Indika

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Another Restaurant Week revisit, this time a lower Westheimer Indian Fusion – Indika. I liked Indika the first time I tried it several years back but often times good restaurants turn mediocre. I happy to report this is not the case for Indika.

Atmosphere
Red, orange, yellow and liberal use of sheer fabric dividers set the zen-den tone. Both casual and sophisticated without pretense. Reasonably-leveled Indian themed music allows conversation and focus away from the scruffy chaos that ebbs and flows on the southern edge of the Montrose. Evening is much more energetic, lunch is more reserved.

Service
Efficient, informed, not intrusive.

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Food
Indika is Indian fusion, that is, traditional Indian fare but made with ingredients or techniques not typically used in Indian cooking. My Indian friends either love this place or hate it, mostly the former.

All wins

Sweet Potato Samosa Chaat: I learned that chaat just means a combination of appetizers. This one is a spin on potato samosa over chick peas. The sweet potatoes in samosa gave it a much more distinct flavor which paired well with the mint, cilantro chutney, the cumin spiked yogurt sauce and cumin-coriander-ginger flavors in the chickpeas. A sensory assault to revisit, definitely.

Pork Masala Naan Wrap: The pork tasted slow-cooked and was fall-apart tender, spiked heavily with garam masala and ginger, wrapped with sweet potato and caramelized onion in naan.  The naan worked to contain and subdue the strong flavors in the pork and the crispy texture of the side onion-cauliflower pakora balanced out the softer textures of the wrap.

Price
Indika averages about $20 for entrees at dinner, slightly less at lunch. Its one of the few places  I recommend for dinner over lunch since the atmosphere at dinner is much more lively and I think lively pairs better with exotic fare.

While it might not be the traditional Indian fare ubiquitous to the Hillcroft Ave corridor, I’m glad Indika has survived,  not sacrificed any quality and seems committed to turning innovative ideas into plates that taste great.

Indika | 516 Westheimer | HTX 77006

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