I am originally from India so I am always game for some Indian food. Sadly, Connecticut doesn’t have that many Indian restaurants. Of the ones I have tried thus far, I find myself recommending the same 2-3 places to everyone who asks. For a proper sit-down experience, I really enjoy Chef Prasad Chirnomoula’s INDIA restaurant in New Canaan (and now his new location in West Hartford). For a delicious fast-food, grab-and-go experience, Gopinath Nair’s Tikkaway in New Haven is a sure bet. Finally, for an in-between experience that is good for casual eat-in or take-out, I highly recommend Royal Guard in Norwalk.
And then, I happened upon Chutni Biryani & Noodle Bar…. totally by accident. It was during a cozy dinner with my honey at Mason-Dixon Smokehouse in Stamford a few months ago… we were seated right by the window overlooking the line of restaurants across the street. What a peculiar concept I thought…. a Biryani AND Noodle Bar…. say what?!
Quite simply, the owner/chef Sharath Dara, wants to serve what he likes to cook and eat. Therefore, in additions to a selection of traditional Indian appetizers, entrees and desserts on the smallish menu, he also offers a handful of Indo-Chinese favorites, three types of Ramen as well as Pork Buns.
I have visited Chutni twice now and have discovered some absolute standout things on the menu. They are quite authentic in flavor as well as spice levels. In many cases, the quality of food is far superior than what you would get even in India. Case in point – the Tandoori Wings which are to die for. So incredibly flavorful…. these are super tender, really meaty and juicy wings. Sharath told me that instead of sourcing frozen chicken wings like many other Indian restaurants do – he is only buying fresh. I am sure his secret marinade contributes to the end result as well but, my, what a difference that makes.