Friday 25 Jul

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Vietnamese comfort food

I’ve always had a love affair with the refreshing, healthy cuisine of Vietnam. I love the fragrances, the fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, mint and other Asian herbs: perilla, Vietnamese coriander and sawtooth cilantro. And I love the contrast and balance in almost every dish: spicy vs. cool, salty vs. sweet and steamed vs. crispy.
07/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0


Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Ajanta Cuisine of...
Restaurant Reviews

Ajanta Cuisine of India

Get your masala fix at this northside Indian mecca.

Greg Elwell January 25th, 2012

Ajanta Cuisine of India
12215 N. Pennsylvania

There are lots of ways to voice your displeasure with a restaurant. Most people go the anonymous route: posting negative reviews online at Yelp or Urbanspoon or EataroundOKC. And if that’s your method of recourse, please allow me to apologize now for the next sentence: That’s a stupid way to get business done.

If you’ve got a problem, yo, let the eatery solve it. (Now, check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.)

Case in point: my visit to Ajanta Cuisine of India. I’ve been going to Ajanta for lunch for years. It’s one of the first Indian buffets I visited in Oklahoma City and it was, in a bygone era, pretty close to my office.

right, Tandoori chicken

The buffet fare is pretty standard: chicken tikka masala, tandoor chicken, palak paneer, plenty of naan and a few other assorted Indian favorites. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s good, solid Indian food.

For dinner, the buffet disappears and the menus come out. This is where the adventurous sort can find new treats to tickle the palate. This is also where the uninitiated can get nervous. What if you choose the wrong thing? What if you’re stuck with a plate of food too spicy to eat? Heaven forfend!

And Ajanta is different, so even fans of Indian food might find new dishes to explore. Like paneer kulcha ($2.75) — a bread stuffed with cheese and golden  raisins. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, but I’m glad my wife ordered it. It’s a little salty and a little sweet, and one bite made me want to take about 18 more.

Naan ($1.95) doesn’t come with the meal, by the way, so order some if you’d like.

While the plain naan was good, more chewy than crisp, I was pretty taken with the garlic naan ($2.75). That’s the sort of bread that would make any sandwich better.

right, Mango lassi

But man cannot review on bread alone, so I tried some other stuff. The mulligatawny soup ($2.95) was disappointingly thin and a bit too starchy. The malai kofta ($11.50) — veggie dumplings in a cream and almond sauce — tasted good, but the portion was small. Or maybe it was the right portion (three dumplings), and I just wanted more of it.

The fish tikka masala ($13.50) is charcoal-grilled fish, with a similar brick-red color to tandoor chicken, but with a much milder taste. This is a nice, light dish without an overwhelming flavor or heat.

For more flavor, the fish bhuna ($12.95) is sautéed with chiles, onions, green peppers (for a kind of grassy taste) and some spicy curry sauce. This had a little heat, but if you want more, be sure to ask for it.

That’s what I did with my lamb vindaloo ($14.50). Vindaloo, if you don’t know, is a spicy curry sauce with meat — lamb, in this case — potatoes and chiles.

Mine came out sweet, with spice flavor, but no spice heat. When the waitress inquired how everything was, I could have held my tongue, said, “Fine,” and left unsatisfied.

right, Tikka masala

But that would be stupid. I told her it lacked the heat the menu advertised. She took it back and the manager delivered me a much spicier version. The lamb had great flavor and the potatoes, soaking up the sauce, got my nose running.

There’s a lesson there: You don’t get what you want if you don’t ask for it. Personally, I’d rather leave happy and full. And I did.

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

Photos by Mark Hancock

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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