Happy 16th Birthday Aashirwad.
Over time, many restaurants have opened and closed in and around the ever-popular I Drive area, so when we heard that Aashirwad Indian Cuisine was celebrating its 16th year of operation we just had to visit to be part of their festivities. Located just off I Drive on the corner of Kirkman Road, Aashirwad has been delighting customers under the same ownership since 2004, offering Traditional Indian Cuisine made from scratch with modern techniques and in-house spice blends and marinades, to create amazing signature dishes such as Palak Chaat, Jeera Dhania Ki Chicken, Galouti Kebab, Jackfruit Masala and many more.
We wanted to try as many dishes as possible to understand the full flavor of the Aashirwad comprehensive menu and chose a take-out option. We arrived to find Covid19 precautions fully in place with all staff wearing masks, gloves and practicing social distancing with professionalism and courtesy. We made our selection from the sanitized menus and while we were waiting could not resist the Jungle Juice cocktail, a superb concoction of Captain Morgan Rum, Coconut Rum, Midori, Vodka and Pineapple, you have to try one of these, we could taste why it’s a customer favorite!
But you really want to know about the food, right ?
From the small plates section we first tried the Vegetable Samosas, delicate pastry shells filled with a lightly spiced mixture of potatoes, peas and herbs. These were so good we could have eaten many more but had to leave room for the rest of our feast. Next up were the Tandoori Stuffed Mushrooms, Cremini Mushrooms stuffed with Cheese and Peppers. Never tasted these before so a first for us but now definitely fans and will order again. Then a choice from the vegetarian section, Palak Paneer, Indian Cottage Cheese in a Spinach based sauce, a veggie lovers delight and full of flavor.
A must for us was to try the Chicken Tikka Masala, tender chunks of Chicken in a deep and rich tomato-based curry. We have tried this dish all around the word and Aashirwad’s version is one of the best so far, a delicately balanced, flavored gravy with perfectly cooked chicken pieces, difficult to pull off but Aashirwad’s chefs do an outstanding job.
The chefs put together an Indian Mixed Grill for us which consisted of Basil Noorani Kebab, Chicken, Basil, Cilantro and herbs, Adraki Lamb Chops, Lamb marinated in Sour Cream and Ginger, Malai Pepper Kebab, Chicken, Cheese, Pepper and Cardamom, Ajwani Shrimp, succulent shrimp marinated in the subtle and complex Ajwain spice, Chicken Tikka, pieces of tender Chicken marinated in Tandoor Spices and cooked in a clay oven until perfectly charred. Each one of the items on the mixed grill was a perfect balance of flavors and textures, some new to us, others old favorites, but everything superbly cooked and great examples of Aashirwad’s Modern Indian Cuisine. For us the Malai Pepper Kebab was the star amongst numerous stars, giving bursts of flavor with every bite and demonstrated just how to use Cardamom to its best effect.
To accompany all these great dishes and flavors, Tandoor baked Garlic Naan, Onion Naan, with dipping sauces of Tamarind Chutney and Mint Chutney. If you judge any Indian restaurant by the Breads and Chutneys they provide then Aashirwad would go to the top of the list, they were amazing, so much so we are now Tamarind Chutney lovers!
You would think we had eaten enough, but could not leave out dessert and what better than the Aashirwad Signature Citrus Mango Cheesecake, a perfect balancing dessert that compliments but acts almost as a palate cleanser at the end of a superb meal, light refreshing and a very clever use of ingredients.
Wow! What a feast, and to us it is now obvious why Aashirwad have been delighting customers with their food for so many years. Indian cooking is not easy, but Aashirwad are at the top of their game and it shows.
As part of Aashirwad’s Birthday Celebrations they have been kind enough to offer anyone who mentions this Orlando Food Critic post a 15% Discount from any Dine In or Pick Up food order order between July 20th 2020 & August 31st 2020 (Not applicable to third party delivery or beverages)
Aashirwad Indian Cuisine and Bar are located at 7000 S Kirkman Road Orlando. Tel: 407 370 9830 and are open for Lunch and Dinner every day. www.Aashirwadrestaurant.com