Indian restaurants sometimes run the risk of being slightly same-same – from the decor to the flavours, there seems to be a formula that works and plenty of places are happy to march to the same tune. The most gratifying thing about Indus is that it makes certain well-judged departures – there’s a decidedly modern, well-lit interior with sweeping views of their garden dining area, as well as a lighter menu that still delivers the punch people expect from Indian food while dialling down the stodge and oiliness that sometimes accompany it.
Furthermore, most Indian restaurants hew rigidly to northern-style food and although those notes are present in most of Indus’s curries, they all riff more broadly on Indian-Chinese – or Himalayan – combinations. All in all, it’s quite an ambitious venture in modern Indian cuisine.
Still, it begins traditionally enough, with a tandoori platter, including a creamy broccoli (B190), chicken in yoghurt and Shahi Jeera (B320) and tiger prawns in Kashmiri chilli paste, garlic, ginger and coriander. It all comes out with that slightly charred goodness that is the hallmark of Tandoori, with that smokey goodness that, done well, heightens rather than overwhelms the other flavours.
Among the curries, the old favourites are also the stand-outs – it’s hard to fault a Kashmiri rogan josh (B490) with mutton when smothered liberally over a chunk of garlic naan. Equally, the chicken tikka (B320) and Goan prawn curry (B490, above left) operate at different ends of the spice spectrum but both work in the mouth.
If there’s a signature dish, though – and one not seen so commonly – it’s the raan (main image). It’s part of an inspired selection of kebabs and requires 24 hours’ advance notice as they soak a whole leg of lamb overnight in dark rum, papaya and yogurt before adding spices and grilling it on the coals. It’s B2900 but that serves six people so is hard to overlook if you’re planning an Indian feast any time soon. The kebab-e-malai (B320) is another signature, tender chicken marinated in yoghurt, cream, cheese, and herbs. Indeed, these kebas are the high point of Indus’s menu, offering the most complexity and rewarding any diners willing to branch out.
That is, after all, what sets Indus apart from many less ambitious Indian places.
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71 Sukhumvit Soi 26 | 02-258-4900
indusbangkok.com | 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm