WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – This week is a bit of a double feature, with a review on a tasty restaurant and a preview to a fun beer and food pairing event coming up. But first, let’s start off with a trip halfway around the world, to India.
Well not exactly that far, you only have to travel up Market to Ogden to try all of the exotic flavors that beautiful land has to offer. My friends offered to tagalong for the evening as Nawab: Fine Indian Cuisine is one of their favorite spots.
And with Diwali, India’s famous Festival of Lights just weeks away, it seemed like the perfect time to order a rickshaw full of good eats.
If you’re not acquainted with Indian food, the menu can be intimidating at first glance because the names of dishes aren’t immediately recognizable…however each item is described with its ingredients, and the staff is more than helpful when it comes to explaining and even recommending dishes to try.
We went with an order of Vegetable Samosa, which is a deep fried pie filled with potatoes, peas and spices….they are melt in your mouth good. Plus we snagged Paneer Pakora, which are pieces of fried cheese, with a wonderfully mild flavor. Both are served with spicy and sweet dipping sauces. After we ate every last morsel of those, I knew we were in for a real treat.
Indian food is meant to be shared in a communal setting, with bowls full of luscious sauces, vegetables and proteins, spooned over beds of basmati rice, with fresh pieces of naan bread to mop up all the juices and tidbits.
This is very much family style eating, and while the food has different names with unique flavors, it’s still the comfort food you know and love. There are options for every taste, endless dishes for vegetarians, or those looking for seafood, chicken, lamb…even goat.
For dinner, an order of Mango Chicken, in a savory and slightly sweet yellow sauce helped offset the spicier bowl of Curry Goat. None of us had ever had goat before, but I can say it’s very tender and almost like beef. Both sauces were simply phenomenal, I could have ate them with a spoon and nothing else.
A side order of Samosa Chaat, an interesting dish consisting of chickpeas, peppers and potato, which reminded me of baked beans helped bring a different element to the plate.
Of course no Indian meal is complete without an order of the freshly baked naan bread (of which Nawab has several varieties, we chose the garlic naan and plain).
Every bite was just as flavorful as the one before it…probably because the sauces are so complex, but not so heavily spiced to turn away a picky eater. The portion sizes are also massive, and a waiter even brings you a takeout box without asking (there is no way you will let any of this goodness go to waste).
I finished off the meal with a cup of Chai, a warm tea drink blended with milk and spices…it really hit the spot.
I’m not sharing any secrets by singing Nawab’s praises, plenty of people love it, but if you’ve passed by and wondered what it was like or never heard of it before, I can tell you it is delicious. While Diwali may be the Festival of Lights, Nawab is a festival of food, and should be celebrated for all it has to offer.
1. Dine In! Nawab does a bustling takeout business, and even though Indian food is exceptional the day after (all of those flavors get extra time to meld together) it is great to sit at the table and share bowls of curry, rice, bread and whatever else you order. The experience is well worth it (just make sure you get a takeout box).
2. Don’t be shy. Ask your waiter if you’re unsure what a dish is, or what you should order. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about anything on the menu, but the staff is there to please and will steer you down the right path.
IF YOU GO:
Nawab: Fine Indian Cuisine is located at 6828 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28405
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
A little birdie told me about an exciting dining (and drinking) experience on tap for next week. Wrightsville Beach’s Blockade Runner Beach Resort will host “Hops + Harvest Beer Dinner,” a craft beer and fine dining pairing event on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.
The folks at HEY! BEER bottle shop will supply the carefully curated suds, while Executive Chef Jessica Cabo and her team at East Oceanfront Dining will whip up a five-course meal that boasts everything from beer braised lobster to braised kale short rib. My mouth watered just typing that. Plus it’s all outdoors and next to the ocean…sounds like an amazing night and I will definitely be there. If you’re interested, you can buy tickets here: https://tinyurl.com/au7nwmhh
Do you recommend a restaurant? Or know of a best kept secret that you want the rest of the Cape Fear to know about? Shoot me an email at email@example.com and I would love to feature your selection. Cheers!
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