Washingtonian: Inside Bindaas, Rasika’s New Street Food-Centric Sibling
3 stars (out of 4) Review
…homemade breads are a staple of the Bindaas menu, including a section devoted to flatbread-like kathi rolls and pao, Parker House-esque buns that are split and griddled with plenty of butter. Both breads arrive stuffed with a choice of meats or vegetables, such as such as roasted masala lamb. A variety of fresh naans also make an appearance. We’re tempted by the unconventional bacon-chili-cheese naan, though vegetarians shouldn’t worry–meatless options exist in every section of the menu.
Washington Post: From the Rasika Team, a Lively Take on Indian Street Food
Two and a half stars (out of four)
Task a four-star chef to make the street food of his homeland, and here’s what he hawks: savory pancakes topped with shrimp and mint chutney; lamb kebabs stuffed into warm flatbread; and fish ignited with chili paste and cooked in a banana leaf. Vikram Sunderam, recipient of a prestigious James Beard Award for his work at Rasika, is on another roll, this time with a collection of small plates. They roam workaday India for inspiration and fulfill the promise of the eatery’s name in Hindi slang: cool. Carved from the lounge half of Ardeo + Bardeo in Cleveland Park, the dining room, set off with spice jars and orange seats, is too small to fit all its fans. Be prepared to wait, then, but also to be delighted.
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Diners will find high-quality renditions of traditional street snacks, such as bhel puri, four flavors of uttapam, kebabs and other share plates, with a Goan pork kathi roll that tastes a bit like an Indian sloppy joe…The cocktails were great: the Silk Road tasted a bit like mango and a bit like a whiskey sour.
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Vikram Sunderam describes this Indian street food as a “vegetarian sloppy Joe” because of its appearance, but that doesn’t do this lively dish justice. The chef cooks a changing mix of vegetables — which might include cauliflower, carrots, peas and potatoes — with onions, tomatoes and a special blend of spices. (Think cumin, black pepper, red chile and black salt.) A potato masher transforms it into a pulpy kind of stew, served with buttered, griddled Parker House rolls that you can use to scoop up the veggies or form open-face sandwiches. Believe us, it tastes better than it looks.
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Bindaas’ innovative Indian street food makes for a fun dining experience, and an explosion of flavors. The pao bhaji, a mish mash of vegetables and spices served with buttery bread, is hearty and delicious.
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James Beard Award winner Vikram Sunderam has been wowing diners with his high-end Indian cuisine at Rasika for years. His Cleveland Park resto puts a refined spin on humble—yet no less thrilling—street foods of his homeland. Golgappa gets its creaminess from avocado and yogurt, its heft from potatoes and its peppy lift from tamarind chutney. And the kathi roll with shiitake and oyster mushrooms is as filling as its meaty counterparts.