asked what level of spicy we wanted, it was a given that we wanted hot.
The vegetarian samosa appetizer + fish Pakora appertizer went so quickly we did not have the chance to think about taking a photo of it. The fish literally melted in my mouth perfectly. As for the samosa? Again, quickly went. Perfect amount of spice.
Main entrees? All with naan bread, roti (another fried bread), rice pillau, badami kheer. Raita is good to bring down the level of spice when I’d had Indian food in the past. I think I only dipped into it once just to try it. Good, but not needed with all the deliciousness.
Mumtaz Mahal Feast (Non-Veg) – I had never tried lamb in my life before + it was delicious! Makes me wonder why I’d avoided it. Can never go wrong with Chicken Tikka Masala. I could live off of it, so this one more than passed the test. The saag paneer is spinach based with cubes of cheese. I was silly enough to miss the cubes even after it was pointed out. It’s in my leftovers too. Still, delicious.
Vaishnav Delight (Vegetarian) – I got lost in all the varieties + it was all truly wonderful. The punjabi chana masala was perfectly spicy. I really enjoyed the chickpeas. Overall, devoured a lot of it + saved some for leftovers.
As for the service? Wonderful. We lost track of how many times our water glasses were refilled + the obscene amount of water we drank. It wasn’t because we were overwhelmed by the level of spiciness either.
Now I want to go during the lunch buffet.
I actually give this place five stars.