June 17, 2024

No curry for old men

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Ever since my first viit to Nine One just a few days after it opened, I have been wanting to return with friends. Our high school gang hasn't met up for quite some time, and as it turns out, one of the senpai is making a what we hope is temporary move back to Tokyo. As he is quite fond of Indian food, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get the gang to check out the place.

I requested for three items which I didn't get to taste last time around, then left the rest up to Samaira. So I ended up getting much of the same dishes as on my first visit, which was OK. They're tasty enough for me to have them again.

Khakra, chundo - the khakra (ખાખરા) and chundo (छुन्दो) still go very well together.

Corn chips and kachumber - the guys were pretty surprised by this combination, and of course they found the kachumber (कचुम्बर) pretty refreshing.

From Chef Samaira's family farm, kokum: tuna bhel - the kokum (कोकम) mixed together with the tuna gave it a nice flavor, and crunchy boondi (बूंदी) gave this a nice texture along with slightly richer flavors.

Khekda (केकड़ा) - the Alaskan king crab was very sweet and tasty, seasoned with some lovely spices. The inclusion of pomelo and pomegranate seeds gave the dish a touch of fruity acidity to make it a little more refreshing.

Eat a rainbow: bhel-puri - the bhelpuri (भेलपूरी) is clearly a signature dish, and this time the staff decided to mix it up together properly.

So we have tamarind, green chutney, red garlic, mango, tomatoes, puri (पूरी), sev (સેવ), fried chickpeas, cucumbers, potatoes, peanuts, and red onions.

I do love the mélange of flavors, with acidity, sweetness, and heat all coming together.

East Indian lamb potato chop, green pea chutney, kachumber - I still love this while tasting it for the third time, but I do hanker for a tiny bit more lamb in the middle. Love the chutney.

I have a spell on you: chicken lollipop, schezwan chutney - oh, I've really missed these! Who doesn't love fried chicken, especially when they come with a sauce that packs some heat?!

Gucchi "khichdi": bottle masala spiced morel mushroom, basmati rice - this was probably my favorite dish of the night, as I tasted it for the first time. Thanks to the morels, the rice was just so rich and so packed with flavor. I could totally see this as a comfort dish that I can have day in and day out. The flavors are so familiar, and I couldn't help thinking that I wanted more as I was shoving it in my mouth.

Not curry: East Indian lamb stew - the boys were really amazed by this dish, and no one expected to have something like this in an "Indian restaurant". So, sooo tasty. That Roaring Forties lamb was just really tender.

The fugias seemed softer and more fluffy tonight.

Mauhra: pan fried stuffed whole "hirva" pomfret, laccha onion, solkadhi - I was so happy that I finally got to try this. It's somewhat similar to the fish kujit I've had before, only this was stuffed with a green herb masala that did not have any coconut milk. The fish was very tender and we loved that masala.

Solkadhi (सोलकडी) - we took a drink of this after eating the pomfret. Interesting mix of salty and acidic flavors from the kokum together with the coconut milk.

My version: aamrakhand - I do love that distinctive fragrance that comes from Alphonso mangoes. So happy to have this again.

Rabdi: rich milk dessert, saffron infused cantaloupe, nuts - this was pretty interesting as it was a combination of something milky with diced cantaloupe that was refreshing.

For some reason, this crowd never drinks much when they're with me... but we did get a complimentary glass of Champagne on the house.

Bonnet-Ponson Cuvée Perpétuelle Extra Brut, dégorgée en Decembre 2023 - yeasty nose with notes of marmalade.

2021 Roblin Sancerre Origine - nice toasty notes but not overbearing. Decent acidity on the palate. Very easy to drink.

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