If there’s one complaint to have about Ananda, it’s that there are too many great dishes from which to choose. There’s a solution, however: come back again and again, not just on special occasions, which has been our habit.
The Ananda staff and chefs turned our special celebration – my wife’s birthday – into an exquisite one. Starting with the service, it was sparkling: attentive, gracious, responsive, yet never fawning or intrusive.
Now for the meal. For starters, instead of going with our most recent and greatly enjoyed selection – Meat Samosa with Pulled Lamb – we took the advice of Washingtonian’s reviewer and chose the Seasonal Squash Samosa, consisting of the aforementioned squash, peas, leeks, chick peas, spinach and cranberries stuffed in a pastry. Unlike some samosas we’ve had elsewhere, the pastry did not “squash” the flavor and texture of the contents. It was mighty tasty.
Instead of “normal” naan, we took Washingtonian’s suggestion and ordered Kashmiri Naan, which was stuffed with dry fruits and nuts. It had the perfect exterior and internal texture, and the fruits and nuts enriched the flavor quite well.
For our main course we were prepared to order two favorites - Jingha Karari (shrimp sautéed with garlic, ginger, green chillies and coriander) and Shahi Korma, Lamb braised in a cream sauce with nuts and raisins, but were enticed by items on the seasonal specials. I selected the Tandoori braised lamb tenderloin and my wife had the lamb shank, complemented excellently by biryani vegetables. (My wife’s also had cumin infused potatoes.) The meats were tender and their natural flavors greatly enhanced by their respective sauces. We couldn’t have been happier with our selections.
Since we were not rushed, we were able to save room for dessert. For the occasion we shared the Apple Cranberry Cardamom Crisp. It was a wonderful assemblage of its title’s ingredients, also with raisins nuts and some cardamom ice cream in the middle. As the items on the dessert menu is said to vary by the season, just hope this item is available when you dine at Ananda.
In conclusion, I have unrestrained appreciation for the dining experience at Ananda. We’ve dined there enough that I can say without hesitation that they consistently provide excellent meals, atmosphere and service. And we’re most likely to dine there again without waiting for a special occasion…though being there will make it one.
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