Modern Indian Lunch at Indeblue

Last summer, Indeblue opened on the 13th street previously occupied by the Korean restaurant, Pastoral, I wanted to love but didn’t. Lunch service soon followed; it consists of a slew of familiar and modernized small Indian bites and a few larger entrees. In a city where there are several under $10 Indian buffets, how should we feel about a place where one small plate costs as much as all the Indian food you can eat?  I had been curious about the menu and had to take Indeblue up on their offer to have me in to try their lunch.

From the first bite, puffed puri chaat ($8), I got a sense of how Indeblue interprets modern Indian. Each pani puri is pre-stuffed with a mix of tangy chutney, avocado, and yogurt, yielding one big,  chilled, creamy bite with enough layers of flavor that it may take a second to process and appreciate them all. Typically, you will find empty pani puri’s and will have more of a stuff it yourself scenario. Indeblue’s approach is less messy, reinforcing the idea of refined over casual dining. And since there are only 4 per plate, chances are you will be eating the puffs quickly enough that they won’t have time to become soggy. This was an excellent palate opener and would also be a great first bite to anyone who thinks Indian food is only about tandoori chicken.

Drums of heaven ($8) are indeblue’s version of chicken wings- meaty and spicy chicken drummettes in a tomato heavy sauce with blue cheese crumbles to balance the heat.

For the main plate, I picked the lamb biryani ($14). All biryanis come with cashews in a spiced, saffron rice with a mint raita (yogurt sauce) on the side. The biryani has a distinct tomato flavor and a slow building heat that benefited from a cool down with drizzles of the raita. It didn’t contain raisins or any other sweet notes you sometimes find in biryanis.  You also have the choice of chicken or vegetables in your rice, but I was glad I picked the tender lamb.

Dessert highlighted some experimentation from the kitchen. What looked like galub jamun, fried dough balls covered in sugary syrup, were actually banana fritters covered in a perfect caramel sauce and topped with cinnamon ice cream.  To go along with this touch of sweetness, an aromatic chai calmly ended the flavorful meal.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Bold and clean approach to Indian flavors
  • Relaxing ambiance

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Pricier than the average Indian restaurant in Philly

indeblue, 205 S 13th Street, 215-545-4633 


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