Out of India fans now have a second location for relief when the popular restaurant on Pucheng Street (浦城街) is crowded with diners on weekends: In to India recently opened between Taishun Street (泰順街) and Longquan Street (龍泉街).
In to India’s comfortable decor is reminiscent of its older sibling, with walls painted in warm hues and covered in strands of gilt ornaments. The ambiance is more intimate, however, with dimmer lighting and tables placed against the wall instead of lined up side-by-side, making this branch a better place to bring a date or have a private conversation with friends.
Service at the restaurant is friendly and prompt, but somewhat scattered. We ordered a serving of samosas (蔬菜咖哩餃, NT$200), or deep-fried pastries stuffed with potato, vegetables and minced meat from the appetizer menu, but they did not arrive until the end of the meal. In the meantime, our chicken Madras (椰汁咖哩雞, NT$350), a south Indian-style chicken curry made with coconut milk, basmati rice (印度香料飯, NT$30) and garlic naan (蒜味烤餅, NT$50), which is leavened bread baked in a tandoori oven and covered with garlic butter (a plain version is also available for NT$40), arrived quickly.
The Madras’ coconut milk curry was made with a copious serving of the main ingredient, and as a result was luscious and slightly sweet. The basmati rice was fragrant, with a hint of saffron, but softer and stickier than expected. The naan was chewy and the garlic butter satisfyingly pungent — but it had been applied too liberally. Garlic lovers might rejoice, but we had to eat the bread quickly before the butter rendered it too soft to dip in the chicken madras.
Address: 65, Yunhe St, Taipei City (台北市雲和街65號)
Telephone: (02) 2367-0239
Open: Daily from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5:30pm to 11:30pm
Average meal: NT$450
Details: English and Chinese menu; credit cards not accepted
The samosas were worth waiting for, but by the time they arrived at the table we were stuffed. Prices at In to India and Out of India may be relatively high for restaurants in this college neighborhood, but the food will definitely fill you up.
Another dish worth trying is the chicken tandoori (酸乳烤雞, NT$280 for half a chicken, NT$550 for a whole bird), or pieces of chicken marinated in a yogurt sauce and then grilled in a tandoori oven. The version served at Out of India and In to India is delightfully succulent, with the yogurt marinade lending just the right touch of tanginess to each juicy piece of meat. The chicken tandoori is also one of the healthiest options on the menu because it is not served in curry or sauce, but is flavorful enough that you won’t feel deprived. Worthwhile vegetarian options include alu mutter (青豆馬鈴薯, NT$180), peas and potatoes cooked with spices; mutter paneer (青豆乾酪, NT$240), peas and chunks of soft white cheese; and chana masala (香鶅汁蓮子豆, NT$180), or chickpeas cooked in spices.