- GRAV WELDON
- UNLIKE ANY OTHER: Sambosa at Silk Road Grill
I’ve had friends bugging me for a while about Silk Road. They know of my affection for Indian cuisine and my almost metabolic need for a good curry fix. But I was skeptical. I’ve been to bad Indian restaurants before — thankfully none here, but I do recall certain Memphian experiences I’d far rather forget.
Let’s just say my fears have been abolished.
Dropped in on Silk Road on a Monday afternoon after the lunch rush. Looked through the menus, waited and waited and waited… service was slow. I was trying not to let that cloud my thoughts, since I was ever so hungry and the place smelled fabulous.
So our waitress came over, and my dining companion asked for some mint chutney. She told him they were fresh out… but when she saw his disappointment she disappeared — without taking our order. She came back out a few minutes later and told us they were going to see what they could do.
She took our orders, but with some reservations. My dining companion asked for the Lamb Vindaloo and Curry combination and was told they didn’t have the curry but he could have the vindaloo. I ordered the Quabili Palau and Kofte combination and was told the Quabili Palau wasn’t available — but that I could substitute something else for it, so I asked for Chicken Qurma instead.
And then we had our first course delivered, an order of sambosa ($5.49) delivered with not just the cilantro chutney offered with it but with fresh mint chutney. Our waitress told us it was just something the chef had managed to whip up — but it was amazing, a nice puree of fresh mint and spices that was… it was awesome. I saw why my dining companion had insisted on it. Yet he still told me this wasn’t the exact chutney he’d had before.
There was also salad, a light romaine-and-tomato salad. But it seems weird to talk about salads when there was so much good Indian fare around.
I have to admit, I was starting to get a crush on the chef… someone who cooked in an Indian restaurant who knew as much and probably more about historic Indian cuisine than I did. I was blown away.
Now, mind you, the waits had lengthened lunch from the expected hour to over two hours and I was behind the rest of the day. But I suspect a lot of that had to do with the chutney. I mean, the mint was fresh — startlingly fresh. I wonder if hearing about my dining companion’s insistence upon having the chutney if someone didn’t make a run to the store. It would explain part of the wait.
Then again, the other part would be that the dishes just took time, and I could buy that. I really could.
Silk Road doesn’t just do Indian… it does Mediterranean, with Spanikopita and Baba Ganouj and Falafel and the like. There are sandwiches. But I urge you, try the Indian fare. Just do it.
You’ll find Silk Road Grill at 4300 Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith. It’s tucked back behind a couple of other businesses in the back left corner of the Green Pointe Shopping Center on the south side of the road. Call (479) 494-3041 or check out the restaurant’s website.