[First of all, to those who read yesterday's post, I am truly sorry for my edit mistake. I will try not to make the same mistake... -_-;;; Now, back to our regular schedule!]
823 N Charles Street
Just before my second trip to Baltimore, I made some research on the restaurants to visit. Last time, in addition to seafood, I had some ethnic cuisine, with the results being one hit (Ban Thai Restaurant – Thai) and one miss (Edo Sushi – Japanese). I was decided to go for ethnic again, this time for Indian. Based on my research on Urbanspoon, one of the Indian restaurants close to my hotel was Akbar Restaurant…
Due to the wacky weather on that weekend (I was flying on Sunday), I arrived to the hotel at around 7:30 p.m. and, after quickly checking in, I walked to the restaurant. When I walked in, not sure if to my surprise or as should expected, it was empty. There was one other table but it looked as if it was guest of the owner/manager rather than customers. Definitely not good… Of course, I should not make judgement based solely on this, specially considering the day and time so I asked for a table for one and sat down.
A quick glance of the menu yielded the usual round of suspects of an Indian restaurants (the full dinner menu is available here). The dilemma of course, what to order? In occasions I have been in Indian restaurants, if by myself, it was buffet and, if with somebody, we usually end up sharing dishes. Trying not profile, I did not end up ordering a curry. More on that in a moment… Now, the other “dishes”, first a “free” appetizer, papadum which was served with three dips
If I am not mistaken, the top right one was a tomato based chutney, the bottom left was tamarind and the third one might have been a mint-based. I am sure about the tamarind one; not about the rest. I did not enquire much as was uninteresting (in the sense I have had better). Not long after, I got my drink:
OK, this one is profiling of sorts. Yes, that’s mango lassi, a blended yoghurt drink. Now, the rest of the dishes:
Mulligatawny soup. I will admit it, I love legumes. Be it beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, I eat almost all forms in almost all preparations. And because of this bias, there is almost no way I will say this soup is bad, not even so-so. In this case, this blended soup had a smooth consistency and the lemon gave a light citrus-y taste.
The main dish came with rice but no vegetables so I also asked for a salad; in this case, katchumber salad. When I received the dish, the first thing that came to my mind was Greek salad sans feta cheese. However, the spices added did not make up for the feta cheese. Either because of that missing element or because of the lack of a tasty vinaigrette, I found it a waste of money.
As mentioned above, the main dish came with rice. For a single dish, that’s a lot of rice! Unfortunately for me, I found it too salty…
Finally, the main: Tandoori Mixed Grill. OK, the picture above does not really show all the individual pieces… Aside from the onion and peppers, there was chicken tikka, tandoor chicken (don’t ask me for the difference between the two…), a piece of lamb, a kebab and one shrimp. It came in a sizzling plate of sort. That is, it came in a sizzling plate; however, rather than leaving the plate with me, all the components were served on my plate.
As for taste, the overall dish was big but not among the largest I have eaten. Having said that, I could only eat half of what I was served. True, I already ate a lot (soup, salad, mango lassi) but I was starving (I did not really have anything since leaving Vancouver almost 8 hours earlier). The fact I could not eat more meant I was not that interesting in the dish. Yes, I totally regret ordering this.
Overall, despite their own claims (and that of local newspapers/news sources), I find this restaurant lacking. However, I might be at fault here by comparing it to the restaurants found here in Vancouver. I did found the answer later and I will have to say that was NOT an unfair comparison.