12, Abd El Mone'm Ryad Street - off Ahmed Abd El Aziz Street
Having Indian food has a mood of its own; you’ll have to be ready for a nice kick of spices and have a fairly big appetite. We stumbled upon India Gate in one of Mohandiseen’s quieter side streets and immediately decided to give it a try. As soon as we set foot in this peculiar restaurant, we felt the quirky atmosphere; a human-sized cut out of Shahrukh Khan (Indian superstar) at the entrance, televisions playing Indian music videos, and elephant miniatures all around.
We got to our table and began with ordering appetisers, and we decided to get a bunch of small dishes and share everything. We first went for the Dal Soup (25LE) – which is essentially lentil soup; the twist was that it had a hint of curry – which was a tasty twist for sure. We also got the Vegetable Samosa (20LE) – fried samosa stuffed with potatoes and spices. The potato filling had good texture, but lacked seasoning – it tasted much better after we had it with the yoghurt dip that was served to us in the beginning. Lastly, we got the Tandoori Aloo (50LE) – stuffed grilled potatoes with paneer and onions. It was an interesting and tasty bite; the potatoes were properly cooked, the cheese was creamy, and that ring of onion on top gave it a nice punch.
Moving to our first entre, we opted for the Paneer Nawabi (70LE) – Indian cottage cheese cubes, cooked with tomato sauce, fresh cream, and spices. Along with that, we got the Chicken Biryani (72LE) – basmati rice cooked with chicken and Indian biryani spices. The two dishes were generally successful; the cheese cubes and the sauce’s creaminess complemented each other, while the biryani rice tasted amazing with the paneer tomato sauce. The chicken in the biryani dish was cooked to perfection; however, the rice was a bit on the dry side – but we fixed that with the tomato sauce. As a side to those mains, we ordered Garlic Nan bread (10LE) – it came dry, and the pieces of garlic were cut too large, and therefore overpowered the other ingredients, so we put it aside and left it.
After this fantastic and filling meal, we decided to get the Kulfi, which is a famous Indian ice-cream, but sadly, it wasn’t available. Choosing another dessert instead, we opted for the Ladoo (15LE); sweet granular balls made from hummus, coconut, and honey, is what was stated on the menu. Unlike the rest of the items that we’d tried, this dessert, unfortunately, didn’t fare well; served in the form of an orange ball of warm carrot bits, and another yellowish sphere of warm minced hummus, the ladoo was very bland and unappetising.
After we left, we noticed that on the check, the dessert written was Gulab Jamus (30LE) – which is another dish on the menu but not the one we got. Yet, most probably that was a mistake, it is only 15LE difference – it doesn’t seem like it was intentional.
Aside from the dessert, all the food was excellent and delicious. If we had one comment, it would be on the staff, well, one staff member in particular. As we asked for the card machine at the end to pay the bill, he said that the device is not working and that if we wanted to use it, we should have informed them at the beginning. Now, saying that is one thing and how he smirked as he said it, was another; the over-all attitude was way too casual, and slightly disrespectful, an attitude to which we decided to turn a blind eye because we actually liked the food.