Indeblue – Collingswood, NJ
Dating all the way back to 206 BC, the spice trade was a large part of India’s economy along the Silk Road connecting merchants from China all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. With such a long history of being the experts of exotic flavors, Indian cuisine is well-known for the variety and amount of spices in their dishes. After being classically trained in Indian cuisine and graduating in the top of his class in Mumbai, Rakesh Ramola decided to share his passion and love of this kind of food to Collingswood, New Jersey opening his first incarnation of Indeblue in 2009. Since then the success of Indeblue caused him relocate Indeblue across the street from its original location to a much larger space on Haddon Ave as well as a location in Center City – Philadelphia. I must admit that I am not well versed in Indian cuisine, but I am always willing to try anything. My first dish of the night would be Shrimp Koliwada.
The Shrimp Koliwada were a half-dozen chickpea battered shrimp served along with sweet and spicy chili aioli and greens. The shrimps were a generous size and cooked beautifully. The chickpea batter really added an element and flavor I enjoyed. The entire dish was a pleasure to eat and I recommend anyone to start their meal out with this dish. I would follow this up with my main entree of Lamb Dakshini and a Bread Basket order which was naan, lasooni, aloo paratha & garhwali.
Every single bread option was fantastic and better than the next. Ordering the basket was the perfect way to have a little bit of everything without breaking the bank. The Lamb Dakshini was lamb cooked Southern Indian style with coconut and fresh herbs served with saffron basmati rice. It was so flavorful and rich and the lamb just fell apart so easy with just my fork. With a spoonful of the sauce put on the rice and a bite of lamb, I was happy with every aspect of the meal. I would finish the night with Indian Rice Pudding.
My meal went from good, great, to fantastic. Each dish surprising me more than the last. The Indian Rice Pudding was just the perfect way to end things. It was so creamy, yet with hints of spice, nuts, and dried fruit throughout. The service at Indeblue was very efficient, friendly, and accommodating especially for the guests who accompanied me never having Indian food before and putting them at ease. The only area I could see Indeblue improve upon would be giving the table a bowl of rice and/or refills of the bread ordered at no additional cost like other Indian establishments I have been to. Other than that I can see way Indeblue has gone from a tiny thirty seat location to their current large restaurant and expanding empire with other locations being opened up.