After a whirlwind few days in Massachusetts, saying goodbye to my 92 year old grandmother, who has pancreatic cancer, a 7 hour plain ride thanks to 5 hours worth of weather delays getting up to Massachusetts I have to admit I was quite tired and ready to go home once I returned to Atlanta Saturday evening. Chad had other plans, he was nice enough to get reservations at Cardamom Hill. We’ve been wanting to try it for a while now, and just haven’t gotten around to it. Chad was smart enough to get an 8 o’clock reservation knowing it was probable that my flight would be delayed. Lucky for me, the return trip was quite easy and ON TIME. We showed up to Cardamom Hill and hour ahead of time and the hostess was very nice in letting us grab a table early! I was very thankful.
In case you haven’t heard of Cardamom Hill, here is a description from their Facebook page, please note, that I did not write this: “Cardamom Hill is departure from the typical Indian restaurant, where Executive Chef Asha Gomez highlights the cuisine of her native Kerala—a lush coastal state of South India rich in spices, coconut, and seafood. Colorful, flavorful dishes such as roasted duck with potatoes, fish roasted in banana leaf, and beef curry reflect the European and Asian influences that evolved from Kerala’s prominent position along the ancient spice routes. The restaurant’s modern and inviting atmosphere evokes Kerala in colors and design. A central bar offers a progressive cocktail list, while the wine list has been carefully chosen to match the food’s uniqueness.”
We were fortunate enough to have a great server, Mike who knew the menu and offered up some wonderful suggestions, and we also got to meet Asha Gomez herself. She is such a nice lady, and made us feel so welcome. I am not as familiar with Indian cuisine as Chad is so I was playing Russian Roulette with my taste buds. Lucky for me Cardamom Hill is amazing, and you can’t go wrong with anything you choose.
I ordered glass of Pinot Gris and Chad ordered a Cabernet Franc, the wine list is quite interesting and we were told that everything paired well with the food, and I believe them because both wines even as different as they were worked with both of our meals.
For our appetizer we ordered the Braised Short Ribs – Tender ribs in served with plantains and a nice spring salad with fruit. I loved the whole thing! The short rib was seasoned just perfectly, lots and lots of flavor and when paired with sweetness of the plantain it was wonderful.
Chad ordered the Kerala Roast Duck – Served with roasted potatoes in a clove and black pepper sauce and a pineapple-pearl onion chutney. Chad is much more of a duck person than I am, but this was exquisite. The duck leg was perfectly prepared and all of the accompaniments were just delicious. Chad ate the whole thing and looked to be in heaven while eating.
I ordered the Kerala-Style Fried Chicken – served over vegetable pilau. I have heard raves about this fried chicken, and I can certainly see why. This was delicious. It’s not our typical Georgia fried chicken, as it has so many more spices in the breading. Asha said that the chicken marinades for 2 days, and they also offer a gluten free version as well. The basmati rice was great as well.
I ordered a Chai Tea and after Chad saw mine, he ordered one as well, it was such a wonderful cup of tea, I loved every sip.
For dessert Asha recommended the Plantain Fritters, the sauce which is drizzled on top of these plantains is an essence of banana sauce which is made by soaking bananas in water for a period of time so that the water tastes like banana. The skin of the plantain, once fried was my favorite part and if the chef recommends a dish, you order it… and I’m very glad that we did.
Our experience at Cardamom Hill was just perfect. I was tired had a headache and originally wanted to go home. My experience here certainly altered my disposition and I look forward to returning for my next adventure in Indian Cuisine. Thank you Asha for such a great meal and wonderful experience.