I had an amazing culinary weekend! Saturday was a terribly grey and rainy day, but fortunately that didn’t stop my lovely lunch buddy and I from hitting Brier Creek for some shopping and good food. Nestled within the shops are several fun dining spots, including Azitra – the self proclaimed Indian Culinary Nirvana.
Overall: 3.3 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 5 out of 5
Ambiance: 3.5 out of 5
Value: 4 out of 5
Service: 1 out of 5
Please note that even though the overall score is low, it was not due to the food, even in the slightest. Oh my word, that was some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten.
We started with the Rajwadi Samosas, crispy pastry shells filled with seasoned potatoes, yellow lentils and craisins. They were served with two chutneys and they were great! The craisins added something special, a little sweetness to counter balance the spice. And what a deal! Only $5 for the order.
For our second shared plate, we ordered the kabob sampler. It was lamb, chicken and shrimp served again with two chutneys ($13). The lamb was cooked beautifully to a medium rare and was juicy and tender. The shrimp were juicy and bursting with flavor. Even the chicken was cooked perfectly.
For our main course, we shared the vegetable korma. This dish was seasonal veggies (potatoes, green beans) simmered in an aromatic cream sauce ($13). Again, so much flavor. The green beans were fresh and the potatoes were cooked perfectly. Even the naan was delicious and had a great garlic flavor.
And of course, I can’t go to an Indian restaurant without trying the gulab jamun ($5). Azitra serves theirs with some shaved coconut on top. The cardamom syrup was so good I had a hard time not just tilting the bowl back and drinking what was left after the pastry dumplings were gone. If you’ve never tried gulab jamun, it kind of tastes like a donut hole soaked in sweet syrup. They are very good.
As for the ambiance, Azitra is beautiful! The music was a tad loud, but other than that it was very nice. They have a lovely outdoor patio with plenty of seating.
So, what brought down the overall rating? The service. From the moment I walked in the door, I was treated like an inconvenience from the server/host. We had to ask the person bussing our plates to get his attention more than one time to refill our waters. He didn’t really make eye contact with us, but instead watched the TV while we ordered. If the person that brought our food to us hadn’t been so wonderful, I would have given the service a zero. It was that bad. This also brought down the ambiance score.
I would definitely go back to Azitra. The food was so delicious that it made the server’s lack of social skills something I could deal with. We just tipped less than 20%, which for me is very difficult.