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At Indira the other night, I may have been on a date but it wasn't clear. I suppose I could've asked her, but if the answer were negative then we'd have to awkwardly finish our meal. So I focused on the plus side - Indira makes a great place for a vegetarian date - as long as you love garam masala and other such spice mixes. It's a veritable vegetarian heaven with tons of options, all delicious. And, I quickly realized, one can always break the silence with comments about the unique atmosphere and the most hospitable waiters - some of whom have been at their job for 15 years and more.
We started off with a mix platter (NIS 54) of cauliflower and onion tempura, Indian falafel and vegetable samosa, all fried in that most delicious and unhealthy of ways: deep. For a main course we took the Navratan Korma (NIS 48) of vegetables with dried fruits. Our waiter Elijah informed me that the Korma was invented 300 years ago for the king. "Not sure which king he's referring to but it sure makes a cute, old-waiter's tale," I said, effortlessly breaking the silence.
The dish was terrific. Even the sugared cherries found within, integrated beautifully to our surprise and delight.
We also took the Paneer masala (NIS 54) at the request of my "date." She loves paneer, a flavorless Indian cheese that absorbs the flavors of everything that accompanies it. Form and function prevailed as it added great substance to the masala.
For dessert we had the chai ice cream (NIS 26). Indira is the only place in Israel purported to serve this treat. On my last visit, they did not have it. It was worth the wait. Delicious, it provided the perfect end to a meal in the best Indian restaurant in Tel Aviv. As for my co-eater, we parted with a polite goodbye. Not a date, I guess, but after that meal, I was feeling fine.
Indira is located at 4 Shaul Hameleh Blvd., TA, (03) 695-4437 and open Sunday to Saturday noon to 1 a.m.; not kosher. The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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