Since the economic crash of 2008, there hasn’t been too much to brag about as far as our restaurant scene is concerned. I honestly can’t remember the last time a new restaurant rocked me to my core.
Well, stop the presses. Newly opened Moksha Kitchen (3294 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 1005, Duluth, Tel: 678.473.9288) is the restaurant I’ve been waiting to happen upon for quite some time. The name might sound familiar to those of you who frequented Moksha in Roswell before untimely road construction made it impossible to reach by car, forcing the restaurant to close its doors despite its popularity among Indian diners.
The owners have brought most of the same menu and recipes to the new Duluth location, but with a few new additions including Indo-Chinese offerings. The food is actually even better than what I remember from my trips to Roswell.
What sets this upscale Indian eatery apart from others of its kind is the kitchen’s confidence and unusual sense of refinement in each and every dish, especially appetizers.
Perhaps the most brilliant of all dishes on the menu — and, something I have never seen before — is a dish they call Lasooni Dhaniya Murg, or LDM for short. Think chicken manchurian on steroids. Tender strips of chicken slathered in a complex garlicky, fiery red sauce. Oh my.
In a recent phone conversation with co-owner Mangesh Patel, he informed me that the kitchen cooks with less oil and better quality ingredients, making for a lighter dining experience.
The Indian fare that comes out of the kitchen of this restaurant doesn’t arrive a cluttery mess of flavors, as it does at so many others.
Sure, it still packs a full wallop of flavors but in such a way that your palate can still distinguish every single note that makes up the perfect bullet chicken, and allows you to follow a chorus of flavors from the curry-spiced outside of a plump chicken wing right through to the smoky dry bone.
One can easily appreciate the subtle nuances of a creamy dish of green peas and fenugreek leaves (mutter methi malai), or gain a better perspective as to what makes a soul-soothing rich creamy vegetable tikka masala.
And, there is no noticeable difference in quality whether you are eating off the small lunchtime buffet or the menu. If one was looking for a gripe they could argue for a lunch buffet with more variety, but that is small potatoes in a grander picture.
I am sure fans of the old Moksha in Roswell will be happy to learn of this restaurant and flock to it. And, if they decide to tear up the streets all around it, they might even arrive by air — what the heck, I’d consider it.