Minerva Chantilly Indian Restaurant
Minerva Indian Cuisine14513-B
Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, #A15
Chantilly, VA 20151
Minerva Chantilly: Good Food; Above Average Service
After four decades of eating Indian food, we are seldom impressed by the insipid fare doled out by most Indian restaurants in the U.S.
But even we were impressed by the food at Minerva Chantilly.
From the crispy Masala Vada to the Tangy Chicken Manchurian to the extraordinary Bhindi Fry to the sweet Rasmalai, much of the food at Minerva Chantilly is a treat for connoiseurs of Indian cuisine.
Masala VadaAmong the many fine items we tried at Minerva Chantilly, our vote for the best item goes to the Masala Vada.
We couldn't have enough of this Crisp and hot Vada (made from Channa Dal) that is very popular in South India. Have it with the Mint Chutney, Tamarind Chutney or Coconut Chutney and you are a winner any way.
South Indian FareOther South Indian items like Lemon Rice, Dosa and Sambar were equally tasty attesting to a kitchen competent across a range of items.
Besides the Masala Vada, the other stellar item of our meal was the Bhindi Fry. Well fried Okras that were not the least bit charred, Bhindi Fry was a delight whose memories lingered long after our meal was over.
North Indian CurriesWe found delight in the restaurant's Paneer Masala and Channa Masala too. Both came in a nice gravy that went well with Nan bread.
Hard IdlyBut the Idlis were below par as they were too hard and dry.
Chutneys and Gobi PickleBesides the fine Tomato, Ginger and Coconut Chutneys, what caught our attention during our recent visit to Minerva Chantilly was the unsual Cauliflower Pickle. Be cautioned these Chutneys and Pickles are made for fiery Indian palates not for effete palates.
Chicken ItemsProving that the restaurant is equally adept on the non-vegetarian side, our Chicken Biryani turned out to be a flavorful delight with chunky pieces of chicken. We fell upon our Biryani like beasts over a kill near a waterhole.
Chicken Manchurian was delicious with boneless chicken pieces floating in a thick tangy and spicy sauce. We enjoyed our Chicken Manchurian with Naan Bread, Plain White Rice and the Vegetable Hakka Noodles.
Tandoori Chicken was not exceptional but surely nothing to complain about.
Chicken Curry was another fine item from Minerva's kitchen that led us to abandon all restraint and eat like hogs at the trough.
Boy, as our lunch was turning to be an embarrassment of riches we were in the seventh heaven of delight.
Minerva Chantilly's menu covers a wide territory - South Indian and North Indian spanning Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian (Chicken, Lamb and Seafood).
DessertsOur Mango Lassi was one of the few disappointments at Minerva Chantilly. It was not cold enough and tasted like it had been prepared some centuries back.
But the yummy Ras Malai amply made up for the below average Mango Lassi.
Minerva ServiceService at Minerva Chantilly is a notch above most other Indian restaurants but not exemplary.
Our Hispanic waitress had difficulty understanding us and once mistakenly removed one of our plates thinking we were finished.
But we were seated promptly, our water glasses filled frequently and our requests attended to diligently.
Also, we were a little surprised when our waiter told us that Coffee was not available although it was listed on the menu. But these were minor blemishes in an otherwise very satisfying meal.
If you love good Indian food as much as we do, you'd missing a lot if you don't make it to Minerva Chantilly. - © VAIndia.us