Thoughts for Food

Our regular review of culinary delights and disappointments around campus. Today’s critique: Ashoka Grill.

Full-service restaurants around the Junction are hard to find, so when we stumbled upon Ashoka Grill, we jumped at the chance to have lunch at this Indian eatery. Located at 1436 Flatbush Avenue, off of Farragut Road and near the Residence Hall, Ashoka offers a fairly deep menu, with a wide selection of affordable lunch specials. Overall, it’s a decent joint with perfect-sized portions, a somewhat dimly lit interior that subdues the no-frills décor, and a friendly owner who encourages greater consumption of food with a few complimentary dishes.

Breads and Condiments

The complimentary naan was “yummy”; the complimentary papadum “tasted fine,” but a “gluey texture” that “sticks in your molars” turned us off. The aloo paratha — whole wheat, multilayer flat bread, wrapped with seasoned peas and potatoes — was generally good, but “a bit heavy and slightly oily.” The spicy tomato, green sauce, and tamarind condiments were “all great.”

Sweet Potato Fritter

Our complimentary fritters were “a nice gesture by the owner,” but the “bland and greasy” appetizers offered up “no flavor besides fried.”

Mango Lassi

“Thumbs down” for this classic Indian beverage whose “bland taste” is “powdery” and seems “like it came from a prepackaged mix.”

Lamb Curry With Basmati Rice

“Wonderfully tender” cubes of lamb, perhaps a little overwhelmed by the quantity of a tasty sauce that’s “on the mild side,” is served alongside basmati rice that’s “a bit dry” but moistens up well when drizzled with the sauce.

Chicken Tandoori With Yogurt Sauce and Ground Spices

Although its accompanying fresh-cut vegetables were a little “dried out,” the chicken itself was “beautifully moist and tender,” “very flavorful,” and “not overly spiced.”

Goat Rogan Josh With Vegetables

Some of us enjoyed the “succulent, tender” meat in a “rich, spicy sauce” with a pleasant “distinct burst of cilantro,” but others felt like we were eating “old meat” with “too much bone and too much fat.”

Chana Masala With Homemade Spices

In this “terrific” vegetarian alternative, “perfectly tender chickpeas” combine with “silky spinach,” neither of which is overpowered by the spices.

Chicken Tikka Masala

The tomato-based cream sauce “adds great flavor” to “buttery chunks of chicken” that were widely enjoyed across the board.

Rice Pudding

This complimentary dessert was a thoughtful end to our meal, but, except for “the cute raisin in the middle,” the only thing we liked about it was “the dish it was served in.”