Subcontinental Cuisine

Anokha

While we waited for dessert, the staff brought in chairs, pumped up the music, and kept themselves busy shutting down the shop; it's not as though we started dining just before closing time, either. Indian desserts are only worth this sort of wait if you like things very sweet and very rich. I don't, though I did enjoy the kulfi ($3.95), a pistachio ice cream perfumed with cardamom and served in a dish of heavy cream. Also aswirl in cream was gajar ka halwa, which comprised grated carrots cooked with milk, sugar, raisins, and ghee (clarified butter) until transformed into a sweet, buttery, homogeneous clump with almost no carrot taste. The third classic Indian dessert we sampled, gulab jamun, is prepared by frying balls made from a batter of powdered milk, then boiling them in rose-flavored sugar syrup. Served warm in that syrup, they were soothing and tasty, though the estimated calories per ball is roughly equivalent to the number of people living in Calcutta. After dessert we waited some more for our chai tea: $2.50 per cup seemed a bit steep, but chai is special, an exotic blend of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, black pepper, and tea leaves from India's Malabar coast. The chai we received tasted more like a blend of Lipton's tea bag and water. Like the entire end-of-meal experience, it left us with a slightly bitter taste -- not the best way for a relatively new restaurant (seven months old) to curry customers.

Anokha: A passage to really good Indian food
Steve Satterwhite
Anokha: A passage to really good Indian food

Location Info

Map

Anokha

3195 Commodore Plaza
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Coconut Grove

Details

11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Sunday, Lunch Tuesday through Friday, Tuesday through Thursday, 6:00 till 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Closed Mondays.
3195 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 786-552-1030.

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The coupling of fine traditional Indian cuisine with sloppy modern South Florida service is not, as disconcerting as it is, unexpected. Still, the owners give every impression that they're interested in doing things right, which makes me confident that service will improve; the heights of flavor that Anokha's food reaches make it the Himalayas of local Indian restaurants.

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