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August 13, 2015

Mirchi Restaurant - Spicing It Up with South Indian Dishes


It has been a while since we went out as a family including my grandmother. This past weekend was surely a delight in that respect. My sister and my brother-in-law came to visit us and spent some quality time with the parents and of course me. All of us went out to dinner together to this newly opened South Indian restaurant called Mirchi (chilies in English) located in Parsippany NJ. This restaurant replaced another Indian restaurant  located in the same complex called Amiya.

When you enter the restaurant, on your right you will see a party room with a bar and as you walk further into the lobby, you will see the concierge desk. To the left of the desk is the entrance to the dining area (click here to see pictures). The dining area is very spacious and comfortable. In the back, there's a glass door leading to the wine cellar, which I thought was really cool.

We started off our dinner with a couple of vegetarian appetizers: Gobi 65 and Baby Corn Pepper Fry

Gobi 65*

Gobi 65 is a dish where well marinated cauliflower florets are brown to perfection (description from menu). These florets were definitely cooked, marinated and seasoned very well. Additionally, the portion size was adequate for 4 or more people. We were a party of 6 so we got about 3 pieces each and were very satisfied.

The Baby Corn Pepper Fry failed to meet the same flavor expectations as the Gobi 65. I felt the corn was more doughy than crispy and the taste was not as satisfying. 


We had never dined here before so we had no idea about entree portions. We ended up ordering 5 separate dishes to make sure everyone was happy.

My parents and grandmother are vegetarian so they ordered mixed vegetable Uttappam, Rava Masala Dosa, and Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani.

According to my dad, the Mixed Vegetable Uttapam was a good size and tasty. The Rava Masal Dosa and Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani didn't make the cut. Both my mother and grandmother were disappointed in their dishes. 


ENTREES CHOICES
Top Left -  Garlic Naan
Bottom Left - Vegetable Biryani
Right - Malabar Fish Curry

My sister, brother-in-law and I (the non-vegetarians) shared the Shangri-la Biryani and Malabar Fish Curry with Garlic Naan. All 3 of us really enjoyed the Malabar Fish Curry served with plain white rice. The fish curry was made with selected fish pieces simmered in tamarind pulp and coconut milk. It was quite tasty and flavorful. You can't go wrong with coconut milk; it makes everything taste better and rich-er. 

Third disappoint of the evening was the Shangri-la Biryani,  combination of Chicken 65 and biryani. Before we placed our order, we specified that we all wanted our dishes to be Medium spicy, which in my book means, add some chilies to our dish. However, our biryani and the chicken lacked flavor. It was not until I added the spicy raita that I actually tasted something in my biryani. It was like eating saffron rice with crispy chicken. The combination was did not suit us at all.



Takeaways from our experience - 3 STARS 
- The portions for appetizers and entrees are big enough for two people.
- When placing your order, specify your spice level: Mild, Medium and Spicy. If you order biryani, it should be spicy, not bland.
- The best part of our dining experience was the service. The waitstaff were helpful and friendly.


Although half of our dishes were disappointing, I would definitely dine here again as it was my first time. I would never dismiss going to a particular restaurant again if it rated 3 or more stars in the first experience. Next time, I will stick to regular Hyderabadi Dum Biryani instead something totally exotic. Also, I will steer clear of anything on the menu with dish titles ending with 65, not my cup of tea.



***Until next time, happy eating. If you know of a good Indian restaurant for us to try, let us know.  Looking to dine out, check out our Restaurant Reviews page for suggestions. ***

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